General Assembly

 

GA09-M1

______________________________________________________________________

 

 

Minutes of the meeting of General Assembly held on 11 March 2009

 

Present: 14 members signed the attendance list

 

1. Minutes

The Minutes of General Assembly held on 27 February 2008 were accepted as a true record.

 

2. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

 

3. Vice-Chancellor’s Report

The Vice-Chancellor began by welcoming Caroline Walker who had been appointed as the new Director of Finance since the last meeting.

 

The Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor then reported on current University matters and progress on the implementation of the University Strategy.

It was noted that the University had been awarded a 6th Queen’s Anniversary Prize. A significant achievement equalled only by the University of Oxford.

 

It was reported that there had been a high response rate (65%) to the Staff Survey and that 90%+ of respondents had stated that the University was a good place to work. In response to these results, the University would not be complacent and a series of groups, led by Senior Management, would address identified areas for improvement. A follow up survey would be undertaken towards the end of 2010.

 

The Vice-Chancellor then commented on recent notable achievements by the current Loughborough student body, including further BUSA success; 1million + raised by RAG as well as significant levels of voluntary work undertaken in the local community.

 

The success of current and former Loughborough students at Beijing 2008 was also noted.

 

It was reported that the University would be hosting two centenary degree ceremonies in the summer to award Honorary Degrees to those that had studied at Loughborough prior to 1966. 1000 attendees are expected from all of the world, with 250 alumni re-establishing contact with the University.

 

The recent completion of the HEBS (Clyde Williams Building) was noted and recognised as a significant step in the development of the new School of Sports Exercise and Health Sciences. Plans to build a HEBS 2 were already in place.

 

The University had been named the Sunday Times University of the Year 2008 and this recognised the overall success of the University. This was coupled with continued pleasing results from the National Student Survey and the THES Best Student Experience award for 2008.

 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor reported on the Car Park 7 development, noting that upon completion 1300 new student rooms would increase capacity on campus. Large scale renovations of a number of other halls would also be taking place, leading to much improved facilities across campus.

 

A hydrogen refuelling station had also been opened on campus, reflecting the University’s commitment to providing a green environment on campus, as well as the leading role it was playing in the development and research of renewable and sustainable energy.

 

It was reported that a Sports Park was currently being developed which would house various sporting governing bodies. This will be completed towards the end of 2009.

 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor continued with an update on the RAE 2008 outcomes. Loughborough had done very well in this exercise with a high proportion of research undertaken being judged as world leading. Loughborough had been awarded an additional 6million funding as a result of the exercise thus reducing the teaching/research funding ratios and bringing the University into line with other pre 1992 institutions. This additional funding would impact on the Strategic Plan moving forward, assisting the University as it invested in the future. It was noted that planning had already begun for the Research Excellence Framework scheduled for 2011.

 

4. University Financial Position

The Director of Finance reported on the University’s current financial position.

 

It was reported that the University was in good financial health.

 

In 2007/08 financial year the University generated a surplus of 7million, which compared favourably with other HEIs in the sector.

 

For 2008/09 a 3.8million surplus was planned to reflect the current economy. Following a half year report, it was noted that the University was on target to achieve this.

 

It was noted that the University had faced rising energy costs totalling 3million to the year ending July and expected these costs to increase a further 4million for the current year. In addition a higher pay settlement of 5% and contributed to increased costs. The HEFCE grant received had not risen at the same rate as expenditure.

 

Additional income received as a result of the RAE was good news, however the University would spend this money carefully.

 

It was noted that the ‘Silver Scenario’ will take the University through to 2016 and would incorporate large areas of development, both academic and residential. This includes the 300million investment in the planned East Park development.

 

It was noted that in the current economic climate, securing the financial security of the University would be a challenge, however it was starting from a sound base and should be confident of success.

 

 

5. Any Other Business

There were no other items of business.

 

6. Date of Next Meeting

To be confirmed.

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Author: Mark Lister

Date: 27th March 2009

Copyright Loughborough University.