Board of Governors' Blog November 2019

This blog is an informal report to the community of the College to highlight the key items discussed at the Board – formal Board minutes will be posted on the website in due course.

Author: Monisha Shah, Chair of the Board of Governors
November 2019

The Board of Governors met on 21 November 2019.

The Board formally thanked Independent Governor Helen Bowles for her outstanding service to the Board and support to colleagues over the last five years.

It was noted that various fundraising initiatives were being undertaken-one of the most significant of these being the work on Making a Change – A Year-Long Advocacy Campaign which had now commenced.  This would see engagement with key leaders at a variety of business and social events to further the interests of the College.

Black History Month activities were prominent in the College and had been well received by students, staff, alumni, fellows and honorary fellows. 

An increasing number of neuro-diverse students were being recruited which highlighted a need for more staff training to provide support.  The Board noted that the sort of support students with diverse needs required was a rapidly developing area.  As a result the College was looking to how it might anticipate the needs of its student body as a whole particularly in terms of pedagogic and facilities support.

It was reported that Dr Brian Lobel has been appointed as Professor of Theatre and Performance and would take up his post on 6 January 2020. In addition to being research active his brief was to mentor early career researchers and contribute to REF activities. It was noted that the appointment of a Research Administrator should also be made soon.

We reported to the Cabinet Office that significant progress had been made with the Electoral registration of students.  Thanks to an initiative run between the Students’ Union and the London Borough of Bexley over 80% of the College’s students had been entered on the electoral register.

The Board agreed to consider issuing a Degree Outcomes Statement.  While it was noted this was a regulatory requirement, the aim would be to heighten transparency over assessment and provide students with information about the degree awarding process. The Board would be looking to issue a statement that was informative and met the requirements of the OfS but ultimately was a reflection of the College’s values with the main audience being the College’s student body.

A discussion took place over the Strategic Objectives that were under consideration.  The Governors will discuss these with the Senior Management Committee with the aim of producing an operational plan in the near future for the delivery of the strategy.

It has been proposed that an Access and Participation Committee be formed as a governance committee since this is a key aspect of work at the College and formed a part of the strategic plan. This will be distinct from the College Equality and Diversity Committee as the terms of reference will reflect.

There is a vacancy for a second Student Governor.  The Vice Principal to contact the recently appointed Student Activities Co-ordinator and Programme Leaders to obtain nominations.

Finally, the Board agreed to put in place arrangements for making an application for University title, subject to the outcome of discussions at Academic Board in February 2020.  This matter will be given full consideration over the course of this academic year.

Monisha Shah
Chair of the Board of Governors