Letter from Chair of Council

Dear Professors,

I am writing in response to the letter that you sent to the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and myself.  As the Vice-Chancellor says in her own reply, I also believe that in writing to us you have only the best interests of the University of Bath in mind.

I will focus, as is appropriate to my position as Chair of Council, on the matters you raise pertaining to governance.

I of course welcome the strong commitment to the institution you express and your desire that it should serve its students, the local community and the larger society, both nationally and internationally. I am in no doubt that all within the University community who have been sent this letter share this commitment. You will be aware that the Senate of the University and separately its Council have formally discussed the issues raised and have reaffirmed confidence in the Vice-Chancellor and me as Chair of Council respectively. Neither the Vice-Chancellor nor I were present for either of these debates or the subsequent votes.

Further to the announcement of the Vice-Chancellor’s retirement and the acceptance in full by Council of the findings of the report published by HEFCE, the chair of our Audit Committee, who has led the process to appoint an independent consultant to conduct a full, rigorous Effectiveness Review of Council, informs me that a decision on an appointment has now been made. This will be announced shortly. The process by which input into the review from the wider University community and other stakeholders will be captured, will be communicated by the consultant after their appointment.

In addition the process to appoint a new Vice-Chancellor is being considered with the intention of ensuring that the views of the University community, including of course the professoriate and other staff, are taken into account in identifying the attributes and leadership qualities required to take us forward, move beyond the events of recent weeks and focus once again on enhancing our strong reputation for teaching and research. Appropriate, independent, specialist advice will be sought on what is I am sure you agree a critical decision for the University.

The findings of the Effectiveness Review and emerging best practice within the sector on senior staff remuneration and other related issues will of course themselves be key inputs into this process.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Sheppard
Chair of Council

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