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Governance and Structure

​​​​​The University Executive Committee is responsible for all matters associated with the development and management of the university.

Role description: Senior Independent Governor

Last updated: 17 April 2023

The role of Senior Independent Governor (SIG) is designed to support and enhance good governance in the operation of Council and its sub-committees. The position is designed to support the work of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and members of Council through acting as an informal sounding board and source of advice. In performing their duties, the SIG will need to be sensitive to the potential for their position to conflict with the role of Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary to Council.

The role of the SIG is different to the Vice Chair. While the Vice Chair is part of the leadership of Council, and may deputise for the Chair as required, the SIG is an experienced sounding board for the Chair and other Council Members. The role of the SIG is primarily informal and advisory.

To perform their role, it is expected that the SIG will have considerable experience of governance. Ideally, they will have held the position of Chair in a governance position.

Criteria for appointment as SIG

  1. The SIG is appointed by Council on the recommendation of Governance and Nominations Committee.
  2. The SIG shall be an External Member of Council.
  3. The SIG shall not hold another substantive position on Council, i.e. the SIG shall not be the Chair of Council, the Vice-Chair of Council, or the Chair of one of the Council sub-committees. However, the SIG may be a Vice-Chair of one of the Council sub-committees.
  4. The SIG shall be an ex officio member of the Governance and Nominations Committee

Functions of the SIG

  1. To be a sounding board for the Chair and Secretary on good governance and the operation of Council in an informal and advisory capacity.
  2. To conduct the annual review of the Chair of Council, informed as appropriate by feedback from Council members, members of the Executive, and any other key stakeholders which interact with the Chair.
  3. To discuss the outcome of the annual review of the Chair’s performance with the Chair, identifying areas of strength as well as improvements which could be made in their leadership of Council.
  4. To present a report on the annual review of the Chair to Governance and Nominations Committee.
  5. To be available to any Council Member or member of the Executive, whether individually or collectively, should they wish to raise concerns confidentially about any matter connected with the operation of Council or its sub-committees. In such circumstances, the SIG is expected to listen to the concerns being raised and offer such advice and feedback as they feel appropriate. The SIG is not expected to act in response to listening to such concerns though they may, in exceptional circumstances, act as an intermediary between two or more parties.
  6. To undertake such other duties as may, from time-to-time, be assigned by the Council.

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