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Effectiveness of the Board of Governors

Effectiveness of the Board of Governors

The importance of good corporate governance has come to the fore in recent years in both the private and public sectors. Reports from national inquiries have made recommendations on standards of behaviour.

The post-1992 universities are Higher Education Corporations whose governing bodies are entrusted with public funds. They have a particular duty to ensure that they are fulfilling the highest standards of corporate governance at all times and discharging their responsibilities with due regard for the proper conduct of public business. Institutions of Higher Education were among the public spending bodies examined by the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life. Members of such bodies are therefore expected to observe the Seven Principles of Public Life drawn up by that Committee which are Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.

The Committee of University Chairs (CUC) Guide for Members of Governing Bodies (December 2014) recommended regular reviews of governing bodies' effectiveness and of the institutions' performance, with published reports on the outcomes.

The Governance Code of Practise of the CUC states that

Every higher education institution shall be headed by an effective governing body which is unambiguously and collectively responsible for overseeing the institution's activities.

Adopting the CUC Code of Practice

The Board of Governors agreed to adopt the CUC Governance Code in July 2005.

Evaluation of a Governing Body's Effectiveness

In line with the CUC Code an evaluation of a governing body’s effectiveness should be carried out every four years. The last review was carried out in 2020/21 and the reports executive summary is available to view (PDF, 187.1KB).

Reviews of committee effectiveness are carried out annually and are reported in an annual report to the Board of Governors.

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