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Terms of reference

​The remit and terms of reference for the Business Committee are set out in the Council documentation section of the University Council's Standing Orders and published annually within the Council Handbook.

Annex B of the standing orders reads as follows:

Business Committee - Terms of Reference

1.  The Business Committee is a standing committee of the Council. Subject to advance circulation of the agenda papers to all members of the Council, the Council delegates to the Business Committee under Statute A IV 7 (b), the following powers:

(a)  approval of Graces for submission to the Regent House;

(b)  approval of Reports of other University bodies for publication and Discussion;

(c)  approval of circulation to Council members of straightforward draft Council Reports received from Council committees (e.g. for construction of University buildings) for signature electronically and subsequent publication;

(d)  final editing of draft Reports of the Council, which have been considered by the Council at a full meeting, and approval of circulation for signature electronically and subsequent publication;

(e)  approval of Notices in reply to remarks made at Discussions;

(f)  approval for publication of straightforward administrative Notices which require the approval of the Council.

The Council expects the Committee normally to deal with most such business, but this delegation does not prevent the full Council from itself exercising any of the above powers. Any member of the Council may request that a matter should be referred to the full Council.

2.  The Committee shall consist of:

(a)  no fewer than four and no more than five persons appointed by the Council chosen from among the members of the council in classes (a), (b) and (c);

(b)  one student member of the Council (member of the Council in class (d)) for unreserved business;

The Advisory Committee on Committee Membership and External Nominations will, when agreeing the membership of the Business Committee, identify one of the members as its Chair.  The Business Committee may, from time to time, invite other persons to attend for particular items of business.

3.  The Secretary of the Committee shall be the Senior Assistant Registrary (University Draftsman). The Head of the Registrary’s Office, as Assistant Secretary to the Council, will attend all meetings. 

4.  The Committee shall meet weekly on Mondays, except for those Mondays on which a full Council meeting is held, if there is business to be considered. The agenda and papers shall normally be circulated electronically to all members of the Council by the Thursday prior to the meeting and also made available on the Council website. If there is no business for consideration confirmation that a meeting will not take place shall be circulated to all members by the previous Friday.

5.  Business for consideration that seems to the Secretary of the Business Committee to be so straightforward as not to require consideration at a meeting of the Committee, may be submitted electronically to the Council on the same timetable as applies to business to be considered by the Business Committee at a meeting. Examples include uncontroversial Graces, including Graces for the B II 2 M.A. and degrees by incorporation; Graces for the approval of recommendations in Reports where no comments were made in Discussion.  Where the Secretary of the Committee proposed approval of an item by circulation, any member of the Committee or the Council could call it in for consideration at a meeting. 

6.  Members of the Committee are requested to declare any items of business in which they have a personal interest.

7.  Any member of the Council who wishes to comment on business before the Committee or to request that a matter should be referred to the full Council, shall communicate with the Secretary of the Committee and the Head of the Registrary’s Office before the Committee meeting.

8.  In addition to the powers delegated to the Committee under 1 above the Committee shall also:

(a)  where necessary advise the Council on Reports to the University by institutions under the supervision of the General Board and, where appropriate, advise on draft joint Reports of the Council and the General Board;

(b)  advise the Council on any other matters about which it considers the Council ought to be informed;

(c)  ensure that the drafting of materials for submission to the Regent House is clear, accurate and presents a complete picture;

(d)  refer back to the initiating body material which did not meet the criteria in (c);

(e)  consider any relevant business referred to it by the Council.

9.  The Committee shall report to the Council, either through the minutes of its meetings or by such other means as the Council shall determine.