A meeting of the Senate Business Committee will be held at 11.05 a.m. on Wednesday 11 November 2020 via Teams

Rachael Bernard
Academic Registrar



1. Approval of the minutes of the meeting held on 23 September 2020 SBC20-21:05
2. Draft Agenda for the meeting of the Senate on  2 December 2020 SBC20-21:06
3. Effectiveness Review Update Work to Date Oral Report

The review commenced in October 2019 with the Group meeting on four occasions prior to work being paused in March 2020.

Initial Group discussions centred on the outcomes of the effectiveness review undertaken in 2015 and the results of subsequent annual surveys of Senate members.

Ultimately, the Group had formulated a questionnaire which had been intended to be circulated to all staff, but this was paused with the move off campus.

Groupings for a series of focus groups had also been identified, and volunteer staff to join the various cohorts had been sought.

4. Gifford Lecture Committee Chair  

Provision exists for a series of lectures to be held at each of the four ancient universities of Scotland (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews) on the topic of Natural Theology. Since their inception, the Gifford Lectures have become the foremost intellectual event in the matter of religion.  The Lectures are overseen, on behalf of the University, by the Gifford Lecture Committee.  Following the decision of Phil Ziegler to step down as chair and a member of the Gifford Lecture Committee, the Committee are invited to discuss a possible replacement. The current membership is:

  • Phil Ziegler (Chair)
  • Robert Segal
  • Paul Nimmo
  • Anne Ludbrook (now emeritus but happy to continue)
  • Grant Macaskill
  • George Coghill (may be retiring in January 2021)
  • Alison Avenell
  • Beth Lord
  • Heather Wallace
  • Kevin Edwards
  • Duncan Heddle
5. Nomination of Postgraduate Research Officer  

PGR School Officers have authority delegated via Senate to approve PGR requests for official amendments to degree programmes. This includes request such as: off-campus study; change to full-time or part-time study transfer of degree; extension of the write up period; suspension of supervised study.

The Committee are invited to approve a change to the nominated PGR School Officer for Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture:

Suk Jun Kim to replace Andrew Gordon

6. Dates of meetings in 2020/21  

The Committee is invited to note the dates of the next meetings to be held in 2020/21: 

  • Wednesday 13 January 2021 at 2.00 p.m.
  • Thursday 18 February 2021 at 10.00 a.m.
  • Tuesday 13 April 2021 at 10.00 a.m.


The Senate Business Committee has a primary role to agree Senate agendas. In order to engage Senate in open debate, the Senate Business Committee also identifies for each meeting of Senate at least one major strategic topic for discussion.

The Committee has delegated responsibility from the Senate to approve the appointment of Senate members or representatives to University Committees and the schedule for Senate elections.


The primary role of the Senate Business Committee is to agree Senate agendas.


In order to engage Senate in open debate and to inform future policy and development by sub-committees for subsequent approval by the Senate, it has been agreed that the Senate Business Committee should identify at least one topic for discussion of a major strategic issue at each Senate meeting.  This would not preclude such topics being included on the agenda ad hoc in response to, in particular, national consultations and major issues that emerged during the course of an academic year that the University should address.


The Senate Business Committee, in drafting Senate agendas, should also decide, as deemed appropriate whether an external speaker (e.g. from the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Executive, Universities Scotland, the Higher Education Academy) should be invited to address the Senate on a topic of current interest or debate within the HE sector.


The Senate Business Committee is also asked to determine the timing of consideration, by the Senate, of annual reports from the Senior Vice-Principal, the central Vice-Principals and the University Secretary..

Composition & Membership

Composition and Quorum

  • The Senior Vice-Principal (Chair)
  • University Secretary
  • The Senate Assessors on the Policy and Resources Committee
  • Eight elected members of Senate elected for a two year term of office
  • The Chairs of the following Committees:
    • University Committee on Teaching and Learning
    • Quality Assurance Sub-Committee of UCTL
    • Undergraduate Sub-Committee of UCTL
    • Postgraduate (Taught) Sub-Committee of UCTL
    • Research Policy Committee
  • Dean of Graduate School
  • President of the Students' Association
  • AUSA Rep (nominated by Student President)

Quorum: 50%

Membership for 2020/21

  • Karl Leydecker
  • Steve Cannon
  • Neil Vargesson
  • Ruth Taylor
  • Kath Shennan
  • Abbe Brown
  • Kirsty Kiezebrink
  • Marion Campbell
  • Graeme Nixon
  • Ondrej Kucerak
  • Javier González Cuervos
  • Iain McEwan (until September2021)
  • Amy Bryzgel (until September 2021)
  • Scott Styles (until September 2021)
  • Allan Sim (until September 2021)
  • Cheryl Dowie (until September 2022)
  • Georgios Leontidis (until September 2022)
  • 2 vacancies
  • Ondrej Kucerak
  • Clerk: Rachael Bernard



Attendance Records - 2020/21

Membership 11 November 2020
Senior Vice-Principal and Chair Karl Leydecker Present
University Secretary

Steve Cannon

Vice-Chair for Education (AUSA) Javier González Cuervos Apologies
Vice-President for Education (AUSA) Ondrej Kucerak Present
Convener of the University Committee on Teaching and Learning

Ruth Taylor

Convener of the Quality Assurance Committee Kath Shennan Present
Convener of the Research Policy Committee Marion Campbell Apologies
Convener of the Undergraduate Committee

Abbe Brown

Convener of the Postgraduate (Taught) Committee

Kirsty Kiezebrink

Dean of the Graduate School Graeme Nixon Present
Elected Member of Senate Cheryl Dowie Present
Elected Member of Senate Georgios Leontidis Present
Elected Member of Senate Scott Styles Present
Elected Member of Senate Iain McEwan Present
Elected Member of Senate Vacant -
Elected Member of Senate Amy Bryzgel Apologies
Elected Member of Senate Allan Sim Apologies
Elected Member of Senate Vacant -
Senate Assessor on Policy and Resources Committee Vacant -
Senate Assessor on Policy and Resources Committee Vacant -
Clerk Rachael Bernard Present