[Council of University Classical Departments]

Minutes of the 111th meeting of Standing Committee

Saturday, 22nd January, 2005, 11 a.m.

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


  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Minutes of Last Meeting
  3. Matters Arising
    1. Teacher Training at Strathclyde
    2. OCR GCSE Latin
  4. Chair's Report
    1. Meeting with Parliamentarians, 17th March
    2. Personalia
    3. Benchmark Statement
    4. Research Assessment Exercise
    5. Membership of the International Federation of Societies of Classical Studies (FIEC)
    6. Bulletin
    7. Business Cards
    8. Whitaker's Almanac
  5. Matters Arising from Draft Minutes of Council (to be circulated)
  6. Secretary's Business.
  7. Treasurer's Report
  8. Classics in the Marketplace II
  9. Learning and Teaching Support Network and Higher Education Academy
  10. National Co-ordinating Committee for Classics
  11. Institute of Classical Studies
    1. Postgraduate training centre
    2. ICS Review.
  12. Any other business
  13. Date of next meeting


Present: Graham Shipley, Paul Millett, Patty Baker, Jonathan Powell, Jeannie Cohen, Susanna Phillippo, Philip Hardie, Peter O'Neill, James Robson, John Rich, Nick Lowe, Costas Panayotakis.


1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Christopher Smith, John Morgan, Mike Edwards.


2. Minutes of Last Meeting

Item 4. vii. For 'information' read 'weight'. All points for action have been addressed. Other corrections were typographic.


3. Matters Arising

i. Teacher Training at Strathclyde
The latest information available was that students were being admitted to the course, but there was no information about the possibility of appointing of a teacher trainer. Tam Dalyell M. P. had been lobbying Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and St Andrews. Action: GS to write to the relevant Scottish universities.


ii. OCR GCSE Latin
James Morwood had indicated that OCR was willing to consider modifying the syllabus to take account the withdrawal of the AQA course.

Jeannie Cohen reported that at a recent meeting between schoolteachers and the OCR examiners, serious representations were made that the A2 syllabus in particular would be inaccessible to students with AQA Latin. The OCR examiners undertook to raise the matter with their colleagues. AQA Ancient History. JACT are continuing to seek for a senior academic ancient historian to chair the panel.


4. Chair's Report

The Chair welcomed the new members. The CUCD was becoming more important with the advent of the Higher Education Academy and QAA benchmarking. All members were invited to take a full role in the committee's work; it was important also to maintain a balance between different sorts and conditions of classicists.
i. Meeting with Parliamentarians, 17th March
(Jeannie Cohen of Friends of Classics reporting). A Reception had been arranged in the Houses of Parliament. All CUCD departments were encouraged to send at least one member of staff; not all departments had yet indicated that they would. Much of the organization had been undertaken by Peter Jones, Linda Perham MP, and Jeannie Cohen, to whom the CUCD were indebted for their labours. Jeannie Cohen reported that the venue would cost £500 unless a minimum of 100 people attended; it ought to be possible to meet this figure. It would be difficult for individual attenders to be serviced for under £25 each; the invited guests could not be expected to contribute. A figure of over £25 seemed too much for people to pay; would the CUCD be prepared to contribute?

The Treasurer agreed that £600 would be a sensible expenditure; Friends of Classics were prepared to match this. Departments were encouraged to finance members of staff to attend.

The Chair thanked Linda Perham, Charlotte North, and Edith Millar for their help. It was agreed that departments and individuals would be approached to attend. Members were encouraged to invited any interested representatives in public life and in the media.

It was agreed that speeches should be kept to a minimum; a introduction by GS. Those attending should wear name badges. The education ministers Kim Howells and Baroness Ashton, and Schools Minister, were to be invited, as was the Officer for Fair Access, the Chair of JACT, and representatives of state schools with a tradition of classical teaching.

ii. Personalia.
The Chair congratulated Philip Burton on the birth of his second son. John Rich reported the death of W. R. Chalmers, formerly of Nottingham.
iii. Benchmark Statement
The previous Quality Assurance Agency Benchmark statement had been a very carefully-drafted and inclusive work. The Chair proposed a small working party to consider what alterations, if any, were necessary; it was envisaged that this would not be extensive. A member of SC would be approached and asked to undertake this, in consultation with departmental contacts, members of the previous drafting committee, and representatives of the Byzantine and Modern Greek subject communities. CUCD funds could be made available for travel to a meeting and/or for the employment of PG assistance.
iv. Research Assessment Exercise
The Classics panel would be chaired by Michael Whitby and the Archaeology panel by Graham Barker. A good result for as many individual departments as possible would be good for the subject as a whole.

The Arts and Humanities Research Board had sought to compile lists of a top ten peer-reviewed journals in various disciplines. This had not happened in Classics, but the possibility could not be excluded. The SC accepted that the AHRB was required to demonstrate that it disbursed its funding effectively, and that it was reasonable for them to wish to demonstrate that much of the work in the best journals was funded in part at least through their support. However, concerns were expressed about the possible results of such a list. If the identity of journals were widely known, it might skew research and publication practice; if it were known to only some, this might be felt to disadvantage the rest. Ten journals was in any case a small number, and such a technique of sampling did not necessarily consider the sheer volume of work being sampled. The SC asked the Chair to write to the AHRB to pass on these concerns.

v. Membership of the International Federation of Societies of Classical Studies (FIEC)
It had been proposed that the CUCD should apply for membership of the FIEC. The tangible benefits were limited, but CUCD membership might help the one British university applying to host the FIEC conference in 2014. Consideration was given to the nature of other subscribing organizations (mostly learned bodies rather than subject organizations), and the extent to which the goals of the FIEC coincided with those of the CUCD, and to which it the FIEC was able to realize these goals. The SC agreed the Chair should invite Prof. Averil Cameron to make further representations on the desirability of CUCD subscription.
vi. Bulletin
It has been suggested that older issues of the Bulletin should be put online; the CUCD might pay a PG to organize this. The Chair is working to make the Bulletin more widely known. It was agreed that Fiona MacHardy would undertake this, with assistance from Patty Baker and Philip Burton, and would report.
vii. Business Cards
It was agreed to allow the Chair to order business cards from his university with his CUCD title on, at CUCD's expense.
viii. Whitaker's Almanac
The Chair informed the SC that he asked that the CUCD be registered in Whitaker's Almanac, as it had not been before. The Chair had signed the petition circulated on the Classicists list Neuchâtel expressing concern about the proposal not to appoint a successor to the outgoing Professor of Greek.


5. Matters Arising from Draft Minutes of Council (to be circulated)


6. Secretary's Business.

i. SC membership. The incoming Director of the Higher Education Academy would be invited to join the SC as co-optee. Costas Panayotakis and Philip Burton would liaise on another co-optee; any suggestions to be sent to them.


7. Treasurer's Report

An account at HSBC has been set up. The Council's funds stand at £3357.39. It was agreed that a written account would be circulated and presented to Council. The Chair minuted thanks to the Treasurer for her persistence in resolving the difficulties in the account.


8. Classics in the Marketplace II

(Susanna Phillippo reporting). Two plans had been prepared in conjunction with David Fitzgerald of the subject-centre of the Higher Education Academy. Plan A involved Colin Brooks putting in a bid for a £4000 subject-area grant towards a classics strand in a larger survey of graduate employment in the humanities. If this bid were successful, then from within the subject community we would need a partially bought-out representative to co-ordinate the work; this would not preclude the possibility of other CUCD funding being deployed. The outcome of the bid would probably be known by early summer. Colin Brooks would then be empowered to nominate a suitable academic. Plan B involved the subject centre having funds to research this subject, but not on such a large scale; some money would be available, but less.

Susanna Phillippo indicated her willingness in principle to be involved later this year, but not before; the SC would be prepared to endorse her. SP wished to thank subject-community nationwide and beyond for their support for this project. The SC would also invite colleagues to consider their willingness to serve. It was requested that the outcome of the survey should be made available to schoolteachers and their bodies.

A Higher Education Academy-sponsored meeting would take place on 2nd March to discuss the employability of Arts graduates; details would be circulated to contacts (PHB). The CUCD would pay the fare of any classicists attending.


9. Learning and Teaching Support Network and Higher Education Academy

A report from Diana Spencer (circulated in advance) was noted with thanks. A closing date of 31st January was set out for institution bids to host the subject centre; so far, one has been forthcoming. Other applications were encouraged. Interviews would be held on the 25th February.

A consultation document on 'Shaping the Academy' had been circulated in November last year; comments were invited by the end of January. The CUCD has already emphasized their wish for subject-specific content, especially in the field of PG training and probation for new lecturers. The Chair noted with satisfaction the Higher Education Academy's commitment to working with subject organizations to ensure this goal. Ten specific questions had been asked; the Chair summarized his response to this, with particular emphasis on the rôle of subject-centres, and on the importance of involving the post-1992 universities. More attention was needed also the experience of postgraduate students.


10. National Co-ordinating Committee for Classics

(Report by Peter Jones circulated 5/1/05). The Chair thanked Peter Jones for this report, and his work, and emphasized his contribution to the Committee. He also noted the contribution of Paul Cartledge to this work.


11. Institute of Classical Studies

i. Postgraduate training centre
Nominations had been received for the Management Committee of the PG training centre. The Chair proposed that this should be referred to Mike Edwards as Acting Director of the ICS and himself. All eight nominees were endorsed as suitable.
ii. ICS Review.
The Chair had been approached by Martin Harris of London University regarding a Higher Education Funding Council for England review of the ICS. The Committee was strongly committed to the activities of the ICS, and welcomed the new Director and his Deputy. The connexion with JACT and the Roman and Hellenic Societies was particularly important.


12. Any other business

There was no other business.


13. Date of next meeting

To be arranged by email. (subsequently arranged for 11th June).


The meeting closed at 1.25.


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