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University Council

Scheme of Delegations

Last updated: 4 July 2023

(as of June 2023)

1. The Council

1.1. Article 13 of the Articles of Association stipulates that the ‘affairs of the University shall be conducted by the Council who may exercise all such powers of the University as are not by the (Companies) Act or by these Articles required to be exercised by the University in General Meeting….’

2. Powers Which the Council may not Delegate

2.1. Article 14 deals with delegation by the Council, and determines that the Council may not delegate:
a. The determination of the educational character and mission of the University;

b. The approval of the annual estimates of income and expenditure (the budget);

c. Ensuring the solvency of the University and the safeguarding of its assets;

d. The appointment and dismissal of the senior staff (the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy and Pro Vice-Chancellors, the Secretary to Council, and the Senior Chaplain); or

e. The varying or revoking of the Articles of Association of the University.

3. Statement of Primary Responsibilities

3.1. The Council has approved a statement of its primary responsibilities. It is attached as Appendix 1

4. Powers Which the Council has Resolved not to Delegate (sections 4 to 13 inclusive)

4.1. In addition to the matters which the Council may not delegate, the Council has resolved to reserve to itself the following:

5. Constitutional Matters

5.1. Major changes to the organisational structure of the University;
5.2. The establishment or abolition of committees reporting to the Council;
5.3. The appointment of its Chair and Vice-Chair (Article 12);
5.4. The appointment of external members of the Council (Article 9); and
5.5. The appointment of the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor(s) (Article 19).

6. Strategic Planning

6.1. To set and agree the mission, strategy, vision, and values of the University with the Executive;
6.2. The approval of major subsidiary strategies (those which are academic should be recommended by the Academic Board);
6.3. Monitoring and evaluating the performance of the University in delivering the strategic plan.

7. Academic Matters

7.1. To make the annual assurance statement on academic matters as part of the Annual Accountability Return.

8. Financial Matters

8.1. Approval of the financial strategy;
8.2. Decisions on the University’s maximum fee for courses within the scope of the Access and Participation Plan;
8.3. The appointment of the University’s bankers;
8.4. Approval of the Annual Report and Financial Statements;
8.5. Approval of the Annual Corporate Planning Statement and financial Forecasts (statutory return to the Office for Students (OfS));
8.6. Approval of major capital expenditure (in excess of £500,000 if unbudgeted; in excess of £3m for one project if budgeted);
8.7. Approval of leases in excess of 5 years with an annual value in excess of £500k;
8.8. Writing off bad debts in excess of £750K;
8.9. Approval of borrowing limits and facilities; and
8.10. The determination of policy, procedures and rates for any allowances to be paid to members of the Council.

9. Audit and Compliance Matters

9.1. The appointment of the external auditors and the determination of the audit fee;
9.2. The appointment of the internal auditors;
9.3. The setting of the University’s Risk Appetite;
9.4. Approval and monitoring of risk management policies and procedures, in particular the corporate risk register; and
9.5. Approval of the University Health & Safety Policy and consideration of the Annual Report on Health & Safety.

10. Staffing Matters

10.1. Decisions on participation in national arrangements for salaries and other staffing matters; and
10.2. Approval of the remuneration (including levels and rates of Performance Related Pay), terms and conditions of employment and all other benefits, and severance terms for the Vice-Chancellor;
10.3. The framework for the appointment of Staff and the pay and conditions of employment for all members of the Staff (Article 21.1).

11. Matters relating to Students

11.1. The approval of the Students’ Union constitution and any amendments to it (Article 27); and
11.2. Regulations for student conduct and discipline (Article 27.3).

12. Estates and Infrastructure Matters

12.1. The purchase, sale, exchange or leasing of University land and buildings (value over £3m).

13. Other Matters

13.1. The approval and amendment of Council Standing Orders;
13.2. The removal from office of members of the Council (Article 10.4); and
13.3. Constitutional arrangements for the Academic Board (Articles 25 and 26).

14. Delegated Powers


14.1. Where necessary for the good conduct of the University, and when a decision by circulation is not practicable, the Chair may take decisions on behalf of the Council between meetings. Such decisions shall be reported to the next meeting of the Council.

14.2. The appraisal of the VC and the Secretary to Council. Chair

14.3. The submission of reportable events to the Office for Students PVC (GSA)

14.4. The use of the University seal, in accordance with agreed procedures. PVC (GSA)

14.5. Maintenance of the Register of Council Members’ Interests. PVC (GSA)

Academic Matters

14.6. Conferral (and withdrawal) of academic awards (other than research degrees). PABs

14.7. Conferral and withdrawal of all Research awards. URDC

14.8. Approval of academic regulations. AB

Finance (in accordance with processes outlined in the University’s Financial Regulations)

14.9. Approval of Financial Policy and Regulations. F&GPC

14.10. Responsibility for non-regulated tuition fees UEC

14.11. Strategic monitoring of the University’s overall financial position . F&GPC

14.12. Agreement of Treasury Management Policy. F&GPC

14.13. Agreement of Investment Policy and appointment of investment managers. F&GPC

14.14. Approval of major capital expenditure in excess of £750K and up to £3M F for one project if budgeted. F&GPC

14.15. Approval of leases in excess of 5 years with an annual value in excess of £250k and up to £500k. F&GPC

14.16. Financial allocations to schools/departments. UEC

14.17. Financial allocations to services. UEC

14.18. Writing off bad debts in excess of £100K and up to £750K. F&GPC

14.19. Writing off bad debts in excess of £30k and up to £100k. VC

14.20. Writing off bad debts of £30k or less. CFO

14.21. Ensuring insurance of premises, assets of the University. UEC

14.22. The establishment and closure of subsidiary companies, and the arrangements for their constitution including oversight of their financial results and the impact on the University. F&GPC

14.23. Investment in other entities up to £3M and oversight of the financial impact on the University .F&GPC

14.24. Approval for the opening or closing of bank accounts. F&GPC

14.25. Approval of bank signatories. F&GPC

14.26. Appointment of the University’s insurers . HR and Staffing Matters F&GPC

14.27. Approval of the remuneration (including levels and rates of Performance Related Pay), terms and conditions of employment and all other benefits, and severance payments for all members of University Executive Committee (with the exception of the Vice-Chancellor). RHRC

14.28. Appointment of Deans. VC

14.29. Appointment of Professors. VC

14.30. Appointment of Heads of Academic Schools. VC/DVC

14.31. Appointment of Senior Non-Academic Staff. Exec Mbr

14.32. Operation of and minor changes to health & safety policy. Audit and Compliance UEC

14.33. To report to Council on the adequacy and effectiveness of the University’s arrangements for:

14.34. The investigation of any activity within its terms of reference. A&R Cttee

14.35. Approval of the nature and scope of the external audit. A&R Cttee

14.36. Approval of the internal audit needs assessment and audit plan. A&R Cttee

14.37. Strategic oversight of anti-fraud and anti-money laundering policies. A&R Cttee

14.38. Strategic oversight of value for money policy. A&R Cttee

Student Matters

14.39. Student Complaints procedure – operation and changes. AB

14.40. Student disciplinary procedures – operation. SR

14.41. Determining student residence fees. UEC

Media / PR Matters

14.42. Authorisation of media releases. DCMSR

14.43. Approval of the use of the University logo. DCMSR

15. Powers delegated to the Vice-Chancellor

15.1. Article 18.4 gives the VC the following powers and duties:

a. Making proposals to the Council about the educational character and mission of the University and for implementing the decisions of the Council;

b. The organisation, direction and management of the University and leadership of the staff;

c. The appointment, assignment, grading, appraisal, suspension, dismissal and determination – within the framework set by the Council – of the pay and conditions of service of staff other than Senior Staff;

d. The determination, after consultation with the Academic Board, of the University’s academic activities, and for the determination of its other activities;

e. Preparing annual estimates of income and expenditure, for consideration by the Council, and for the management of budgets and resources, within the estimates approved by the Council; and

f. The maintenance of student discipline and, within the rules and procedures provided within the Articles, for the suspension and expulsion of students on disciplinary grounds and for implementing decisions to expel students for academic reasons.

15.2. The Vice-Chancellor may delegate any or all the powers in paragraph 15.1, other than where the Articles or the Regulations of the Council prohibit such delegation.

15.3. The Vice-Chancellor also has the responsibilities of the ‘Accountable Officer’ as set out by the Office for Students in Regulatory advice 10: Accountable officers Guidance for providers on the responsibilities of accountable officers.

15.4. The Council has also delegated the following specific powers to the Vice-Chancellor:
a. Expenditure authority up to £750k. (in accordance with processes outlined in the University’s Financial Regulations).

b. The appointment of the University’s legal advisors.

16. Powers delegated to the Academic Board

16.1. On the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor, the Council has delegated the following powers to the Academic Board:
a. Advising on the educational character and mission, and the strategic development of the academic work of the University;

b. The conferral of academic awards;

c. Oversight of the academic work and activities of the University;

e. Safeguarding and enhancing academic standards through effective quality assurance processes;

f. The termination of enrolment of students for academic reasons (Article 28);

g. Responses to external bodies relating to the academic work of the University;

h. Providing assurance to Council on all academic matters, including those listed above, to enable the Council to make the annual assurance statement on academic matters as part of the Annual Accountability Return.

16.2. A note of the abbreviations used is given in Appendix 2.

Appendix 1 – Statement of Primary Responsibilities

Appendix 2

Scheme of Delegations – Abbreviations used in the scheme

AB                                      Academic Board

A&R Cttee                        Audit and Risk Committee

CFO                                    Chief Financial Officer

DCMSR                              Director of Communications, Marketing, and Student Recruitment

DVC                                   Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Exec Mbr                          Appropriate member of Executive Team

F&GPC                               Finance and General Purposes Committee

PABs                                  Progression and Award Boards

PVC (GSA)                         Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Governance and Student Affairs)

RHRC                                 Remuneration and Human Resources Committee

SR                                       Student Registrar

UEC                                    University Executive Committee

URDC                                 University Research Degrees Committee

VC                                      Vice-Chancellor

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