[Council of University Classical Departments]

Draft minutes of the 131st meeting of the Standing Committee

Saturday 18 June 2011, 2 pm

Senate House, University of London

  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Minutes of the last meeting
  3. Matters arising
  4. Chair's Report
  5. JACS Coding
  6. Contact Hours
  7. The Classics Subject Centre and the CUCD Education Committee
  8. Institute of Classical Studies and the Joint Library
  9. Treasurer's Report
  10. Secretary's Business
  11. Elections
  12. CUCD Bulletin
  13. Statistics
  14. Date of Next Meeting

Present: Robin Osborne (Cambridge; Chair), Bruce Gibson (Liverpool; Secretary), Miriam Leonard (UCL, Treasurer), Susan Deacy (Roehampton, Bulletin Editor), Mike Edwards (Director, ICS), Sarah Francis (Liverpool; Classics Subject Centre), James Robson (Open; Languages), Catherine Steel (Glasgow; Classics Subject Centre), Stephen Todd (Manchester), Jakob Wisse (Newcastle).

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Alan Beale (JACT representative), Steven Green (Leeds, Elections), Edith Hall (RHUL), Elena Isayev (Exeter), Nick Lowe (RHUL; Webmaster), Christopher Pelling (Oxford), Edmund Thomas (Durham), Peter Jones (Friends of Classics), Ulrike Roth (Edinburgh, Statistics), Matthew Wright (Exeter).

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting of 12 February 2011 were received and approved.

3. Matters arising

Item 3, ii): 2012 Olympics: It was noted that the Olympics would be a standing agenda item in future. It was reported that a conference (which would include outreach elements) was being planned by UCL and the ICS in June 2012, in partnership with the British Museum, and with sponsorship from the Hellenic and Roman Societies.

Item 7: English Baccalaureate: The Chair reported that he had attended a recent conference of schoolteachers in Kent which had discussed the issue, and that the parliamentary enquiry had not yet concluded.

4. Chair's Report

i) REF 2014: The Chair reported that the sub-panel and the main panel had met on 7-8 June. July would see the publication of documentation relating to guidance on submissions (across the whole framework), as well as panel-specific guidance on how the rules would be applied. In discussion it was noted that it was unlikely that the ensuing consultation process would offer any real opportunities for substantive change to the documents. It was agreed that CUCD would respond to the consultation. Prof. Osborne reported that as sub-panel Chair he would produce a document glossing the documentation for classics departments when the documents were published in mid-July.

ii) European Research Index in the Humanities (ERIH): Following an interval of three years, the European Science Foundation was now attempting to revive its listings of journals, with supposedly non-hierarchical categories of 'National', 'International 1' and 'International 2'. The list for Classics had not yet been published. It was noted that the AHRC would not be devoting any funding to the ERIH exercise.

iii) Forthcoming Meetings: CUCD would be sending representative to meetings on 24 June with the AHRC on the AHRC Delivery Plan, and on 27 June with the BA (the bi-annual meeting of subject associations) on strategically important and vulnerable subjects.

v) BA Mid-career Fellowships: It was noted that these awards were currently seeing a success rate of around 10%.

5. JACS Coding

Dr Roth's confidential document on the possible implications of JACS coding on NSS returns for Classical was welcomed and discussed. Since enquiries to other avenues had not met with any positive developments, Prof. Todd agreed to explore the issue of the counting of Ancient History students under History with the University authorities in Manchester, with a view to establishing whether there were tactics that might be more widely applicable.

6. Contact Hours

It was noted that some UK HEIs were beginning to lay down minimum numbers of contact hours. It was agreed that CUCD should seek to monitor current practice in institutions with classical departments, and that the CUCD Education Committee should take this forward.

7. The Classics Subject Centre and the CUCD Education Committee.

It was noted that current arrangements for the Classics Subject Centre were now being wound down, with transitional funding only available until January 2012. Various institutions had agreed to help with future events, though it was very unclear how the HEA at York would provide support for subject-specific provision in the future. Recruitment of HEA Associates had now finished, though it was not known who had been appointed, and what the contribution of such Associates would look like in practical terms.

The CUCD Education Committee would be looking at the future. For 2012 it was planning a joint panel with JACT at the 2012 CA in Exeter, which would look at possibilities for university involvements in schools. The Education Committee would also co-ordinate 'wish-lists' for future events; such events would require support from CUCD departments, but if the hosting was shared, the burden on individual institutions would not be excessive.

Dr Francis reported on an OCR Continuing Professional Development (CPD) event for schoolteachers which she had attended at the British Museum [a written report was subsequently sent to all CUCD Contacts]. In discussion it was noted that CPD offered real prospects for departments, as schools were wiling to spend money on making such events available for their teaching staff.

8. Institute of Classical Studies and the Joint Library


The Director reported on recent developments, and noted that the main difficulty looming was a cut of over £100000 from the ICS budget in the coming session owing to the resource allocation modelling used within the School of Advanced Study. The forthcoming HEFCE review was also noted, and it was agreed that it was important that CUCD should have an opportunity to express its views.

9. Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer reported that the current balance was £4896.34, and that a request for subscriptions was due to be sent out to member departments.

10. Secretary's Business.

The Secretary noted that there were various minor details of the constitution which might usefully be updated (such as the current technical requirement to note all CUCD communications on the CLASSICISTS email list). Further details of proposed amendments would be tabled in October, and put to Council in November.


11. Elections

The Secretary reported on behalf of the Elections Officer. It was noted that there was a vacancy for the office of Secretary (the current Secretary would have completed a second consecutive term). There would also be elections for three ordinary members of SC: Professor Wisse and Dr Wright would complete their first term on SC in November 2011 and were accordingly eligible for election, and it was agreed that an additional vacancy would be filled in November 2011, since Dr Leonard had been appointed as Treasurer whilst serving as an ordinary member. An election circular would be sent round to contacts in the normal way over the summer.

12. CUCD Bulletin

The Editor reported on her aim to include themed papers reflecting upon current issues in Classics in each volume, starting in 2011 with short papers related to the ICS Gender Teaching Colloquium, held in March of this year. Contributors would include graduate students as well as academics. Future editions of the Bulletin might address issues such as: teaching difficult subjects; maintaining quality in the face of changing resources; employability; disability/equality; departmental activities in schools.

13. Statistics

Colleagues were reminded of the need to ensure that annual statistical returns were sent in by the end of the month to the Statistics Officer.

14. Date of Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting of Standing Committee would take place on Saturday, 8 October at 2 pm.