Next Wednesday’s Senate meeting will be, if the Chief Administrative Officer has her way, its final one as one of our two senior governing bodies, alongside the Council. Major proposals to amend our Charter, Statutes and Ordinances, originally proposed in February but deferred to May, following a refreshing lack of willingness by our senators to roll over when asked, are to be re-presented next week.
The changes clarify the relative powers of the Council and the Senate – and henceforth the Senate will very much be the junior partner. Here’s a summary:
– The Chancellor will no longer be the ‘Head of the University’, just a person who is able to confer degrees.
– The Court is abolished (see subtext 172). The proposed ‘Annual Public Meeting’ does not get any mention in our Statutes.
– The Council can establish and disestablish colleges, faculties and departments, without having to act on a recommendation of the Senate. It must take the Senate’s views into account, but it may overrule them.
– The Council no longer requires the concurrence of the Senate to amend the Statutes and Ordinances.
– The Senate no longer has a role in appointing the Vice-Chancellor. Previously the VC was appointed by the Council on the recommendation of a joint subcommittee of the Senate and the Council; now the decision will be made by the Council alone.
– The Council will no longer include representatives of the non-academic staff or Lancaster City Council.
Well at least we now know where we stand. Or sit. subtext readers concerned at this total power grab are advised to lobby their Head of Department accordingly.
As noted, the latest set of statute changes will remove the representatives of non-academic staff and Lancaster City Council from the University Council. This seems to have been accepted rather meekly by the parties concerned; in the case of Lancaster City Council, their last representative, Cllr Andrew Warriner, had a decidedly poor attendance record, so perhaps the city council felt it didn’t have much of a leg to stand on. But, formally, the positions remain until the Privy Council amends our statutes.
Anyone examining the current list of Council members on the Secretariat’s webpage wouldn’t know this, however, since it contains no mention of the soon-to-be-abolished positions at all! Jumping the gun? Or accepting the inevitable?
JUST A LIDDLE LONGER
Actually, looking at the list of Council members, subtext noticed something interesting. The five-year term of office of our Pro-Chancellor (aka the Chair of Council), Lord Liddle, had been due to expire on 31 July 2018. Would he face any difficulties in securing a second five-year term of office (see subtext 165)? Well, now his term of office is listed as ending on 31 July 2020! What’s happened here? Has Lord Liddle struck a Granita-style deal with former security supremo Baroness Neville-Jones, our ambitious Deputy Pro-Chancellor, whose term of office is up on 31 July 2020? To be honest, we’ve no idea. Any Council members interested in serving as a mole for subtext should contact us at the usual address.