1.1 Consultation on QAA (Quality Assurance Audit)
It was unclear whether the QAA process was actually complete and what would happen next. CUCD would not pursue its consultation (see Chair's report 2.1 below) but an article on the experience and effect of the QAA would appear in Bulletin 2002.
1.2 Consultation on RAE (Research Assessment Exercise)
Since all departments had now received their feedback reports, it was agreed that this would be a good time to consult CUCD contacts. The Chair clarified that the overview reports on Classics and Ancient History/Archaeology were now in the public domain - available on the RAE website [http://www.rae.ac.uk and follow the Overview Report link] - and could be printed in the CUCD Bulletin. So that CUCD could respond at short notice to any consultation request from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council, England), contacts would be asked to send their comments (in particular on criteria, feedback, and judgements made by university management) in advance. Any collective report could then be brought to Standing Committee in October and published in the Bulletin. If departments were coming under pressure as a result of the RAE, CUCD would lend support. At present it was not known whether there would be another RAE exercise and, if so, what form it would take.
2.1 CUCD consultations
The Chair reported that the rate of response to CUCD consultations was quite low, despite email communication. It was thought that this might reflect a general overload and indicate simply that members felt there was no pressing reason to respond. It was agreed that colleagues should always be offered the chance to express their views, but that, where no response was forthcoming, the Chair could speak on behalf of CUCD where necessary.
2.2 Guardian University Guide
Copies of the recent Times league table on Classics departments and the Times Higher Education Supplement article on "how the data are compiled" were distributed. It was noted that the Times' results were very different from those of the Guardian published in the autumn. It was confirmed that Keele, mentioned in both the Times and THES, would complete its transfer to Manchester at the end of this academic year. The Chair, in consultation with members of standing committee, would write to the Times and Guardian to draw attention to inconsistencies and errors and to express concerns about league tables (in line with the proposal agreed at Council 2001).
2.3 Postgraduate Green Paper
Had responded at short notice to the AHRB (Arts and Humanities Research Board) Postgraduate green paper, noting that a 2+2 years' structure would be helpful for postgraduates who need to acquire languages, and that research training usually needs to be very specific.
With the previous chair, had supported the LTSN (Learning and Teaching Subject Network) bid for renewal of funding.
The role of the website would be that of outreach, promoting Classics to potential undergraduates (pre-university) and those wishing to find out about the subject from the outside. But it would also provide links to other Classics and associated portals. Future developments would be reported through the Chair's annual report, Bulletin and at Council. The meeting warmly welcomed this new initiative.
9.2 AHRB Nominations
The nominations approved at Council 2001 would be passed on to the AHRB (Arts and Humanities Research Board). Approved names received from CUCD were held on the AHRB database for three years, on a cycle from September to August. Owing to the large list of names approved by CUCD in recent years, there would be no need to seek further nominations for Council 2002. The exercise would resume in summer 2003 (to be decided at Council 2003 and to come into effect in August 2004). The issue was raised of whether to publish on the CUCD website the lists of names approved by Council but, after discussion, it was agreed that the decision should be reviewed at the next standing committee and ultimately rested with Council itself.
9.3 Theme/guest speaker: Classics teacher training
The theme at this year's Council should again be teacher training in Classics, a subject highlighted at Council 1999 but deserving further attention owing to its central importance to the subject. This year's discussion would again seek to clarify the national picture and to determine CUCD's role in supporting teacher training.
E. E. Pender
School of Classics
University of Leeds