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Terms of Reference

The approved Terms of Reference of the Knowledge Strategy Committee.

1. Purpose

To oversee the University’s knowledge management activities in the areas of library, information technology, technology enhanced learning, management information and e-administration (hereafter described as the University’s ‘Information Space’) on behalf of Court and Senate; and to give initial consideration to and advise on any other Court or Senate business in respect of the University’s knowledge management activities.

2. Composition

2.1 The Committee shall consist of twelve members.

2.2 The Chief Information Officer shall be an ex officio member of the Committee.

2.3 The Students’ Association shall appoint, on an annual basis, a representative to be a member of the Committee. This will normally be the Vice-President Education of the Students’ Association who will remain a member of the Committee for the length of their term of office.

2.4 The other members of the Committee shall consist of: five members appointed by Court and five members appointed by Senate.

2.5 Court shall appoint members of the Knowledge Strategy Committee on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee.

2.6 Senate shall appoint members of the Knowledge Strategy Committee on the recommendation of the Knowledge Strategy Committee.

2.7 The term of office of members appointed by Court will be for a maximum of three years.

2.8 The term of office of Senate members will be for a maximum of three years.

2.9 Previous members are eligible for re-appointment up to a normal maximum of two consecutive terms of office.

2.10 The Convener of the Knowledge Strategy Committee will be a lay member of Court appointed by Court and Senate on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee.

2.11 All members of the Knowledge Strategy Committee are expected to comply with the University’s Code of Conduct as set out in the University’s Handbook and declare any interests which may conflict with their responsibilities as members of the Knowledge Strategy Committee.

2.12 Senior Responsible Officers for major non-estate projects that involve IT and/or business process change may be in attendance at the Committee; other Senior Officers of the University may also be in attendance in particular the Deputy Secretary, Strategic Planning and the Head of Knowledge Management and Planning.

2.13 Other individuals from within or out with the University may also be invited to attend meetings from time to time to provide the Committee with information on specific items on the agenda.

3. Meetings

3.1 The Committee will meet as required to fulfil its remit and will meet at least twice in each academic year. Meetings may be held in person or virtually by the means of videoconference, teleconference or other means. With the prior approval of the Convener of the Committee urgent matters may be considered through correspondence.

3.2 Meetings will be timetabled on an annual basis and will take account of the schedule for Court and Senate meetings to ensure appropriate reporting.

3.3 Minutes, agendas and papers will normally be circulated to members of the Committee at least five working days in advance of the meeting. Late papers may be circulated up to two days before the meeting. Only in the case of extreme urgency and with the agreement of the Convener will papers be tabled at meetings of the Committee.

3.4 Non-contentious or urgent matters not on the agenda may be considered at a meeting subject to the agreement of the Convener of the meeting and the majority of members present.

3.5 Minutes, agendas and papers will also be circulated to those routinely in attendance at meetings at least four working days in advance of the meeting unless the originator of the paper otherwise determines. Any other person in attendance at the meeting will be issued with papers appropriate to their reason for attendance.

3.6 Papers will indicate the originator/s and purpose of the paper, the matter/s which the Committee is being asked to consider and any action/s required and confirm the status of the paper in respect of freedom of information legislation.

3.7 Four members of the Committee shall be a quorum. This number must include two Senate appointed members and two Court appointed members. One of the Court appointed members shall be appointed Convener by the majority of members present for the duration of the meeting should the Convener not be present.

3.8 A formal minute will be kept of proceedings and submitted for approval at the next meeting of the Committee. The draft minute will be agreed with the Convener of the Committee prior to circulation and in the case of the absence of the Convener at a meeting the Committee member appointed to act as Convener for the duration of that specific meeting.

4. Remit

4.1 To oversee, on behalf of the Court and Senate, the University’s knowledge management activities as they apply to the Information Space. In particular:

4.1.1 To oversee the University’s major IT-based projects; and advise, as appropriate, the Court and the Senate on the proper control and management thereof;

4.1.2 To oversee the University’s strategic IT and Library spends. The Knowledge Strategy Committee can approve, in accordance with the levels as set out in the approved delegated authorisation schedule, the following:

4.1.2.1 Acquisition of IT hardware/software and library materials;

4.1.2.2 Award of and payments for all goods, services and/or works contracts for non-estate related projects;

4.1.3 To advise, as appropriate, the Court and the Senate on any related factors, whether internal or external to the University, which might have a significant effect on the University’s information space; and to report to the Court and Senate as appropriate.

4.2 To advise on the strategic direction for the University’s Information Space, bringing together academic, physical, and financial aspects; further to ensure that priorities are clearly aligned to the University’s Strategic Plan and will support the delivery of the core strategic goals; and to monitor progress against agreed targets and in particular:

4.2.1 To advise the Court and Senate, as necessary, on the strategic direction for the University’s Information Space;

4.2.2 To monitor the performance and activities of the Library Committee, Information Technology Committee, and University Collections Advisory Committee, and report thereon to Court. In particular:

4.2.2.1 The Information Technology Committee will provide detailed reports on IT incidents to enable the Knowledge Strategy Committee to effectively monitor and make recommendations regarding IT incidents and to enable further reporting to the Audit and Risk Committee.

5. Other

5.1 The Committee will from time to time undertake a review of its own performance and effectiveness as part of the overall review of Court, Senate and their Committees and report thereon to Court and Senate.

5.2 In order to fulfil its remit the Committee may obtain external professional advice as necessary.

5.3 Reports on the main points discussed at each meeting will be provided to the subsequent meeting of Court and Senate, for information or for ratification as appropriate.

5.4 An Annual Information Systems Assurance Report and other appropriate monitoring reports will be provided to the Audit and Risk Committee to enable that Committee to provide assurances as part of the Annual Accounting process.

5.5 Agendas, papers and approved minutes will be published on the University’s website in accordance with the University’s agreed publication scheme and status of the above listed in respect of freedom of information legislation. This will include details on the membership of the Committee and attendance at Committee meetings.

5.6 To undertake such other responsibilities as the Court may determine.

Last amended 23 September 2020