What is the Council and what does it do?
The University Council is the principal executive and policy-making body of the University. It has overall responsibility for the administration of the University, for defining its mission, for planning its work and for the management of its resources. It has the power to take such action as is necessary to discharge these responsibilities and, in carrying out its functions, consults the Regent House on questions of both decisions and policy.
The Council oversees relations between the University and both Colleges and outside bodies on many matters (other than those relating directly to the education and research programmes of the University, which are dealt with by the General Board). In carrying out its business, the Council is advised by an underpinning committee structure and is responsible for the appointment or nomination of certain members of various committees and for many student matters.
The Council has two statutory committees - the Audit Committee and the Finance Committee [cam-only]. The latter, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and including a number of external members, has powers delegated to it by the Council to advise on the management of the University's assets, including real property, monies and securities.
Who is on the Council?
The Council comprises the Chancellor (who does not usually attend), the Vice-Chancellor (who generally chairs), nineteen elected members and four external members, one of whom chairs the Audit Committee. The Registrary acts as secretary of the Council. The University is an exempt charity and therefore has charitable status; since the Council has responsibility for the general control and management of its administration, Council members are regarded as the University's charity trustees as well as the directors of the University as a corporate body. On election or appointment to the Council, members take on significant legal responsibilities and duties.