Board of Governors


What is the Board of Governors and what does it do?

The University governing body is appointed under the provisions of the Education Reform Act 1988. It is collectively responsible for overseeing the University activities, determining its future direction, and fostering an environment in which its mission is achieved and the potential of all learners is maximised.

Go to top

Who makes up the Board?

The Board of Governors comprises up to a maximum of 25 individuals, which includes the Vice-Chancellor. Up to two are staff governors appointed from amongst University staff following election, and up to two are student governors, appointed under the constitution of Coventry University Students’ Union. The remaining members of the Board of Governors are independent.

The Vice-Chancellor is distinguished from all other members of the Board on the basis that they have the right to be a member by virtue of office, a right which the present Vice-Chancellor has taken up. The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board, together with the Chairs of Committees are elected by the Board itself. Staff and student governors are appointed as full Governors, in the same way as the other appointed members.

Go to top

What is the structure of the Board and how does it work?

The nature and complexity of the Board's responsibilities means that it is not practical for the Board to undertake all of the activities. Therefore, the Board has delegated some of its powers and responsibilities to Committees, which consider and determine specific matters on its behalf. The University has seven main Committees:

Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee

This Committee is responsible for considering matters relating to the detailed development of University Group strategy and the determination of large scale and reputationally sensitive capital developments.

It determines matters in respect of the financial affairs of the University, including ensuring the solvency of the University and safeguarding its assets, approving the financial strategy, approving annual operating plans and budgets which reflect the Corporate Plan, ensuring that funds are used in accordance with the Funding Council's Financial Memorandum and approving the annual accounts.

It is also responsible for the oversight of the strategic management of the University's land and buildings. It approves and keeps under review the University's Estates Strategy, ensuring that space and property requirements are identified to fulfil the objectives of the Corporate Plan and provides a planned programme of maintenance.

Three additional Committees report into the Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee and they are the Global Committee, Charities Committee and the Enterprise and Innovation Committee.

Audit and Risk Committee

This Committee is responsible for directing and overseeing the University's arrangements for internal and external audit. It provides impartial advice to the Board on the discharge of the Board's responsibilities for proper financial management, for the effectiveness of risk management, internal control and management systems, and for the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the University's activities have been properly discharged.

People Committee

This Committee considers and determines matters in respect of the University's human resources. This includes ensuring that pay and conditions of employment are properly determined and implemented for all categories of employees and monitoring the University's staff composition.

Remuneration Committee

This Committee is responsible for determining and reviewing the remuneration and terms and conditions of the Vice-Chancellor and the senior leadership team of the institution.

Education Committee

This Committee is responsible for monitoring the University's performance against the Education Strategy and ensuring that high levels of academic standards and student experience are achieved and maintained.

Research Committee

This Committee is responsible for monitoring the University's performance against the Research Strategy and ensuring that high levels of research standards are achieved and maintained.

Governance and Nominations Committee

This Committee will recommend to the Board of Governors the appointment of new independent and co-opted Governors.

It will act as Search Committee, responsible for the selection of a new Vice-Chancellor. It will recommend to the Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Board the appointment and re-appointment of Pro-Chancellors. It will also monitor and report to the Board on any governance matters delegated to it by the Board of Governors.

Global Committee

This Committee is responsible for reviewing the University's international activities and providing assurance these activities adequately support the global theme of the corporate strategy. 

Charities Committee

This Committee is responsible for overseeing the non-core charitable activities of the University Group.

Enterprise and Innovation Committee

This Committee is responsible for reviewing enterprise and innovation activities and providing assurance these activities effectively support the enterprise and innovation theme of the corporate strategy.

Appeals Sub-Committee

The Appeals Sub-Committee considers appeals made by employees of the University following their dismissal.

Go to top

When does the Board and its Committees meet?

The Board of Governors meets approximately five times per year. The number of Committee meetings varies depending on the Committee, usually between two and five times per year.

Note: Meetings of the University's Board of Governors and its Committees are not open to the public.

Go to top

What are the roles and responsibilities of Governors?

Public service values are at the heart of the institution and Governors are expected to show high standards of personal and corporate conduct when in office. Governors must act honestly, diligently and protect the university's reputation and the trust and confidence of those with whom it deals. The university has adopted a Code of Conduct for Governors in order to make clear the standards of behaviour that are expected of them when in office and to assist them in fulfilling their role.

The Code of Conduct covers the following key areas:

  • Observing the principles laid down by the Committee on Standards in Public Life;
  • The general and statutory responsibilities of Governors;
  • Dealing with conflicts of interests and the declaration of such interests;
  • Dealing with the receipt of gifts and hospitality;
  • The collective responsibility of Governors;
  • Dealing with matters of a sensitive or confidential nature;
  • Attendance at meetings; and
  • Potential breaches of the Code.

Go to top

How do I become a Governor?

The University has a number of vacancies on the Board of Governors and Committees each year and welcomes expressions of interests from people of all sections of the community who may be interested in becoming a Governor.

Further information about the responsibilities of Governors and the selection process is available from the Interim Clerk to the Board of Governors, Claire English, +44 (0)24 7765 7030 or by email at

Details of current vacancies can be found on our Governor Vacancies Page.

Go to top 

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023