How to become an independent governor

Role description for Governors


Members of the Governing Council are known as Governors and are expected to have a deep intrinsic interest and commitment to promoting the benefits of further and higher education. The Clerk to the Council acts as the link between Governors and the University. The Clerk services all of the committees and corresponds with Governors. 

Period of Service

Independent governors are appointed for terms of office of up to three years. They may be re-appointed for two further terms of three years leading to a total of nine years of service. If they are appointed as Chair of Skills Committee, Chair of Council or Vice-Chair of Council, then the membership clock is reset. However, there is a maximum total period of service which is set at 15 years.

Staff governors have the same responsibilities as independent governors although there are some restrictions as to which committees they may serve. Although staff governors are expected to give views on matters informed by their perspective and experience as members of staff, they are not expected to formally represent the views of staff in the manner of a staff representative. Staff governors normally serve one three-year term of office.  However, Governing Council may invite a staff governor to serve a second term of up to three years if s/he is willing to continue. The total maximum possible period of service is six years. Staff governors cannot serve as Chairman of Council or any committee of Council or Vice-Chairman of Council.

Governor Benefits

The University may only confer benefits on governors for acting as a governor, if the benefit has been authorised by the Governing Council in accordance with the Articles of Association.

The principal tasks are as follows: 

  1. To attend the meetings of Governing Council and advise on educational character and academic direction and other strategic matters. View a full list of the Primary Responsibilities of Governing Council.
  2. To serve on one or more committee(s) of the Governing Council, if invited to do so by the Chair of the Governing Council. Each Committee meets three or four times each year.
  3. To promote good relations between the University and the private, public and voluntary organisations in the region.
  4. To participate in:
    • Meetings of the University Court which meets up to three times each year
    • The residential strategy meeting with the Corporate Management Team and Academic Board held each year
    • The annual Awards Ceremonies held each year.
  5. To participate in induction and other development events which help to build an understanding and knowledge of and further and higher education in the context of the University.

The total commitment averages between 10 and 20 days a year but is greater than this for those who take on the responsibility of chairing a committee. The governors may claim reimbursement of expenses incurred in the role of governor. 

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