[Council of University Classical Departments]

Minutes of the 109th meeting of Standing Committee

Saturday, 15th May, 2004, 11 a.m.

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


  1. Attendance and apologies
  2. Minutes of the previous meeting
  3. Matters arising
  4. Chair's report
    1. AHRB HESA data
    2. OCR A level Ancient History
    3. AHRB peer review college
    4. Departmental contacts and representatives
    5. Institute of Classical Studies
    6. CUCD letterhead
    7. LTSN seminar
    8. RAE 2008
    9. C-Web
  5. Treasurer's Report
  6. Secretary's Report
  7. Research Assessment Exercise (as per Chair's circulations)
  8. Classicists in Public Life
  9. Classicists' Career Paths
  10. Bulletin
  11. Statistics
  12. Departmental subscriptions
  13. A. O. B.
  14. Date of next meeting


1. Attendance and apologies

Present: Graham Shipley (chair), Philip Burton (secretary), Gill Partington, Paul Millett, Patty Baker, Nick Lowe, Susanna Philippo, Costas Panayotakis, Teresa Morgan, John Morgan, Stephen Mitchell.

Apologies: Peter Jones, Diana Spencer, Peter O'Neill, Philip Hardie.


2. Minutes of the previous meeting

These were received. Corrections:


3. Matters arising

  1. i. SM reported that Professor Fergus Millar was bringing a motion to the AGM of the British Academy on 1 July regarding the British Schools and Institutes.
  2. ii. Strathclyde teacher training: a position had now been advertised for a lecturer to teach English and/or Classics and English. There were doubts whether there was a serious intention to find a candidate qualified to lecture in Classics teacher training. GS and CS had been involved in correspondence urging Strathclyde to maintain TT in Classics especially emphasising the importance of this provision for potential teachers outside Scotland. Support for this and other causes relating to the knowledge of and the teaching of Latin might be called in from the Society of Archivists (which had shown concern at the Strathclyde situation) and the Society of Antiquaries. However, in general the omens for Classics teacher training in Scotland and elsewhere were very poor.


4. Chair's report

i. AHRB HESA data
GS had provided AHRB with recent CUCD statistics, which it was hoped might be taken into account in deciding proportionate allocations of postgraduate awards.
ii. OCR A level Ancient History
GS had written on behalf of CUCD arguing strongly for the retention of the Ancient History A level. Gill Partington reported further, that no major change was likely before the Tomlinson report, but that JACT would welcome substantial engagement and support on matters connected with the Ancient History A level from University academics, and in particular hoped that a senior academic would be prepared to chair the Ancient History committee. It was encouraging that Adrian Barlow of OCR was remaining as chair of the Classics Board. Gill Partington agreed to write a short paper for circulation about the likely scope of the work of the chair of the Ancient History committee.
iii. AHRB peer review college
A list of 14 nominees had been sent by CUCD as a result of the recent ballot. (Names attached).
iv. Departmental contacts and representatives
At Belfast the default contact would be the Head of the History School, who had agreed to this. But Belfast had also nominated Professor Brian Campbell on a year-by-year basis, and it was agreed that he would represent all Classical interests in Belfast.
v. Institute of Classical Studies
(1) As a result of the Review, the directorship of the ICS had been advertised as a full-time post. Interviews to choose from a strong field would take place on 26 May. (2) Prof. Chris Carey, acting head of ICS, had drafted an application to the AHRB collaborative research training fund, seeking funding of £50K over two years to pilot a national Classics and Ancient History postgraduate training scheme. The proposal, while centred at the ICS, envisaged regional as well as London-based postgraduate training. If successful the programme would have a steering committee, and CUCD standing committee approved Prof. Carey's proposal that this should be chaired by the CUCD chair. The standing committee also supported the submission of the whole proposal to AHRB. The draft would be circulated at once to departments for comment; suggestions to be made immediately, for submission is due on 28 May.
vi. CUCD letterhead
The newly-designed CUCD letterhead was approved, subject to the owl being put right way up.
vii. LTSN seminar
Departments were encouraged to send representatives to the LTSN seminar, co-sponsored by CUCD and taking place at the ICS on 27 May.
viii. RAE 2008
Proposals for the structure of RAE 2008 had been received. GS reported that a request had been made that the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies be officially recognised as a professional subject body.
ix. C-Web
Peter O'Neill would replace GS as the CUCD representative on the steering group for the Classics web: www.classics.ac.uk


5. Treasurer's Report

The Council's funds stood at £2824. Subscriptions would be solicited in June. Barclays Bank were still proving incompetent and had refused to issue a new cheque-book to the Treasurer. They continued to honour cheques in the current cheque-book signed by the Treasurer, but these were running out. The Treasurer would see whether a better alternative to Barclays could be found.


6. Secretary's Report

It was confirmed that Diana Spencer and Roy Gibson were no longer members of the Standing Committee. Costas Panayotakis offered to take over as Elections Officer. All other matters covered under other business.


7. Research Assessment Exercise (as per Chair's circulations)

The matter was discussed at some length; discussions were subsequently continued by email. A final, confidential list, based on voting by Standing Committee members, was circulated to Committee members by Graham Shipley (23/5/04). The following general matters were raised:
  1. Two universities had argued for a high degree of continuity with previous RAE panels; the Standing Committee endorsed this principle;
  2. It was desirable to keep classical archaeology in touch with the wider field of archaeology, through co-option to the panel of external specialists if necessary;
  3. The fields of mediaeval and Neo-Latin should ideally be covered, again through co-option if necessary;
  4. There was some doubt whether gender and social history formed a coherent category;
  5. Special attention needed to be given to Reception, as a growth area within the field;
  6. Full consideration should be given by the panel to the impact of books by classicists on wider intellectual communities (e. g. philosophy, art history);
  7. The names advanced should by broadly representative both geographically and by gender.


8. Classicists in Public Life

(Graham Shipley reporting). A list of MPs, peers, MEPs, and prospective parliamentary candidates was in preparation. It was envisaged that there would be an inaugural speaker meeting in London, followed by a regular circulation of information to members of the group.


9. Classicists' Career Paths

(Susanna Phillippo reporting). The matter was deferred until the October meeting, when SP, TM, and PHB would report.


10. Bulletin

Teresa Morgan would liaise with David Fitzpatrick (Open University, LTSN) on a piece on ab initio language teaching and the continuing question of accrediting beginners' courses at different university levels, covering the practice in different departments. Statistics were to submitted by 20/9/04.


11. Statistics

(Paul Millett reporting.) Only one institution had not yet replied (Southampton). Postgraduate assistance may be called in at a later stage.


12. Departmental subscriptions

(Patty Baker/Graham Shipley reporting). It was noted that smaller units have had difficulty with subscription (currently £60, plus £2 per Full-Time Equivalent member of staff). It was agreed to propose to Council that there should be three different levels of subscription, £40, £50, £70, for 1-5, 6-10, 11+ staff members respectively, plus a figure of £2 per member to cover the costs of the Bulletin.


13. A. O. B.

Adrian Barlow of the Oxford and Cambridge Board had raised the possibility of an Advanced Extension Award (AEA; successor to the Special Papers) in Classical Civilization, to run in 2006. A general welcome was given.


14. Date of next meeting

16/10/04.


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