Minutes of the meeting of General Assembly held on 29th FEBRUARY 2012
Present: 12 members signed the attendance list.
The Minutes of General Assembly held on 9 February 2011 were accepted as an accurate record.
2/12 Matters Arising
There were no matters arising.
3/12 Vice-Chancellor’s Report
3.1 External Environment
The University faced a number of challenges from the changing external environment. Management of the impact of the new undergraduate fee regime and restriction of the number of students with entry grades below AAB required particular care and attention. Most undergraduate applications had now been received and effort at School and central levels focussed on converting offer holders to Loughborough. Whilst much attention was directed to recruitment and admissions at present, maintaining strength in research and enterprise remained of the utmost importance.
3.2 Financial Position at Loughborough
The Chief Operating Officer provided an update on the University’s financial position:
· The 2010/11 Financial Statements showed an operating surplus of £11.9m which would be re-invested in the University’s facilities
· Financial planning was demanding given the uncertain external environment
· In 2012/13 there would be a significant shift from HEFCE funding to teaching to funding from increased student fees and this would continue as the new funding regime for undergraduates bedded in
· Despite the higher fees, the University would not receive increased income
· The five year forecasts to 2015/16 showed significant variations in surplus based on current assumptions of steady student recruitment and the best estimates of pay and general inflation but would continue to be refined as more information became available
· To enable investment in the capital programme, higher surpluses were needed, not least as a result of the reduction of capital grants from HEFCE
3.3 Action Plan Following Senate-Council Away Day
The Senate-Council Away Day in October 2011 had highlighted a number of areas for further action and a plan was now in place for implementation. The areas included:
· Enhance marketing activity to strengthen the University’s reputation further
· Continued enhancement of the estate
· Better use of staff skills
· Identify areas of strength and new opportunities as priorities for future investment
· Integration of enterprise activity
· Olympic Park project – noting this must complement activity on campus
3.4 Recent Achievements
The Vice-Chancellor reported on recent achievements including the following:
· The University had maintained or improved its position in a number of league tables
· The recent award of EPSRC Centre funding
· Around £10m was expected to fund the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine
· A joint venture between Intelligent Energy and Suzuki
· The recent opening of the Design Centre and Nike Academy
· Success with student recruitment in 2011
3.5 Olympic Update
All Team GB members would visit the campus to collect their official kit and a significant number would also train at the University. Plans were well advanced for the hosting of the Torch Relay in early July. The intention was to maintain “business as usual” as far as possible on campus during these events.
3.6 Staff Survey
The second staff survey would be undertaken in April and May and staff were strongly encouraged to participate. Responses were confidential.
3.7 Senior Appointments
The Vice-Chancellor reported on the current position with a number of senior appointments. She conveyed her thanks to Sir Bryan Carsberg, outgoing Chair of Council and welcomed the new Chair, Sir Peter Bonfield, who took up the post on 1 January 2012.
4. Estates Strategy
Following a question from a member, it was confirmed that the possible move of some additional University activities to Holywell Park was being considered as part of addressing the issues identified in the Estates Strategy relating to the Central Park.
5. Date of Next Meeting
To be confirmed.
Author: Jennifer Nutkins
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