Jock's Backroom Blog

Views from the Backroom, and the Classroom, at Oxford Brookes University

Discretion and valour

Posted by Jock Coats on February 5th, 2010

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that the post from a couple of days ago about some of the details of the reorganisation of schools has disappeared.  The relevant people for whom it was primarily intended – the heads of the departments in the School of the Built Environment – had seen it (I can tell from the server logs!) as had many colleagues in the School.

But I notice today, having received paperwork for next week’s governors meeting that the issue is still marked down as part of the confidential section of the agenda.  Personally I am no fan of “confidential agendas” – though I can see why in certain cases where some kind of commercial contract is involved that could jeopardise our position in a proposed deal if it got out may need to be confidential.  It happened at the city council as well – though I seem to recall that “confidential” there did not apply to staff of the council, only the public’s presence at the meeting.

Anyway, I have got into a bit of hot water previously about discussing confidential items, albeit more publicly than on this blog, so for the moment, and until I clarify the situation, I have taken the post down.  On 19th January I did ask the V-C whether I could now talk more openly about the reorganisation and she said at that time “give it another couple of weeks” in order for Executive Board and the Deans to have a chance to see the proposals first.  Two weeks was up on Tuesday of this week, but although I think I have covered myself, I want to get further clarification given its appearance on the confidential agenda for next week.

That said, if you want to discuss it, or read the piece for yourself (and it really does mostly apply to SBE rather than the whole university), mail me or call me and I’ll forward it to you: I just feel it might be best not in such a public arena as a blog that anyone on the planet can find!