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University Council

University Council Minutes 29 March 2022

Last updated: 17 October 2022

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 March 2022 at 9.45 am via Microsoft Teams.

Ingrid Barker
Paul Crichard (from C.22.36)
Nicola de Iongh (Chair)
Chris Fung
Steve Gardiner
Aimee Jones
Stephen Marston
Steve Mawson
Stephen Maycock
Dr Andrew Misiura A
Mehjabeen Patrick
Daniel Ramsay
Dr Adeela Shafi
Pamela Sissons
Elonka Soros
David Soutter
The Rt Revd Robert Springett
Asha Sutton A
Julie Walkling
Dr Peter Warry

Board Apprentices:
Julia Hopkins

In attendance:
Professor Jackie Labbe Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Jess Lawson (for C.22.38) Director of Planning
Camille Stallard Chief Financial Officer
Dr Nigel Wichall (for C.22.42) Director of Estates
Dr Matthew Andrews (Officer) Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Governance and Student Affairs)
Penny Gravestock (Minutes) Assistant Secretary to Council

C.22.29 Prayer
The Rt Revd Robert Springett opened the meeting with a prayer.

C.22.30 Welcome and Apologies
Received: apologies for absence from Dr Andrew Misiura and Asha Sutton.

C.22.31 Business of the Agenda
Noted: that there had been no requests to unstar any item on the agenda and therefore it would be assumed that paper C/28/22 had been noted as stated.

C.22.32 Declarations of Interest
Noted: that there were no declarations of interest.

C.22.33 Minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2022
Resolved: that the minutes were an accurate record of the meeting held on 8 February 2022.

C.22.34 Matters Arising (C/18/22)

C.22.34.1 Received and noted: the matters arising as outlined in the paper.


Received: a verbal update from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Governance and Student Affairs) on progress with the appointment of a new Chancellor.

C.22.35 Chair’s Business


Received: a reminder from the Chair about the upcoming Governance Workshop to be held on 31 March 2022.


Received: updates from each of the Committee Chairs on key discussions held at recent meetings:
a. Remuneration and Human Resources Committee, 28 February 2022;
b. Audit and Risk Committee, 4 March 2022;
c. Finance and General Purposes Committee, 8 March 2022;
d. Council Chairs’ Group, 16 March 2022.


Noted: that since the last meeting, there had been no use of the Company Seal, no decisions made by circulation, nor any exercise of delegation.

C.22.36 Students’ Union Update (C/19/22)


Received: the Students’ Union (SU) update, noting in particular:
a. the prioritisation of the Value for Money campaign, looking particularly at academic value, and the current ‘Feedback Fortnight’ activity;
b. the start of the Varsity series against University of Worcester;
c. continued work on the #NeverOk campaign, including an interview with BBC Points West on student safety, and the development of self-defence classes in partnership with UniSport;
d. work with the Victim Support Charity to host a Student Support Forum for anyone who had experienced crime and needed to talk about it;
e. continued contact with local night-time economy venues to ensure their policies and procedures kept students safe;
f. plans for the annual Sports Awards and Gnomies;
g. the recent elections for 2022/23 Full Time Officers, noting the successful candidates:
• Activities and Opportunities Officer: Paige Archer;
• Education and Community Officer: Eleanor Hill;
• Welfare and Diversity Officer: Beth Timmons.


Considered: the work on Value for Money and whether it had been framed around the financial challenges being faced by the University. It was reported that, whilst information was made available on the University’s website, the level of student awareness was low (particularly before they started their courses) and it would be better if that information could be sent out to students sooner. It was also noted that students also needed to understand what they could expect in terms of additional costs once they were at the University.

C.22.36.3 Noted: the report on SU activity, including upcoming events and campaigns.

C.22.37 CONFIDENTIAL: Vice-Chancellor’s Report (C/20/22)


Received: a paper updating Council on major developments affecting the University since the previous meeting, highlighting in particular:
a. that accreditation by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) had recently been secured for the MSc Cyber Security Programme, and that the University would also seek recognition for the BSc course;
b. the latest Government policy announcements and the Levelling Up White Paper;
c. the Government’s removal of remaining Covid restrictions, and the University’s continued work to keep its communities safe;
d. the message issued to all staff regarding the situation in Ukraine;
e. continued discussions with the NHS around opportunities at the City Campus;
f. the latest industrial relations position;
g. the appointment of Minerva to lead the search for the new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Enhancement and Research).


Noted: the various developments reported in the paper. It was also noted that the Vice-Chancellor had been appointed as Treasurer of Universities UK.

C.22.38 Thematic Strategies Update (C/21/22)


Received: an update on the steps and timeline to finalise the remaining six thematic strategies that augmented the University’s Strategic Plan 2022-27: Estates, Finance, Sustainability, Education, Marketing and Communications, and People.

C.22.38.2 Considered and noted:
a. that the Strategies would be presented to Council for approval at its meetings in May and June 2022, and there would be opportunity to look more in depth at the Marketing and Communications and People Strategies at the Away Day;
b. that the various Strategies would also be considered by the appropriate sub-committees prior to presentation to Council, and it was suggested that Members should contact the named lead as set out in the paper if they had specific comments or recommendations;
c. a query raised regarding the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy that had been considered at the previous meeting. It was noted that paper had been revisited to incorporate recommendations made by Council and had been considered again by the University Executive Committee on 28 March 2022.

C.22.38.3 Noted: the update provided in the report.

C.22.39 Portfolio Diversification
This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.40 CONFIDENTIAL: February Finance Report and Forecast 2 (C/22/22)
This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.41 CONFIDENTIAL: City Campus Loan Funding (C/23/22)
This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.42 CONFIDENTIAL: City Campus Property Progress Report (C/24/22)
This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.43 CONFIDENTIAL: Report on Annual Business Review of Academic Partnerships (C/25/22)
This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.44 Risk Management Report (C/26/22)

C.22.44.1 Received: an updated version of the Risk Register and Action Plan for 2021/22. It was confirmed that these had been reviewed and discussed by the Audit and Risk Committee and that queries raised had been addressed.

C.22.44.2 Resolved: Council considered and approved the Risk Management Report including the updated Risk Register and Action Plan for 2021/22.

C.22.45 CONFIDENTIAL: Internal Audit Selection (C/27/22)
This item was considered under Confidential Business.

C.22.46 Council Schedule of Business* (C/28/22)
Noted: the Schedule of Business.

C.22.47 Minutes from Council Committees*
Noted: that the minutes from the following meetings would be available from
a. Remuneration and HR Committee, 28 February 2022
b. Audit and Risk Committee, 4 March 2022
c. Finance and General Purposes Committee, 8 March 2022

C.22.48 Any Other Business
Noted: that it was the last meeting for Aimee Jones, who would be leaving the Students’ Union on 8 April 2022 to start a new job. Council thanked Ms Jones for her work and wished her luck in her new role.

C.22.49 Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday, 17 May 2022 at 9.15 am (via Microsoft Teams).

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