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How should I set out my Paper?

There is a new UEB cover sheet template (MS Word , 54kb) which should be used for all items presented to formal Board meetings.

You can either download a Microsoft word version direct from the web or use the Google Doc template. To download the Google Doc template, open Google Docs on a new tab, Open the Template Gallery, then Jump to the Category Reports and Proposals. Make a copy and save it and remember to give editing rights to Gill Gibbins when you share it with her.

Sponsors or Authors are expected to complete the cover sheet in line with this guidance prior to submission to the Governance and Regulation Officer (Gill Gibbins).

The structure of the content of the item itself following the cover sheet should adopt the following headings:  

Section 1 (Cover sheet)

Section 2 (Background and Context)

Section 3 (Discussion)

Section 4 (Proposals and Recommendations)

Section 5 (Next Steps).

Central to a paper being clear is that the recommendations made in it are specific, accurate, not unduly complex or multiple in nature, and within the Board’s authority. They should be formulated using one of the four verbs below. Please don’t use more than one in a single recommendation, avoid multiple and recommendations in a paper (more than three recommendation will normally lose the reader), and always provide a direct and clear steer to the Board as part of the recommendation, particularly where a choice of options or scenarios are posed in your paper. Your professional opinion is sought, and should come through in what is written, in the context of alternative options.

To Approve

Example: The Board is asked to approve the Due Diligence Policy.'

 

There is normally only one approving body, unless in a rare situation joint approval is required, e.g., of Senate and Council. In the case of the Board, if you are asking for the Board's approval, this means it is the final approving point for the item, and is not then subject to approval by a higher body in the committee system, such as Finance Committee. If the item needs to go upwards for approval then you are not asking the Board to approve it. See ‘endorse’ below.

To Endorse

Example: 'The Board is asked to endorse the Treasury Management Policy for onward approval by Finance Committee.’

 

Endorsement becomes a recommendation and a green light to support subsequent approval by another body. Bodies should not be endorsing an item if it has already been approved by a body senior or junior to it, unless there are exceptional reasons for this, such as the fact it should have been considered by another body ahead of its approval.

To Consider

Example: 'The Board is asked to consider access and participation data for the period XX to XX.'

 

To consider an item implies active reflection and some discussion, but falls sort of the need for ‘endorsement’ or ‘approval’.

 

To Note

Example: 'The Board is asked to note UUK International Unit’s Annual Report for 2020.’

 

As stated elsewhere, items and recommendations which ask the Board ‘to note’ should be kept a minimum as it is a largely redundant recommendation, unless a specific point needs to be acknowledged on record. If an item is produced where the intention is to ‘note’, and there are no specific areas for the Board's discussion or decision which need to be drawn out, then Sponsors and Authors may wish to consider whether it needs to be presented to the Board in the first place, or whether it should be shared with relevant Board members on a ‘need to know’ basis.

 

Additional Points to note:

All paragraphs in the main report following the cover sheet should be clearly numbered. 

The preferred font used for items is Calibri. Cambria may be used for headings, but the main body of text should be in Calibri (size 11).

As the Board receives its papers as one pack of combined documents, links contained within papers are sometimes broken. The full link address should be included as a footnote, so that Board members can access the referenced pages.

Sponsors of items are responsible for finalising and signing off their papers and confirming this, ensuring necessary consultation is undertaken with senior colleagues, including the Vice-Chancellor ahead of final submission.

Sponsors are encouraged to seek, or may be offered advice on the content of their paper pre-submission of their final paper from the Secretary to the Board or the Vice-Chancellor. The reason we ask for the paper to be submitted in advance of the meeting is to allow for post-submission review. Items may be referred back or withdrawn from the meeting if they are not considered ready or relevant for circulation. The final decision on this is the Vice-Chancellor as Chair of the Board.

Late papers after the deadline will be considered via the Secretary to the Board (Adam Dawkins). For the benefit of all colleagues, we hope that late papers are exceptional but necessary feature of agile and responsive decision-making by the Board.

 

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