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THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM

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									                  THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
           CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE FOR SUPPORT STAFF
      Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 February 2009

Present:            Professor K Cox                     PVC (Chair)
                    Mrs C Alcock                        IS
                    Mr D Holt                           Physics & Astronomy
                    Mr R Howard                         UNITE
                    Mrs J Kaur                          Director of HR
                    Mr S Pinfield                       Chief Information Officer
                    Mr C Thompson                       CFO
                    Ms E Watts                          Geography
                    Mrs S J Willington                  UNITE

In Attendance:      Miss J M Delves (PA)

Apologies:          Dr P Greatrix, Professor E Burke, Miss P Campbell, Mrs J
                    Humphrey and Mrs R Ramsden

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

417   The minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2008 were approved as an
      accurate record.

Matters Arising

418   There were no matters arising.

Organisational Update

Chris Thompson presented the Organisational Update.

419   The RAE results were published. The results were of great significance in
      recognising the endeavours from academic colleagues and it is hoped
      some financial adjustment would be seen in terms of the University’s
      funding. Research power was a combination of the “grade point average”
      and the number of individuals who were submitted in each category. The
      University’s figures had improved greatly since the last RAE in 2001.

      The University of Nottingham was 7th in the country, Nursing did
      particularly well, the Faculty of Engineering was 3 rd and the School of
      Pharmacy was assessed as the best School of Pharmacy in the country.

      The University would not know until March 2009 what the financial impact
      would be but it would definitely be seeing some improvement.
      Discussion had taken place at HEFCE regarding the funding that would
      follow. The additional funding was a good return for the investment that
      had been made.

420   Two Bio-energy Research Centres would be based in Nottingham.

421   BP would be investing £750,000 in scholarships.

422   The Sir Colin Campbell building had been formally launched and the
      University was actively marketing the building with small companies that
      may be interested in working with the university. The level of interest had
      been encouraging.      The University would like to see some further
      investment on the site.

423   The University had received the admission statistics for next year.
      Undergraduate student applications had increased by 8% and
      International applications had increased by 6% as compared to the same
      point in the previous year. The accessible data in terms of applications
      across all Universities would suggest that applications for Undergraduates
      had increased by 6.1% and the University of Nottingham had seen an
      increase of 7.1%. The University’s competitors had only seen a 1%
      increase so Nottingham was well ahead of the direct competitors. This
      outcome reflects Nottingham’s profile and the success from the RAE.
      Considerable effort had also been seen regarding the National Student
      Survey.

      Postgraduate applications for taught positions had increased by 49% on
      last year. This figure may be driven by the state of the economy.
      Potential graduates were looking actively at possibilities for a 2nd Degree.
      Home Postgraduate research positions had increased by 2%.
      International and EU figures were down for taught and research but again,
      this could be due to the global economy.

424   With regard to the financial situation, Nottingham was starting to see an
      impact in terms of the companies it dealt with who were struggling and
      going out of business. Nottingham had also been badly hit by rising
      energy costs.   A reduction in energy bills was now being seen but
      Nottingham remained £1.5m overspent. However, this would hopefully be
      recovered by the end of the financial year.

425   Student income was slightly lower than budgeted. Research income in net
      cash terms was positive as the margin was strong, reflecting the fact that
      Nottingham was benefiting from full economic costing. Research income
      headline figures were slightly low and schools are being encouraged to
      bring invoicing up to date as quickly as possible.

426   School costs and Central Service costs were in line with budget. The
      University was experiencing increases year on year but this was expected.
      The expenditure for the second half of the year would have to be under
      tight control. The latest forecast for the full year, produced after the first
      5 months, indicated that the University was likely to achieve a result below
      the budgeted £8m surplus.          The strategic objective of delivering a
      reasonable retained surplus was to deal with issues the University was
      encountering in the wider economy. The University needed to be able to
      manage its relationship with students, industry and Research Councils and
      the remainder of the year would be challenging. Whilst interest rates had
      fallen, there was still a high level of debt. There would still be significant
      capital expenditure this year (£53m over this year and the next two years
      from HEFCE subject to conditions).

427   Industry and Charity’s were suffering so the winning of new research
      contracts in these areas may become difficult over the coming months.
      The Secretary of State wrote his annual letter to the Chairman of HEFCE,
      giving confirmation that the Government would not be funding any
      additional student numbers.

428   Immediate impacts were due to the recession.      The University was
      nervous about bad debts. The debt is mostly student debt but overseas
      Governments who were sponsoring students were taking longer to pay
      which impacted on the University’s cash flow.

429   East Midlands Conference Centre was slightly behind Budget. Companies
      were cutting back on conferences/event.

430   Ray Howard stated that the comments surrounding Engineering in respect
      of the RAE results were interesting. The RAE was based on performance
      before the amalgamation took place so that questioned the thinking
      behind it. It had caused a lot of unrest within the area and some staff
      were still unsure about the future. Chris Thompson stated that it was a
      small faculty and there would be more opportunities if they were
      amalgamated. Clearly the RAE demonstrated that in research terms, the
      Faculty of Engineering had done a great job but the teaching issue was a
      major element that had not been addressed yet.                Stephen Pinfield
      reiterated that RAE measured the quality of research but most Engineering
      faculties in the country were finding it difficult to recruit students and the
      restructuring is aimed to address the student recruitment issue.

431   Ray Howard asked for clarification concerning the East Midlands
      Conference Centre and plans for a hotel linked to the Conference Centre.
      Chris Thompson confirmed that the hotel was still very much on the
      agenda. Proposals had been put forward but these were not ready for
      sign off. No firm commitment had been given from the Strategy & Finance
      Committee. The ownership of a hotel would not be passed to a private
      company but it may well be managed by a third party. David Holt asked
      whether the Conference Centre made money for the University. Chris
      Thompson confirmed that it did make a positive impact.

432   Ray Howard stated the NHS Trust were developing a medical science area
      on the hospital site and would this be totally separate from the University.
      Chris Thompson confirmed that this was the case.           The University’s
      Innovation Park would compliment the Medi Park but there would be no
      linkage.

CPAS Pension

433   Jenny Humphries requested an update on CPAS in light of the economic
      climate.

      Chris Thompson confirmed that the Trustees along with Xafinity had been
      closely monitoring the market. In addition, a note was posted on the
      CPAS website to keep members informed. Benefit statements are sent to
      members on an annual basis. The turmoil in the market did not affect the
      value of a pension or the pay out on retirement. It did however mean that
      the University had a deficit to deal with but this should not raise any
      concern. The University was yet to see the outcome of the actuarial
      variation to see whether the actions implemented to cope with the deficit
      had worked. The CPAS pension scheme was a long term scheme and
      benefits will be payable.     The University’s current intention was to
      continue to support the scheme and the membership.

      Ray Howard highlighted that the statement was not on the front page of
      the CPAS website and he had trouble finding it. A number of people did
      have difficulty with the site and the way in which it was presented.
      Chris Thompson mentioned that there was also the option of speaking to a
      member of the pension team but he would look at the site and ensure it
      was regularly updated. Action: Chris Thompson

Workplace Parking Levy

434   Jenny Humphries requested this item with regard to the WPL being a tax
      on coming to work, hitting lower paid workers and having a guaranteed
      space available.

      Jaspal Kaur had circulated the recent update regarding the WPL prior to
      the meeting. The travel survey results would be taken into consideration
      when agreeing the implementation process of the WPL. The working
      group would include members from Unions and HR. The items that Jenny
      Humphries raised would be passed to Gavin Scott.

      Mark Dale mentioned a survey in the Nottingham Evening Post where 83%
      of companies were against the WPL. Jaspal Kaur stated that, whilst the
      University did not support the WPL, in recognising that there would be a
      charge, it was keen that any cost involved should be put back into the
      transport system. Chris Thompson added that the Council were keen to
      have the University’s support. Nottingham were neither strongly in favour
      or strongly against the Levy. The University had not given the whole
      hearted support that the Council were looking for but would accept the
      proposals.

      David Holt asked whether there was any part of the campus that was not
      part of the City boundary. Sutton Bonington was outside the city boundary
      but the working group may need to consider whether charges were applied
      to all parking spaces as Nottingham was one of the few University’s who
      did not currently charge for parking.

      Elaine Watts raised the issue of student parking which sometimes results
      in staff being unable to park. Karen Cox reiterated that such issues would
      be discussed at the Working Group but Security had been monitoring
      student parking more closely.

      David Holt mentioned that a higher number of permits were issued than
      spaces available. Stephen Pinfield highlighted at other Universities a set
      number of permits were issued and there was a queuing system to obtain
      a permit. This resulted in some staff having to pay visitors parking until a
      permit became available.

      Christine Alcock asked whether a charge would be added for the University
      to administer the system. Karen Cox stated that this was a possibility
      although unknown at this stage. Karen Cox encouraged everyone to fill in
      the travel survey.

435   Any Other Business

      No items of any other business were raised.

436   Date, Time & Place of Next Meeting

      1 June 2009, 2.15pm in A19 (Trent Committee Room), Trent Building, UP

								
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