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The Medical Sciences Board met on both 24 January and 1 February, with Professor Kennard newly taking the chair as Head of Division.

The second of these meetings was exclusively devoted to discussion (which the Board had begun on 24 January) of the possible terms of a proposed joint venture with the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and of engagement between the proposed joint venture and third parties in the pursuit of academic and clinical objectives. The meeting on 24 January also addressed other important matters, including the implementation of the Prevent Duty within the University.

At its meeting on 24 January 2017 the Medical Sciences Board: 

  • received a briefing on the Prevent Duty from the Chair and Secretary of the Prevent Duty Steering Group (Glenn Swafford and Sarah Cowburn).  This is a new statutory duty for UK Higher Education Institutions under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.  It was explained that the Duty should have very little impact on the University community and in no way overrides individual rights or the University’s obligation to protect freedom of expression, academic freedom, autonomy, confidentiality, privacy and equal treatment under the law.  Council had approved only two changes to policies or practice in the light of Prevent, namely the requirement that those organising meetings or events, and those with responsibility for room bookings providing space/facilities for events, must follow a Code of Practice on Meetings and Events; and a specific provision within the University’s IT Regulations that IT or network facilities most not be used with the intention of drawing people into terrorism.
  • adopted the Head of Division’s nomination that Professor Matthew Wood be one of the two Associate Heads of Division who serve as members of the Medical Sciences Board and that he be designated Deputy Head of Division (Research).
  • agreed the Board’s recommendations to Council regarding the further particulars and composition of the selection committee for the Headship of the Division.
  • received an update on ongoing work within the Division and at institutional level to address issues relevant to Athena SWAN action plans and applications.  There was some further discussion of the merits of clustering departments for the purpose of seeking awards in future and the extent to which departments might work together to make progress.

To view the current and past agenda/papers, please contact Dr David Bryan.