Present: Robin Osborne (Cambridge; Chair), Bruce Gibson (Liverpool; Secretary), Alan Beale (JACT), Mike Edwards (Director, ICS), Sarah Francis (Liverpool; Classics Subject Centre), Steven Green (Leeds), Miriam Leonard (UCL), Fiona McHardy (Roehampton; Editor of the Bulletin), Jonathan Powell (RHUL), James Robson (Open; Languages), Ulrike Roth (Edinburgh), Jakob Wisse (Newcastle).
The minutes of the SC meeting of 13 February 2010 were received and approved.
The Director reported that the move back to South Block had gone very well. While arrangements were in general excellent, there were still some confidential security issues; since these had not been resolved, the Hellenic and Roman Societies were currently withholding rent from the UoL.
In the longer term, the future of the School of Advanced Study was a cause of uncertainty. There would be a review next year, and it was not clear that funding levels would be maintained. There was a risk that the total bill from ULRLS for the cost of the Library might exceed the combined resources generated from funding of the ICS by the SAS and the Societies, which could create financial difficulties in the future.
It was reported that institutions were beginning to require staff to put electronic copies of publications on institutional websites, which could create a potential conflict of interest with publishers who regularly do not permit publication of pdfs of final formtatted copy on the internet. Members of SC reported varying practice in this regard, and it was agreed that member departments should report on this issue to the Secretary.
Prof. Powell reported that QAA had issued new guidelines for M-level benchmarking in April 2010: the documentation was entirely generic. Only a few subjects had an M-level benchmark, and none were from the humanities. After a brief discussion, it was agreed that Prof. Powell would investigate further, and that a decision would need to be taken in the future as to whether classicists would welcome an M-level benchmark, or whether the very wide diversity of degrees already offered at M-level in classics might be restricted by a benchmarking document.
Dr Francis, reporting on behalf of the Director, thanked CUCD for letters of support, and reported on developments relating to the future of the Subject Centre. Contracts of staff had now been extended until December, but a decision would be taken by the HEA in September on what, if anything, could be offered in the way of subject centre activities based in universities. The government's emergency budget later in June would be crucial in determining the level of cut in funding and the nature of HEA's decision.
Dr Francis reported that contingency plans were already in place for what might happen to classical activities in the medium term if the Subject Centres were no longer able to offer discipline-based pedagogical support. Discussions about possible use of the ICS were already in train, and it would perhaps be possible, for example, for the ICS or for classics departments to taken on responsibilities for organising provision on Language Teaching and on Teaching Ancient History. It was noted that strong links with JACT were likely to prove to be of advantage.
Most events, such as those organised on Language Teaching and on Ancient History, that had already been planned would run next year, perhaps with support for travel for delegates attending such days being withdrawn. There would also be days on research-led teaching (23 June 2010, sponsored by the ICS), and on MA restructuring (24 November 2010); the latter occasion would include the chance to consider the implications of the Bologna agreement.
The Secretary reported on behalf of the Treasurer that the finances were in good order [the balance was subsequently recorded as Â£4158.43 on 14 June 2010], and that his recommendation was to have no increase in departmental subscription levels this year. It was agreed that in terms of larger-scale expenditure by CUCD, it would be better to wait until there was greater clarity about issues such as impact and the general financial position of HE in the UK, before organising a CUCD-sponsored event.
The Secretary reported on behalf of the Webmaster that the website was in good order. Discussions with the Classics Subject Centre had taken place with a view to the migration of the now out-of-date CUCD list of external examiners to the forthcoming new website for the Subject Centre, a suggestion that was warmly welcomed.
The Editor reported that four articles had been promised thus far for the Bulletin. It was noted that a new editor would need to be appointed from November 2010, since Dr McHardy's second term on SC was due to come to an end at the November Council.
The Statistics Officer reported that returns were beginning to arrive, following the initial call for statistics. Members of CUCD were asked to consider in the coming weeks whether there was material not currently displayed in the statistics which it would be useful to make available.
It was noted that Dr McHardy and Prof. Powell were due to come to the end of their second term on SC in November and that two vacancies would be created, since they were not eligible for further re-election. Dr Green and Prof. Pelling would complete their first term in November and were eligible for re-election: both had indicated that they would be seeking nominations. There would thus be a total of four vacancies on SC in November. It was agreed that on the day of the elections in November the Secretary would act as returning officer, since the Elections Officer would himself be a candidate for election. The Elections Officer would in due course send out a message inviting nominations of candidates.
Dr McHardy reported that Roehampton was applying non-completion codes to students missing the final element of assessment (which could be a single piece of work if other modules are completed) with the consequence that funding for the students was being terminated. After a brief discussion of practice in this respect in other institutions, it was agreed that Prof. Powell would investigate the matter further.
It was agreed that the next meeting would take place on Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 11 am.
|CUCD Home||Bulletin Contents||Royal Holloway Classics Dept|