The Vice-Chancellor was in the Chair and fifty-nine members signed theattendance roll. Four apologies for absence were received.
The Vice-Chancellor welcomed members to the meeting and drew attention to thearrangements made to provide information on the World Wide Web about the agendaitems.
The Minutes of the Fifty-first Meeting of the General Assembly held on20 April 1994 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct recordof proceedings.
There were no matters arising from the Minutes not appearing elsewhere on theAgenda.
a) In response to a question from a member, the Vice-Chancellor informed theGeneral Assembly that a Working Party on Research Staff, chaired by ProfessorRichard Weston, had been discussing a number of issues relating to contractsand career development. The value of contract research staff work washighlighted. The Vice-Chancellor envisaged that the Working Party's nextreport and recommendations would appear in the Autumn 1995.
b) Referring to the target contained in the Strategic Plan for increasingresearch income, a member sought clarification on the mechanisms to achievethis. It was envisaged that there would continue to be a full range ofinitiatives from the strategic and large-scale to the smaller ventures. Thein-coming Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Clyde Williams, was keento develop collaborative initiatives involving the External Relations Office'sexpertise and contacts.
c) A member asked the Vice-Chancellor how he perceived the University'scorporate image to be at present, and how he hoped to see it develop in fiveyears from now. The Vice-Chancellor acknowledged that some people still held asimplistic image of the University and its specialisms. His vision for fiveyears hence was of an institution where the quality of the student experienceand research meant that student applications were buoyant, research andcollaboration with industry were at the forefront and where the staff felt areal pride of association. A review of the University's corporate identity wasunderway to help in this process.
d) Attention was drawn to the poor provision of swimming pools on campus and itwas queried why a new pool had not been nearer the top of the list ofpriorities in the buildings plan. The Vice-Chancellor explained the reasoningbehind the priorities given to future developments and expressed his hope thata collaborative approach could be made in the near future to enhance theUniversity's swimming facilities.
e) In response to a query about building strategy at the West site, theVice-Chancellor confirmed that University land currently rented out for farmingmight in future be considered for developing more sports pitches.
f) A member asked for the Vice-Chancellor's views on the limit to the eventualsize of the University and its campus. The Vice-Chancellor explained that thismatter had been considered as part of the Estates Strategy document submittedto HEFCE. The Government had stated a target of a 33% participation rate infurther and higher education, and this could result in this University'sstudent population growing to 12,500 in ten years. The Vice-Chancellor feltthat the quality of the campus would not be eroded significantly by this levelof growth but expressed doubts about going beyond it. He was also aware ofconcerns in town.
g) The provision of accommodation for students was discussed. The Registrarexplained that the Student Housing Office was involved in the management of asignificant proportion of private sector housing in the town and couldtherefore have some influence over multiple-occupancy arrangements. However,it could have no control over arrangements made privately between students andthe landlords of non-registered properties.
It was further reported that the Student Housing Office had been developingagreements with two firms with a view to providing accommodation for marriedstudents. Unfortunately, a suitable site in Loughborough had not yet comeavailable and it was not felt appropriate to look at alternative locations inthe surrounding villages. A member emphasised that students thus accommodatedwould also need pastoral care and help with integrating into the community. Itwas noted that measures to assist in this area included liaison with localschools regarding numbers of children from overseas who might need specialteaching and language support.
There were no other matters raised by General Assembly. The Vice-Chancellorthanked staff involved in preparing the IT aspects of the meeting.
To be arranged.
[General Assembly Index]