[Council of University Classical Departments]

Report of the 105th meeting of Standing Committee

Saturday, October 12th 2002, 11am

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

  1. Minutes and matters arising
  2. Chair's Report
  3. GCSE & A Level statistics
  4. Archive
  5. Bulletin sets
  6. Treasurer's Report
  7. Bulletin Report
  8. Council meeting
  9. Statistics
  10. C-Web (National Classics Prospectus)
  11. Learning and Teaching Subject Network.
  12. HEFCE Funding Bands


1. Minutes and matters arising

Minutes of the meeting of May 18th 2002 were accepted.

Matters Arising:

The Treasurer reported that the Institute of Classical Studies had joined CUCD, as had Roehampton (University of Surrey). The University of Southampton had been invited to join, but had not so far responded. CUCD now had 29 member institutions.
Arising from point 4.3 on the minutes, it was noted that, although the league tables of Classics Departments in both the Guardian and the Times contained errors, Council had requested only a letter to the Guardian.


2. Chair's Report

2.1 Consultation on RAE
The Chair reported that 13 member institutions had responded to her request for feedback on their experience of the last RAE, some with very full and helpful replies. As formal consultation is expected in April / May 2003, further responses are welcome. Several of the responses raised questions about the evaluation of 'research culture'. Only one response suggested an alternative to RAE: that a single body might be established with combined responsibility for reviewing Departments' research and teaching. It was agreed that such a system would be fairest, and least practical, if all Departments were reviewed by the same panel of assessors.

The Chair noted that the level of feedback allowed from RAE panels by HEFCE was very low; the Committee was in some agreement that the disadvantages of greater transparency (which would inevitably involve or imply comment on the work of individuals) outweighed the possible advantages. It was agreed that any move to reduce the number of subject panels in future RAE exercises should be strongly resisted.

2.2 League tables & QUB
A proposed letter to the Guardian reacting to the league tables published in its University Guide had been delayed in order not to prejudice the efforts of the Classics Department at Queen's University Belfast, which was using league tables to argue against its closure.

It was noted, in this connection, that misleading statistics on student intake for Classical degree programmes appear to have been used against the Classics Department at Queen's. Prof. Shipley agreed to construct figures from CUCD data against which any claims about the relative national position of the Department could be checked.

The Chair noted that a petition in support of the Classics Department at Queen's was in circulation.


3. GCSE & A Level statistics

A request for statistics concerning Classics at GSCE and A Level was passed on to JACT via Mrs Partington.


4. Archive

The Chair reported that the Secretary hoped to be able to house the CUCD archive in the Library of the Institute for Classical Studies.


5. Bulletin sets

The Committee received a document from Dr Boys-Stones summarising his attempts to gather and locate complete collections of CUCD bulletins. Such collections existed at Durham and Glasgow; further copies of issue 29 would provide enough material to complete collections at the Institute of Classical Studies, Leeds, and Oxford.


6. Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer presented his report which showed, after the merging of the Business Premium Account with the regular CUCD account, a balance of ?2,388.41. Most items of expenditure and income were in line with the previous year, except that claims for travel expenses (inflated by problems with the railways in 2001-2) were significantly lower.


7. Bulletin Report

Dr Morgan reported that the 2002 CUCD Bulletin was in press. Four hundred copies were to be printed by the reprographics department at Leicester University, and delivered by them to the Institute of Classical Studies in good time for the November meeting of Council.


8. Council meeting

8.1 Agenda
The agenda for the November meeting of Council would be much as in 2001, but would include an item on Queen's University Belfast.

8.2 Elections
Preparations were underway for the forthcoming election at Council of two new members of Standing Committee and for a new Treasurer and Secretary.

8.3 Chair 2003-
Prof. Clark announced her intention to resign the Chair of CUCD in 2003 following her appointment as Convenor of AHRB Research Panel 1 (for Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology). Standing Committee had earlier agreed that there was no conflict of interest, but Prof. Clark felt it desirable to involve different people in the different jobs of Classics administration at the national level.

8.4 Nominations for AHRB
No nominations for AHRB were needed this year. No agreement was reached about the desirability of publishing on the CUCD website the names forwarded from CUCD for the AHRB database.

The Chair noted that the final negotiations were under way for the transformation of the AHRB into a Research Council. It was possible that nominations in future would be made to a College of Assessors established to judge research applications.

8.5 Panel for Council Meeting
It was reported that the Secretary was in the process of organising a panel on Classics Teacher Training for the Council Meeting.


9. Statistics

Prof. Shipley presented statistics on Classics at UK Universities for 2001-2 (document attached). He noted that the numbers of those coming into Classics were more or less stable since the early- / mid-nineties.

The Committee thanked Prof. Shipley and complimented him on the clear and detailed presentation of his report.


10. C-Web (National Classics Prospectus)

Dr Lowe announced that he hoped to have a 'dummy' version of the 'Why Classics?' web site running in time for comment at Council. Someone would be appointed to run the site at the December meeting of the website sub-committee. The site should be fully active early in 2003. It was noted that work on this project had delayed additions to the CUCD website.


11. Learning and Teaching Subject Network.

The Meeting received the Secretary's written report of the meeting of the History, Classics, and Archaeology LTSN held on 12th September, 2002. An appeal for members' suggestions about the future of subject centres highlighted the determination of the Classics LTSN to avoid top-down determination of its activities.


12. HEFCE Funding Bands

Discussion concerning the appropriate funding band for Classics students who require intensive language teaching had been overtaken by broader questions about the future of HEFCE funding.

There was no other business, and the meeting ended at 1:10 p.m.


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


CUCD HomeBulletin ContentsRoyal Holloway Classics Dept
[owl]