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Board of Governors

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Board of Governors membership consists of independent members, who must make up the majority of the Board, in addition to staff and student representatives and a nominee from the local council and a representative with a specialist background in Education.  Independent governors are appointed for a three-year term and can serve a maximum of three terms.  While staff representatives can serve for consecutive two-year terms.  The student representatives change every year as these are ex-officio posts attached to the roles of the President of the Students Union and the Student Representative Officer. The Instrument of Government sets out the full requirements in relation to Board of Governor membership.

The University's Articles of Government summarise the responsibilities of the Board of Governors:-

  • the determination of the educational character and mission of the University and for oversight of its activities
  • the effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the University
  • approving annual estimates of income and expenditure

The full Statement of Primary Responsibilities for the Board of Governors is set out here.

Meetings of the Board of Governors and its associated Committees are serviced by the Legal and Governance Team. Meetings of the Board take place usually 6 times per year.

The Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Governors must be independent governors, although they are elected by the whole of the Board.

The process for the appointment of independent members will be made available in updated format soon but in the interim, the Nominations Committee will be happy to consider any suggestions. The names of suitable individuals with Sunderland/regional connections would be especially welcome. The University is committed to promoting principles of Equality and Diversity in order to achieve balance within the overall membership of the Board. It would therefore welcome the nomination of members of currently under-represented groups on the Board. Suggestions should be submitted in writing in an envelope marked “strictly confidential” to: Andrea Walters, University Secretary and Director of Human Resources, University of Sunderland Edinburgh Building, Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD.

Please also see the below guide provided by Advance HE on broadening the diversity of boards; (please note this will take you to external content).

View our Slideshare with five top tips on supporting women to achieve board appointments in both HE and other sectors, and find out more about where to go for further help and advice.

Published: 14 February 2019

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