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Statute 24 reform: Update 27 June 2017

A message from Provost Christine Ennew updating on reform of Statute 24 and its related Ordinances

27 June 2017

Dear colleagues,

At its meeting on 14 June 2017, Senate considered the proposals previously outlined via insite on 6 June including the proposal for a new early stage test of a possible infringement of academic freedom. In addition, Senate also received the minutes of the Assembly on 12 May and a related Assembly motion.

Following an extensive discussion Senate agreed that a subgroup should be set up. Those members of the academic community appointed to the subgroup are Maureen Freely, Dan Branch, Saul Jacka and Thijs van Rens. The remit of the subgroup will be to undertake further work in relation to how best to determine whether a proposed employment process was actually an infringement of an individual’s academic freedom.

This subgroup subsequently met with representatives of Council to ensure that there was a clear understanding of the aspirations of both groups in relation to the reform of Governing Instruments (including Statute 24). Following that discussion there was a further meeting with the Vice Chancellor and the subgroup is starting its work on the processes relating to the early stage test of a possible infringement of academic freedom. There will be further discussions with myself and the Director of the People Group.

The intention is that the Senate subgroup will report back to the July Senate.

It is now anticipated (with the agreement of the Council Working Group) that the timescale for the completion of the review of Governing instruments will be extended with submission of drafts for informal review by the Privy Council now anticipated to take place in late 2017, with final submissions for internal approval expected in early 2018.

Best wishes,

Christine Ennew, Provost.