[Council of University Classical Departments]

Report of the 101st meeting of Standing Committee

Saturday, 16th June 2001, 11 a.m.

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

  1. Minutes and Matters arising
  2. Chair's Report
  3. Secretary's Report
  4. Treasurer's Report
  5. National Classics Prospectus
  6. Reactions to press reports
  7. Statistics
  8. November Council 2001
  9. AOB


Present: Professor R.W. Sharples; Dr G. Boys-Stones; Prof. D.C. Braund; Dr R.K. Gibson; Dr N.J. Lowe; Dr E.E. Pender; Mrs C.M. Roueche; Dr J.L. 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 the meeting of Standing Committee on 3rd February 2001 were accepted.

1.1 (item 4) Mail-out of Bulletin: it was clarified that this year steps would be taken to ensure that the Bulletin would be delivered to the ICS office rather than just Senate House, and that its availability would be checked the day before Council.


2. Chair's Report

The Chair delivered the following report on action taken:


3. Secretary's Report

The new email list of Institutional Contacts at the 28 member institutions had now replaced the former email list of representatives and informal contacts. The list of member institutions was now publicised on the CUCD website.


4. Treasurer's Report

As of April 2001 the balance of both accounts was c. £1,200, with the balance of the day-to-day account standing at c. £300. With the new subscriptions coming in, this figure had risen to a healthy £1087 as of May 29th 2001.
The question of membership of CUCD was discussed. It was clarified that the status of "Associate Member" had been abolished, and that some institutions which had in the past been members of CUCD were not currently so. In these cases the Secretary and Treasurer would write to them extending an invitation to join.


5. National Classics Prospectus

It was agreed that an initial Project Committee be set up, with CMR as Acting Chair, representing CUCD; that NL would seek a representative from JACT; and that a representative would be sought from the Classical Association. The Project Committee would issue to departments a letter inviting expressions of initial interest by October 6th 2001. The Project Committee would then report to Standing Committee on October 13th, with any ensuing proposals presented to Council in November. It was hoped that by the time of Standing Committee in January/February 2002 the Project Committee would have developed into an ongoing National Classics Prospectus committee, including a member from the website's host institution. From then on this committee would operate as an Editorial panel, liaising with CUCD member departments and providing up-to-date information to the host institution of the website. Thus the host institution would in effect be in the role of a publisher.

The discussion turned to the broader picture of developments in access to Classics. EEP agreed to provide information to JACT members (via NL) on Excellence in Cities activity in their local areas. Bob Lister, Director of the Cambridge Schools Classics Project, had reported (via email) that the Project was engaged in producing electronic resources designed to supplement Book I of the Cambridge Latin Course. The materials had been trialled across England, and there were discussions with one local authority about making the project part of their Excellence in Cities programme. Another aim of the project was to take the first e- taught students through to GCSE in 2003.


6. Reactions to press reports

In the light of concerns expressed by Standing Committee members, it was agreed that the Chair would seek advice on how best to proceed in reacting to press reports and league tables concerning Classics.


7. Statistics

7.1 liaison with UCAS
GS agreed to assemble the course codes for the main Joint Honours classical programmes, in preparation for statistics requests to UCAS.

7.2 new CUCD questionnaire
GS explained how data would be compiled and published in future: the Excel spreadsheet format would be used and only minor adjustments would be made to the questionnaire in order to maintain comparability between years. More guidance would be given to correspondents on returning the statistics to CUCD, and to this end GS would write to member institutions explaining the rationale of the statistics exercise and how departments could help to make it more effective. Responses on the exercise would be invited (to be reported at October Standing Committee) in time for proposals on the new questionnaire to be presented to Council in November. Any changes could then be in place for the distribution of the questionnaire in January/February 2002.

Geoffrey Eatough reported (via email) that he had received two thirds of this year's statistical returns, which was an improvement on recent years, and that the new method of seeking returns via CUCD's website had been a success.


8. November Council 2001

8.1 Arrangements for nomination and election of officers and SC members
At Council 2001 RWS would resign as Chair and two vacancies would arise for elected members of Standing Committee. The secretary would write to institutional contacts inviting nominations for Chair and members of Standing Committee by the end of September. The election at Council would be held following the procedures set out in the new CUCD constitution.

8.2 AHRB panels
Institutional contacts would also be invited to forward to CUCD names for nomination to the Arts and Humanities Research Board panels. Council would approve a list of eight names to go forward from which the AHRB would make its own selection of panel members. Research excellence was the most important factor to consider, but other factors, such as coverage of classical subjects and geographical spread, should also be borne in mind. Names would be held on the AHRB database for three years.

To make a nomination, institutional contacts should seek seconding by another member institution/department and send the details of the nominee and seconding institution to the secretary by the end of September.

8.3 Theme/guest speaker
A speaker would be sought on the theme of how CUCD could handle relations with the media. Advice on an appropriate person would be sought from Peter Jones.


9. AOB

9.1 Extra members of standing committee would be co-opted on an on-going annual basis, in view of the needs of the committee. The Chair would write to Peter Jones to confirm the committee's wish that he remain a co-opted member for the coming year and continue to provide valuable guidance on media matters.

9.2 JACT would be invited to send a representative to CUCD Standing Committee (NJL would continue to be CUCD's representative to JACT).

9.3 Concern was expressed about the number of Classics teacher training places available and their geographical distribution within England and Wales. Information on teacher training courses in Scotland would be sought for the next meeting.

9.4 The Chair reported that he had been informed about the results of the BBC consultation on the Digital Curriculum, and said that he would write to member institutions urging them to respond to the subsequent DfEE (now DES) consultation about the online curriculum.

9.5 The Chair would write to the Bulletin editor for an update on this year's issue and suggest that contributions might be sought from individuals who had been present at the first meeting of CUCD.


E. E. Pender
School of Classics
University of Leeds
LEEDS
LS2 9JT
e.e.pender@leeds.ac.uk


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