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Committee Review 2010-11

UNIVERSITY COMMITTEES, STANDING PANELS AND OTHER BODIES

A review of the University’s committee structure took place in session 2010-11 and its recommendations were approved by Council in July 2011. The aim of the review of the Committee system was:

  • to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the decision-making structure of the University;
  • to ensure effective governance and assure transparency and accountability;
  • to decrease duplication of business; and
  • to increase consultation and representation of key stakeholders, thereby improving engagement and communication.

The key points of the Review and their impact on the committee structure can be found here; a diagram of the new structure can be found in the top right hand corner of this page.

Changes to Committees

The following committees will go into abeyance in Session 2011-12, following a final meeting early in the session and will be replaced by Policy Networks:

  • Research Committee
  • Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Innovation and Engagement Committee

Human Resources Committee had been abolished and will be replaced by a Policy Network.

The work of existing Committees such as Academic Promotions, Awards & Progress, Equality and Diversity and Redundancy, will be undertaken by standing panels with specific authority delegated to them by parent Committees in the new structure.  Annual reports on their activity will be received by the relevant parent Committee. The Redundancy Committee will continue to provide regular reports to Council.

The Health, Safety and Environment Committee and the University Research Ethics Committee are retained as sub-committees of Governance Committee.

 

For further information on committee membership, dates of meetings and minutes of meetings see other Committee Support webpages.


Key Points of the Committees Review 2010-11

1.         Council

The Committees Review itself required no change to Statute V in relation to Council. However, a separate proposal that was being submitted to Council via the Governance Committee will require a Statute change if approved.  This relates to a recommendation to reduce Council membership from 35 to 26.

2.         Senate

The Committees Review required no amendment of Statute for Senate, though the way in which Senate conducts its business may be subject to some change. Senate’s role as a representative body for the academic community will remain, particularly with regard to its scrutiny role for academic quality matters. On the other hand its current role as an academic forum might change with the introduction of policy networks. Senate itself has agreed that it should meet 3 times a year rather than 4.

Note: The recommendations of a Working Party set up by Senate to consider its composition and membership, which reduce the number of members and significantly alter representation on Senate, were approved by the Privy Council in September 2011. Statute X and Ordinance 4 have therefore been amended and calls for nominations to serve on the new Senate are being issued.

3.         Governance Committee

Taking on board the comments of Council at its last meeting that the inclusion of ‘risk’ in the title of a proposed Governance and Risk Committee was not appropriate, the structure now retains a Governance Committee.  The Governance Committee will retain within its remit a Health and Safety Committee, an Equality and Diversity Committee (as a standing panel), a University Research Ethics Committee and a Biological Standards Committee. The Committee will also have a specific responsibility to oversee the University’s risk management arrangements.

4.         Academic Standards and Quality Committee

At Council’s last meeting, concerns were raised at the role and workload of the proposed Quality Committee which was to consider broader quality issues than those related to the Education area.  The revised system proposes that an Academic Standards and Quality Committee be retained to ensure that the University is able to demonstrate to the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) that the Committee structure supports effective decision-making and how academic policy is derived and driven forward.  The work of the proposed Education and Students policy network and this Committee reporting to Senate will help give transparency on these matters. This is seen as particularly important ahead of QAA Institutional Review in 2013/14. During Session 2011/12, consideration shall be given to how the work of the Committee might be streamlined in line with work being undertaken to improve quality assurance processes via the Proving Excellence project.

5.         Policy and Resources Committee

The Policy and Resources Committee will provide scrutiny on the use of resources to achieve the University’s strategic aims and provide Council with advice on prioritising competing proposals against available resources.  It will also make recommendations to Audit Committee and Council in respect of financial management, and will establish a Finance Group with delegated responsibility for treasury management, financial regulations and annual accounts etc.  The Committee will replace the current Strategy and Resources Committee and will commence meeting from the start of Session 2011/12.  It will hold 5-6 meetings a year (an increase on the four meetings of Strategy and Resources Committee).

6.         University Management Board

The University Management Board will have delegated authority from Council in order to have some specified decision-making powers.  The Board will have responsibility for formulating the Strategic Plan and for developing and integrating strategy across the University.  It will include four representative Heads of School within its membership, one from each of the four disciplinary groupings (Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Health and Biological Sciences).  It is proposed that the Board meet monthly, from September 2011.

7.         Operations Board

The Operations Board will be a sub-committee of the University Management Board, chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, to manage and implement decisions made by the University Management Boardand work with the Policy Networks to implement approved strategies and policies across the University.  The Board will also help ensure efficiency and effectiveness across the University at the interface of Schools and Directorates, oversee and deliver process improvement and prioritise operational work across the University to manage competing demands.  Its membership will include four representative School Managers from the disciplinary groupings.  It is proposed that the Operations Board meet monthly, with meetings scheduled appropriately in relation to University Management Board to ensure effective working methods.  Its terms of reference will be approved at the first meeting of the University Management Board. 

8.         Policy Networks

It is proposed that:

.1         There will be four networks initially (Education and Students, Research, Innovation & Engagement, and Staff & Diversity) each led by a Pro Vice-Chancellor.  Networks will include a range of staff from Schools and Directorates, lay members of Council and students wherever appropriate;

.2         The Policy Networks will build on existing network activity across the University, for example: the Innovation and Engagement network, equality and diversity contacts group, teaching circles of Directors of Teaching, joint Learning & Teaching Committee and ASQC Away Days, and Directors of Research meetings;

.3         The lead Pro Vice-Chancellor for each network will be supported by a small administrative/co-ordinating group, including two Council members, two Heads of School, Directorate support staff and again there would be two student representatives on each of the Education, Research and Innovation and Engagement co-ordinating groups. The involvement of members of Council will help ensure their engagement with, and understanding of, key issues before discussion at Council meetings;

.4         The establishment of Policy Networks will fit with the recognition of the Cardiff Futures Steering Group of the benefit of having more consistency of roles in Schools below the level of Head of School;

.5         It is recommended that the Learning and Teaching Committee, the Research Committee and the Innovation and Engagement Committee hold one further meeting early in session 2011/12.  This will allow each Committee to produce a legacy statement of current business which can then be handed to the respective Policy Network. This should ensure that a smooth transition between the two is effected. 

9.         Standing Panels

            The work of existing Committees such as Academic Promotions, Awards & Progress, Equality and Diversity and Redundancy, will be undertaken by standing panels with specific authority delegated to them by parent Committees in the new structure.  Annual reports on their activity will be received by Senate (the parent Committee) in the case of the Academic Promotions Committee, by Senate and Council in the case of the Awards and Progress committee and by Governance Committee in the case of Equality and Diversity. The Redundancy Committee will continue to provide regular reports to Council.

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