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Vice-Chancellor's report to Senate: June 2020

Vice-Chancellor Robert van der Noort

Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert van de Noort recently presented his latest report to Senate, which focuses on major University priorities including the Black Lives Matter movement and our ongoing COVID-19 response.

On Black Lives Matter, the Vice-Chancellor drew attention to recent statements by both himself and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Parveen Yaqoob, and provided information on the internal review on BAME issues that will be completed by the end of the year.

"This request is set in the context of two unsuccessful applications for the Race Equality Charter Mark, awarded by Advance HE and held by only 14 universities in the UK. Feedback from Advance HE indicates that the University needs to build a common awareness and understanding of what constitutes racism through open and frank discussion and ensure that everyone within the organisation has a role to play in challenging it."

The Vice-Chancellor said that "senior colleagues need to not only be ready to listen, but to be prepared to encourage and initiate conversations about racism... The next steps will involve active listening sessions for both staff and students, where the scope and content of the review will be shaped and discussed."

On COVID-19, the report summarises the latest updates on our phased return to campus, covering topics such as the gradual return of staff to the site, reopening of buildings, teaching space, the NHS Test and trace programme and supporting teaching capacity.  

The report also highlights many activities taking place online (although several had not taken place at the time of writing), such as our Virtual Open Days for Undergraduates and Masters, Careers events and more. It also provides details of the appointments of Paul Inman as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) and Carol Fuller as Head of the Institute of Education, an update on the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) project, and much more.

The full transcript is available to read online via this link.

Senate is the University's main academic administrative body. Reporting to the Council and meeting at least four times a year, the Senate advises on areas such as student entry, assessment and awards. With around 100 members, the Senate comprises Deans, Heads and elected representatives of Schools, as well as professional staff and students. University Boards responsible for developments and innovation in research, teaching and learning report to the Senate.

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