[Council of University Classical Departments]

One Hundredth Meeting of CUCD Standing Committee

Saturday, 3rd February 2001, 11 a.m.

Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, LONDON WC1E 7HU.

  1. 1. Minutes and Matters Arising
    1.2 New Constitution
    1.3 Elections to Standing Committee
  2. 2. Chair's Report
  3. 3. Treasurer's Report
  4. 4. Nominations to AHRB
  5. 5. Learning and Teaching Subject Network
  6. 6. National Classics Prospectus
  7. 7. Statistics
  8. 8. Access and Admissions
    8.1 Excellence in Cities
    8.2 UCAS statistics
  9. 9. Teaching Quality Assessment
  10. 10. Dates of next meetings
  11. 11. AOB
    11.1 Membership of Standing Committee
    11.2 Eastern European collaboration
    11.3 RAE coversheets
    11.4 London Language Forum

Present: Prof. R.W. Sharples (chair), Dr G. Boys-Stones, Mr G. Eatough, Dr C. Emlyn-Jones, Dr R.K. Gibson, Dr N.J. Lowe, Dr E.E. Pender, Mrs C.M. Roueche, Dr J.R. Rowlandson, Dr N.K. Rutter, Dr D.G.J. Shipley, Dr C.J. Smith, Dr D.J. Spencer.

1. Minutes and Matters Arising

The Minutes of Standing Committee on October 7th 2000 and the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Council on November 11th 2000 were accepted. The Chair welcomed the five new members of the committee, elected at Council.
1.2 New Constitution
The final version of the new constitution accepted at Council would be posted on the CUCD website. In line with the new constitution (paragraph 12), formal communications from the Council officers would be sent to one individual Contact in each member institution. A new email list of Institutional Contacts at the 28 member institutions would replace the former (much longer) email list of informal contacts and representatives.
1.3 Elections to Standing Committee
1.3.1 Quorum
Clarification had been requested at Council on the numbers required for quorum at Council, especially in the light of the new system of elections of members to Standing Committee. After some discussion it was agreed that if less than one third of the membership (28 institutions) was present at the annual meeting, Council should consider the appropriateness of proceeding with each specific item of business. After a review of the attendance at Council in recent years, it was noted that the lowest turnout had been 10:

1.3.2 It was agreed that the list of 28 member institutions should be publicised on the website. 1.3.3 Following a proposal at Council, Dr D.G.J. Shipley was formally co-opted as assistant statistics officer.

2. Chair's Report

The Chair reported on the meeting of the HUMBUL advisory committee on 30th November (see http://www.humbul.ac.uk). Other matters would be covered elsewhere in the agenda.

3. Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer reported a healthy balance of ?2,890 but pointed out that there were still bills outstanding: the bill for the Bulletin produced in 1999 and for the 2000 issue, plus postage costs. Requests for subscriptions for the current year would be sent out soon. On the issue of postage costs for Bulletins: it was regretfully noted that the 2000 Bulletin had not been available for distribution at Council. Steps would be taken to avoid this happening again.

4. Nominations to AHRB

The AHRB would be appointing new members to the Research panel and the Postgraduate panel. Members of Standing Committee had been invited to send to the Chair nominations to be considered at this meeting before going forward as a list from which the AHRB would make its selection. Nominations would be held on the AHRB database for three years. Nominations had been sought from Standing Committee rather than member institutions because of the short notice given. The shortlist had been drawn up and was circulated. It was noted that coverage of classical subjects was an important factor. Since concerns were expressed about the openness of this arrangement, it was agreed that the matter should be discussed at the next meeting of Standing Committee in order to frame a proposal for Council 2001. In the meantime 16 names would go forward from this meeting to the AHRB.

5. Learning and Teaching Subject Network

The Chair delivered a report on the Advisory Committee meeting of 13th January 2001. Inter alia the meeting had discussed perceptions of our subject nationally.
Charlotte Roueche then reported that the British Academy had appointed an Outreach Officer, Jonathan Breckon, to improve public understanding of the Humanities. Further, 2001 had been designated International Year of Language. Both developments provided possible avenues for attracting attention to Classics. CR would seek support from Mr Breckon for the proposed CUCD website on Postgraduate Study in the UK. Progress would be reviewed at the June meeting.

6. National Classics Prospectus

Nick Lowe and Charlotte Roueche had for some time been developing the idea of a publicly available advert for Classics. One feature of the advert would be a directory of opportunities for learning Greek and Latin, listing ab initio courses at Universities, Classics Summer Schools and Further Education colleges. It was agreed that: a) NL would present the project again to JACT at the meeting of March 10th 2001, to seek endorsement, support and co- operation; b) the document "Why Classics?" should be circulated to Standing Committee for discussion; c) an up-date would be sought on the Granada TV/Cambridge University Press bid to provide materials for an on-line Latin learning scheme funded by the government. Any developments would be reported at the next meeting.

7. Statistics

For the current year the form requesting statistics on figures of students on classical courses would remain unchanged. However, in the light of discussion at Council (and to take account of various changes in the national picture), the form would be revised during the summer of 2001. The Statistics officers would consider the nature of the questions and present their ideas to the June meeting. Comments on the form would be invited from member institutions as part of the revision exercise.
Figures for 2000 were to be sent electronically or by mail to Mr Geoff Eatough, the Statistics Officer. For the first time the statistics form would also be posted on the CUCD website, with a flyer requesting that the data be returned by the appropriate date.

8. Access and Admissions

8.1 Excellence in Cities
NL reported extensive discussion at JACT of the idea of seeking funding through this DfEE initiative to enable students to attend Classical summer schools. The best initial contacts for enquiries regarding funding possibilities would be the 'Gifted and Talented' co-ordinators in the various local areas.
8.2 UCAS statistics
The incoming Statistics Officer, Graham Shipley, agreed to take on the project of establishing relevant classical course codes for statistical information requests to UCAS.

9. Teaching Quality Assessment

The Chair reported that as a result of discussion at the November Council meeting letter had been sent to departments saying that when the process was complete there might be general issues on which it would be useful for the Council to comment, and that any observations which departments wished to make would be kept on file with a view to their eventual incorporation in such a general statement in which no individual department would be identified. Comments that departments wished to make on the general impact of the process might be best channelled through their own institutions in the first instance, but they might also be communicated to the Council for eventual inclusion in a general statement.
It was reported that the 'new methodology' of review was now underway in Scotland. The 'new methodology' seemed to be a stretched-out version of the old one, involving successive visits. However, the judgement of 'quality' would no longer take the form of a numerical score but of categories of merit: 'approved' or 'not approved', with a possible commendation of 'exemplary' parts of the provision. The new methodology would come into effect in England in 2002.

10. Dates of next meetings

Standing Committee: June 16th 2001; October 13th 2001
Council: November 17th 2001.

11. AOB

11.1 Membership of Standing Committee
It was clarified that, while co-opted members could send substitute representatives to meetings, elected members could not. The question was raised of how to organise the rotation of Officers to avoid the simultaneous departure of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer at the end of their term of office. Arrangements for next year would be discussed at the June meeting, where nominations of Officers would be sought to go forward to Council.
11.2 Eastern European collaboration
The Chair drew attention to the British Academy's 'New Opportunities for Collaborative Projects in Central and Eastern Europe'.
11.3 RAE coversheets
The Chair drew attention to the proposal by HEFCE to staple coversheets to publications submitted as part of the RAE. The attachment of coversheets was felt to be potentially damaging to property that did not belong to HEFCE. The Chair would write to the Chair of Panel 57 expressing disapproval.
11.4 London Language Forum
The London Language Forum would meet on Wednesday 7th February at the Institute of Classical Studies (4.30 pm) to hear Dr Lorna Hardwick (Open University and LTSN) on general issues of language teaching.

The meeting closed at 1.30 pm.

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