Governance of University of Warwick

Governance of University of Warwick

The University of Warwick is governed by three formal bodies: the Court, Council and the Senate. In addition to these, a Strategy Committee and a Steering Committee provide strategic leadership in between meetings of the formal bodies. Faculties are overseen by Faculty Boards which report to the Senate. The Principal Officers of the University have responsibility for day-to-day operations of the University.


The University Court is chaired by the Chancellor, Sir Nicholas Scheele. It meets once a year to receive the Vice-Chancellor's Annual Report and appoints the Chancellor on the recommendation of the Council and the Senate. While the Court has a large membership, with many representatives from the local community, it is not involved in the day to day running of the institution, rather it is a ceremonial body which promotes the work of the University.


The Council is the executive governing body of the University with particular managerial responsibilities for finance and the University estate, and also a more general remit to oversee the conduct of University business in concert with the Senate. The Council, which meets up to five times each year, is chaired by the Pro-Chancellor, Mr John Leighfield, and has a full membership of 33, a majority of whom are lay members drawn from the professions, business and industry and local authorities, who bring a range of experience and professional expertise to the work of the University.

In order to carry out its responsibilities, and ensure the necessary dialogue with the Senate, the Council has specialist standing committees, principal amongst which are the Finance and General Purposes Committee and the Building Committee. The detailed work of the Council is mostly carried out through these standing committees, the Strategy Committee and a range of Council sub-committees, usually with a mixture of lay and academic membership, which have an important role in overseeing the conduct of specific areas of business, e.g. Audit Committee.


The Senate is the supreme academic authority of the University. Whilst the Council is ultimately accountable for the efficient management and good conduct of all aspects of the University's operation, within that the Senate has responsibility for the academic activities of the University including all aspects of the operations of the University that have a bearing on teaching, research and the welfare, supervision and discipline of students.

The Senate is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and has a full membership of 48 elected from the Faculty Boards and the Assembly. Membership also includes three representatives from the Union of Students. The Senate meets up to five times each year and the greater part of its business arises from reports from the range of Senate committees responsible for specific academic matters eg. Academic Quality and Standards Committee, Board of Graduate Studies. The Senate also oversees the work of the four Faculty Boards as well as the Research Centres and Institutes.

trategy Committee

The Senate and the Council have established a joint Strategy Committee to advise on strategic issues and matters of forward planning. Strategy Committee has a specific concern to ensure that interrelated questions of academic, financial and physical planning are considered in conjunction

teering Committee

The Senate Steering Committee, commonly referred to the Steering Committee, comprising the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the four Pro-Vice-Chancellors, the Chairs of the Faculty Boards, Chair of the Graduate School and the President of the Union of Students, meets on a weekly basis during term time and as required during vacations. The Committee's main responsibilities are to make recommendations to the Senate on items of business arising from more junior bodies and to act on behalf of the Senate in 'steering' business which arises between meetings of the Senate to the appropriate University officers and bodies.

Faculty Boards

The Boards of the Faculties of Arts, Medicine, Science and Social Studies are headed by elected Chairs, appointed on an annual basis but with the expectation that a Chair will serve for a minimum of three years. Membership of each of the Faculty Boards is drawn from representatives of academic departments and research centres within each Faculty. The Faculty Boards are responsible to the Senate for academic matters within the Faculty, i.e. teaching, research, curricula and examinations.


The Assembly of the University has the power to:

appoint six members of the University's academic staff to the Senate. make recommendations to the Council or to the Senate on any matter relating to the University, including any matters referred to it by the Council or by the Senate.

Principal Officers of the University of Warwick

Sir Nicholas Scheele, BA Dur, Hon DBA Cov, Hon DUniv C.England, Hon DTech Lond, Hon LLD Liv, Hon DSc Warw, Hon DTech Lough, Hon DSc Cran, Hon RCM, Hon FIMechE

Pro-ChancellorJ.P. Leighfield CBE, MA Oxf, HonDUniv C. England, HonDTech De Montfort, FBCS, FIDPM, FInstD, FRSA

Vice-ChancellorProfessor Nigel Thrift, BA Wales, MA Oxf, PhD DSc Brist, FBA

Deputy Vice-ChancellorProfessor S.B. Palmer, BSc, PhD, DSc Sheff, CEng, CPhys, FInstP, FIEE, FRSA, FRAEng

TreasurerC. Foy, BA Liv

Pro-Vice-ChancellorsProfessor Susan Bassnett, BA Manc, PhD LancProfessor John Jones, BSc Manc, MSc, DPhil OxfProfessor Robert Lindley, BSc, MSc Lond, PhD WarwMichael Whitby, MA, DPhil Oxf

RegistrarJon Baldwin, BA CNNA, MBA Open, Hon DLitt UMIST, FCIS, MIMgt, FRSA

LibrarianA.Bell, BA E.Anglia, MA Sheff

Finance DirectorTo be appointed

Academic RegistrarDr D. Law, BA Sus, MPhil Glas, PhD Keele

University SecretaryC.E.Charlton, BA Kent, MA Warw

Director of Personnel ServicesD.D.Beaton, BA Manc, MBA Dund, DMS

External links

* [ University of Warwick Governance Website]

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