General Assembly


Minutes of the Sixty First (Extraordinary) Meeting of the Committee held on 15 November 2000.

Present: Professor D J Wallace (Chair): 37 members of the General Assembly signed the roll. One apology for absence was received.

1. Minutes

The Minutes of the sixtieth meeting of General Assembly held on 15 March 2000 were confirmed and signed by the Chair.

2. Matters Arising from the minutes not appearing elsewhere on the Agenda

There were no Matters Arising.

3. Proposed Changes to Statute

i The size and composition of Council

The Registrar explained that the background to the proposed reduction in the size of Council, which is mainly to fall in line with recommendations from the Dearing Report. It is essential with any change to the composition, that lay membership remains a majority.

Members expressed concern at the reduction of representatives from General Assembly from three to one, and the reduction of members of non-academic staff from three to one. This might introduce a lack of continuity of membership and a possible bias towards the Faculty with the largest number of staff on Assembly. The Vice Chancellor commented that members of Council are expected to represent the interests of the whole University, not just their own background, but he expected Council to continue to operate more like a parliamentary body than a company board.

A detailed discussion was held with various models being suggested to increase the representation on Council from Assembly, while maintaining a majority of lay members. A comment was raised about the lack of representation on Council from Charnwood Borough Council. It was generally felt, however, that there are several lay members from Charnwood on Council, and that Court was the more appropriate place for ex-officio members from the Borough Council.

It was finally agreed that Council should be asked to consider the following proposal:

Increase membership to 32, to include

Alternatively, if an overall increase in membership is not acceptable:

Maintain membership at 30, to include:

Council was asked to note General Assembly’s wish to reduce the number of ex-officio members.

A member requested that The University Council should not implement any changes to its size and composition until such changes have been approved by The Privy Council. The Vice-Chancellor said that he would take this suggestion forward, although the details of any transition arrangements would be a matter for Council.

ii Replacement of Schools by Faculties

General Assembly agreed to recommend to Council that ‘Schools’ be replaced with ‘Faculties’, to accord with the changes in practice introduced in 1996.

iii Replacement of title of Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor with Deputy Vice Chancellor.

iv Appointment of Pro Vice-Chancellors by Joint Committee of Senate and Council, rather than by Council on the recommendation of Senate.

At the request of the Registrar these two items were considered together.

A member requested that future changes to Statute be brought before General Assembly for consideration before action by Council. The Registrar agreed with this proposal.

General Assembly noted the proposals.

4. Any Other Business

There was no other business.

The Vice Chancellor closed the meeting by thanking all those present for attending.

5. Date of Next Meeting

To be arranged.

Author - W J Clarke
Date - 16 November 2000
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