Council is the governing body of the University. It is the legal entity and ultimate authority of the University and it is unambiguously and collectively accountable for institutional activities, taking all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern within its remit.
Council members fulfil their roles in accordance with the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances. Sector expectations and requirements for Council are set out in the CUC-HE Code of Governance and the OfS Regulatory Framework.
The Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) is the formal Secretary of the University. Any enquiries about the constitution and governance of the University should be addressed to her via the Director of Strategic Planning and Deputy Secretary, Simon Jennings, on email@example.com.
Council are collectively responsible for the University. Members need to be satisfied that processes and procedures are in place which are sufficient and effective in running the business of the University. As the University is an exempt charity, all Council members are Trustees of the University.
Learn more about our governing body including the role of Council members and biographies on the members by visiting our Council members page.
Read about the diversity of our current Board composition through our Council Diversity Monitoring Annual Report 2023.
Council members also complete a form for inclusion in the Register of Interests.
Charter and Statutes
The constitutional framework within which we operate is based upon our Charter, Statutes and Ordinances.
The Charter, first granted in 1964, sets out the purpose and powers of the University. The Statutes underpin the Charter and both the Charter and the Statutes are approved by the Privy Council.
Ordinances support the Charter and Statutes and are created and approved by the Council. Other regulations may be created and approved by Council or by other committees on delegated authority from the Council.
Minutes of Council
Please note that the minutes are usually published following formal approval at the next meeting.
- Delegation of Authorities
Council Standing Orders
The Council Standing Orders are the written rules which regulate the proceedings of Council.
The Standing Orders for committees are the rules on the way in which the business of those committees, in particular the Council, the Senate and their sub-committees, are conducted, for example, rules of debate, methods of voting, powers of the chair, etc. The Standing Orders for committees were approved at Council in May 2022 and have been created for all sub-committees to simplify and standardise the approach, while allowing for individual committee requirements where needed.
Council Sub-Committees terms of reference and membership lists are available here.
Council Effectiveness Review
The University’s Council is embarking on a review of its effectiveness. The review will be led by an external, independent review team from higher education specialists AdvanceHE.
The effectiveness review has been commissioned as part of Council’s commitment to best practice and continuous improvement.
Council has established a Council Effectiveness Steering Group chaired by Deputy Pro-Chancellor Professor Ella Ritchie. This group has developed the scope and brief for the review based on Council’s feedback.
Review activity will include:
- the observation of a range of governance meetings including Council and some of its sub committees;
- an assessment of key documentation;
- interviews and surveys with members of Council, Executive and regular contributors to Council business;
- benchmarking against the sector.
Key areas of focus for the review include:
- how Council is supported and developed to ensure that its members have the combined skills to tackle current and emerging issues given the complex and challenging operating environment for universities and, to ensure that the most is being made of Council members’ skills, experience and expertise in delivering the University’s strategy;
- its impact and performance and how this can be enhanced;
- ways to innovate management of Council’s business to ensure that it is agile, and makes best use of its time while meeting OfS requirements and aspirations;
- how Council can most effectively engage with new, emerging areas of business and governance.
Council expects to receive its effectiveness review report early in 2023, when it will establish a Steering Group to consider how to implement any recommendations. The review outcomes will also be published on the Staff Intranet for all members of the University community.
The initial point of contact for any queries about the Council effectiveness review is Claire Geddes, Head of Governance Services.