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Governance at the University of Oxford. Maja Korica Paolo Quattrone Said Business School, University of Oxford. Governance in Context. : The emergence of corporate governance and its diffusion into non-corporate worlds

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governance at the university of oxford

Governance at the University of Oxford

Maja Korica

Paolo Quattrone

Said Business School,

University of Oxford

governance in context
Governance in Context

: The emergence of corporate governance and its diffusion into non-corporate worlds

- Corporate governance without corporations and shareholder value without shareholders (Williams et al, 2009)

- Deregulation and audit societies (Power, 1997)

- From governing bodies to executive boards (NHS, BBC and eventually universities and business schools)

: The motivation of the study

- How does the diffusion of managerialism affect universities?

- Governance and accountability as means to create and embed societal values into organizational forms

- Universities in need of which changes?

oxford in context changes in uk higher education
Oxford in Context: Changes in UK Higher Education

: The ‘Oxford ideal’ of self-governance in the sector until the 1970s

: Evolution from a largely privately-funded to a heavily government-funded university from the late 40s onwards (Soares, 1999)

: UGC as protector of university autonomy via block grants

: Identification of the role of universities in driving the national economy

: Joining of the market and tight regulation by the state in ensuring accountability for state investment in higher education (formula funding, research and teaching assessments)

: The 1988 and 1992 Acts; former polytechnics as the government ideal

: Key balance between Oxford’s unique legislative position and charity status

the evolution within oxford past inquiries
The Evolution within Oxford:Past Inquiries

: Crucial interplay of the state, frequently in the form of national inquiries, the market, and universities

: The Franks Report (1966)

- Commissioned in light of the government’s Robbins Report challenging Oxford’s obscure arrangements and slow decision-making

- Severely limited role of Convocation in favour of Congregation; Hebdomadal Council chief administrative body; 4 year VC term instead of rotating; Council of Colleges as representative body rejected

: The North Report (1997)

- In the wake of the Dearing Report (implementation of identified ‘best practice’ in governance)

- Merging of the Hebdomadal Council and General Board into single Council under sovereignty of Congregation; inclusion of external members; delegation to 4 key committees; creation of 5 divisions

the evolution within oxford recent debates
The Evolution within Oxford:Recent Debates

: Following a Congregation stipulation for a review 5 years after North, a Governance Working Party set up in October 2004

: In context of external demands for the introduction of ‘best practice’ in Oxford and Cambridge, despite their traditional arrangements

: White Paper Trinity Term 2006

- Council’s remit institutional governance

- Reduction in Council membership from 23 to 15, with 7 lay members and a lay chair (Chancellor to chair in the first 5 years)

- 4 Council committees (Audit, Finance, Investment and Remuneration); wider powers to the Audit & Scrutiny Committee

- Creation of an Academic Board, with internal majority; Council can reject its decisions

- Congregation remains sovereign body

the evolution within oxford current and future challenges
The Evolution within Oxford:Current and Future Challenges

: Crucial similarity to the ‘best practice’ advocated by government e.g. separate Academic Board, majority of external members on Council

: Discussion in Congregation on November 14 and 28, 2006

: Proposals voted down in Congregation (730 to 465), as well as via postal vote (1540 to 997) in December 2006

: Challenge by HEFCE--> response via Audit & Scrutiny Committee Report in January 2009 (currently under deliberation by Council)

: Challenge of continuing to preserve the Oxbridge model

- March vote in Cambridge’s Regent House in favour of four externals instead of two; academics now electing 12 of 24 members, instead of 12 of 22, on Council