Record

LevelSeries
Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)UB/MC/B
TitleRecords of Mason College Council and council sub-committees
Extent25 volumes and 2 files
Date1880-1900
DescriptionThis section comprises records of meetings of the Mason College Council, and of its main sub-committees, together with reports of sub-committees and other bodies to Council. It largely consists of minutes of Mason College Council and Mason University College Council, and minutes of the main sub-committees reporting to Council, the Library committee; House, Education and Discipline committee later Education committee; and Finance and General Purposes committee. There are also minutes of sub-committees appointed to manage the transfer of the medical department of Queen's College Birmingham to Mason College in 1892 together with associated papers of the Building sub-committee and joint committee of Queen's College and Mason College, and minutes of commitees appointed to manage the campaign for the proposed University of Birmingham from 1898 to 1900. In addition to minutes, the section also contains sequences of bound volumes of reports presented to Mason College Council by sub-committees and other bodies reporting to Council, together with supporting papers referred to in the minutes. Draft versions of many of these reports also survive as loose documents gathered together in files. Finally, there is a volume recording the names of members attending meetings of meetings of Mason College Council sub-committees between 1898 and 1900

There are no surviving minutes of Mason College Council before February 1881, but minutes of both the Library committee and the Finance and General Purposes committee begin in 1880. Mason College Council became Mason University College Council in 1898, but it and its sub-committees continued to function with few changes in their structure or responsibilities.

Records of Mason College Council provide an overview of the way in which the college was managed, its financial position, decision making processes, and the expansion of courses offered to students particularly with the transfer of the medical department of Queen's College to Mason College in 1892. There is also evidence of the function of the Council as the dominant body within the College, gathering power at the expense of the Board of Trustees after the opening of Mason College in 1880, and relinquishing authority over educational matters to the Academic Board later Senate only gradually during the 1880s and 1890s. These records also provide an insight into aims of the movement for the institution to be granted the power to award degrees and the associated campaign for the establishment of the University of Birmingham through the minutes of the committees appointed to manage the process.
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryThere are references in minutes of the Board of Trustees from the 1870s to a Council, which apparently consisted of all the trustees. No minutes survive from this period, and it seems that Council did not meet as a separate body until 23 February 1881, the date of the first recorded meeting, at which the Bailiff and two other trustees were appointed a Finance and General Purposes committee and the other trustees were appointed a Library committee and a House committee. Mason College Council was established to run the college, and dealt with matters affecting the arrangements and management of the institution. Council confirmed and signed minutes of special meetings of the Board of Trustees and dealt with matters referred to them by the Trustees or decided by the Trustees and then passed on to Council committees to deal with.

Questions relating to the alteration of buildings and the furnishing of additional rooms were to be referred to the House, Education and Discipline committee with the approval of Council, and they also seem to have considered the appointment of members of academic staff, though Council confirmed the appointments and authorised the House, Education and Discipline committee to deal with the practical aspects of recruitment. Some matters were referred by Council to the Trustees for decisions. Minutes of a meeting held on 8 February 1882 record that reports of Council sub-committees were read at Council meetings, and copies of these reports were included in the Report books, which are the volumes described at UB/MC/B/3/1 and UB/MC/B/3/3.

The Bailiff of Mason College was also the President of the Council and was responsible for preparing reports, based on the minutes, for presentation to the Trustees at the annual meeting. The President was an ex-officio member of all committees. Council dealt with the election of the Bailiff, and the election of Council members to serve on Council sub-committees.