Ulster University Council


The Council is the governing body of the University and is responsible for overseeing the institution’s activities, determining its future direction and fostering an environment in which institutional objectives are achieved and the potential of all learners is realised. Subject to the Charter and Statutes of the University, the Council takes all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern to the institution. The Senate is responsible for the academic work of the University and for providing the Council with assurance on academic quality.

The Council approves the University’s strategic plans, as well as learning and teaching, financial, people and culture, estates, and other operational strategies which underpin them, and monitors the University’s performance in achieving its goals, within a robust risk framework.

The Council is also responsible to the Department for the Economy for the proper use of public funds and for establishing and monitoring effective systems of internal control, risk, and accountability.

The detailed composition and functions of the Council are set out in the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations of the University.


  • Terms of Reference for Council
    1. To provide leadership on strategy, stewardship and overall governance.
    2. On the recommendation of the Senate, to institute or discontinue Faculties and other academic Schools/Departments of the University and to establish and disestablish academic posts.
    3. To authorize and control the establishment and disestablishment of other posts and to determine the policies for the appointment, conditions of appointment and remuneration of all employees of the University.
    4. On the recommendation of the Senate, to designate persons, not being members of the Academic Staff, as recognized teachers of the University whose functions shall be prescribed by Regulation. This function is now performed by the Learning and Teaching Committee. It is not under the delegated Authority Framework table.
    5. To control the appointment of other persons working for or in, or providing a service, for the University and the payment of honoraria, fees and other remuneration to such persons.
    6. To make provision, so far as the Council may think fit, for schemes and insurance, superannuation pensions or retirement benefits for all employees of the University and their dependants.
    7. To determine all University fees and to impose and recover all such other charges and deposits as may seem to the Council to be necessary or appropriate. The Resources Committee receives and approves tuition and fees annually. It is not under the Delegated Authority Framework table.
    8. To institute, on the recommendation of the Senate (and subject, where appropriate, to any conditions acceptable to the Council and to the Senate which might be made by the founders) Fellowships, Studentships, Exhibitions, Bursaries, Prizes and other aids to study and research. The majority of this is under Learning and Teaching Committee and Resources Committee.
    9. On the recommendation of the Senate, to deprive persons of any Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates or other academic distinctions granted to or conferred on them by the University.
    10. On the recommendation of the Senate, and subject to Statute II, to make Ordinances to regulate the discipline of students and other persons.
    11. To receive and call for reports from the Senate, to review the work of the University and, subject to the powers of the Senate, to take such steps as it thinks proper for the purpose of advancing the interests of the University, maintaining its efficiency and encouraging teaching, the pursuit of learning and the prosecution of research therein.
    12. To accept, reject, review, amend or refer back any recommendation made by the Senate; provided that no such recommendation may be rejected or reviewed or amended before being referred again to the Senate for consideration and report.
    13. In accordance with Articles 5 and 16 of the Charter to do all things deemed necessary by the Council for the efficient management and administration of the revenue and property of the University; and in particular:
      1. to govern, manage and regulate the finances, accounts, investments, property, business and all affairs, including the risks associated with the business and affairs, whatsoever of the University and for that purpose to appoint bankers and any other officers or agents whom it may deem expedient to appoint and to cause books of accounts to be kept in such manner as to give a true and fair view of the state of the University’s affairs and to explain its transactions;
      2. to invest any moneys belonging to the University in such stocks, funds, fully paid shares or securities as the Council shall think fit whether within the United Kingdom or not, in the purchase of freehold or leasehold hereditaments, including rents; provided that, in the case of moneys held by the University as trustees, the power conferred by this paragraph shall be exercised subject to the provisions of the law relating to investments by trustees;
      3. to sell, buy, exchange, lease and accept leases of real and personal property on behalf of the University;
      4. to borrow money on behalf of the University and for that purpose to mortgage or charge all or any part of the property of the University whether real or personal unless the conditions of any will, deed, gift or other instrument are thereby contravened, and to give such other security whether upon real or personal property or otherwise as the Council may think fit;
      5. to provide the buildings, premises, furniture and equipment and other means required for carrying on the work of the University;
      6. to enter into, vary, carry out and cancel contracts on behalf of the University;
      7. to give on behalf of the University, guarantees, whether in pursuance of continuing arrangements or not;
      8. to receive and call for such reports and to make such arrangements as it thinks proper for the promotion and maintenance of efficiency and good order in the University.

    In reaching decisions the Council will have due regard to their impact on, and implications for, the University’s commitment to ensuring equality of opportunity and good relations as outlined in its Equality Scheme, and associated policies, and where possible and practicable the Council will ensure that its actions are proactive in this respect.


  • Statement of Primary Responsibilities
    Statement of Primary Responsibilities
    StrategyStewardshipGovernance
    The determination of the character and values of the University through providing initial strategic direction and approving the strategic vision of the University, long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators, and to ensure that these meet the interests of the University community and stakeholders.To ensure the establishment, resourcing and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment, and procedures for handling internal grievances and for managing conflicts of interest.To ensure that the University’s Charter and Statutes are followed at all times and that appropriate advice is available to enable this to happen.
    To ensure processes are in place to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the University against the Strategic Plan and approved key performance indicators, which should be, where possible and appropriate, benchmarked against other comparable institutions; and in this regard to cooperate with the Senate in respect of teaching and learning, research and technology and knowledge transfer activities.To be the principal financial and business authority of the University, to ensure that proper books of account are kept, to approve the annual budget and financial statements, and to have overall responsibility for the University’s assets, property and estate.To conduct its business in accordance with best practice in higher education corporate governance and with the principles of public life drawn up by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
    In conjunction with the Senate to promote student engagement and a positive student experience at UlsterTo make such provision as it thinks fit for the general welfare of students, in consultation with the Senate.To ensure that the procedures in place for managing students, including disciplinary procedures are fair and equitable.
    To establish processes to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the Council.To regularly review the effectiveness of the Council and its committees.To appoint a secretary to the Council and to ensure that, if the person appointed has managerial responsibilities in the University, there is an appropriate separation in the lines of accountability.
    To be the employing authority for all staff in the University and to be responsible for the establishment of an people and culture strategy, ensuring the University has nondiscriminatory systems in place to provide diversity and equality of opportunity for staff, students and applicants as well as setting clear direction for leadership and staff development.To act as trustee for any property, legacy, endowment, bequest or gift in support of the work and welfare of the University.To safeguard the good name and values of the University.
    To establish such other strategies, including financial, estates and ICT, as are necessary to the achievement of the University’s strategic aims.To ensure the University’s long-term sustainability.To be the University’s legal authority and, as such, to ensure that systems are in place for meeting all the University’s legal and regulatory obligations, including those arising from contracts and other legal commitments made in the University’s name.
    To appoint the head of the University as Vice-Chancellor and accounting officer, and to put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring his/her performance. To delegate authority to the head of the University, as Vice-Chancellor and accounting officer, for the academic, corporate, financial, estate and people and culture management of the University and to establish and keep under regular review the policies, procedures and limits within such management functions as shall be undertaken by and under the authority of the head of the University.

Upcoming Meetings

2020/2021

15 February 2021

10 May 2021

21 June 2021

View full event calendar


Committees

Some of the functions of the Council have been delegated to the following Committees:

For further information on the work of committees, contact Bernadette McGuinness


Council Members

Ex-officio members

Ms Jenny Pyper, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council

Ms Jenny Pyper, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council

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Mr David Clements, Honorary Treasurer

Mr David Clements, Honorary Treasurer

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Ms Collette Cassidy, Students' Union President

Ms Collette Cassidy, Students' Union President

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Dr Elaine Way, Pro-Chancellor

Dr Elaine Way, Pro-Chancellor

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Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor

Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor

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Appointed members

Mrs Marie Lindsay

Mrs Marie Lindsay

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Mr Peter Lobban OBE

Mr Peter Lobban OBE

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Dr Peter McNaney CBE

Dr Peter McNaney CBE

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Dr Joanne Stuart OBE

Dr Joanne Stuart OBE

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Mr Peter Sheridan

Mr Peter Sheridan

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Mr Russell Sloan

Mr Russell Sloan

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Mr Alan Moore OBE

Mr Alan Moore OBE

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Ms Jayne Taggart

Ms Jayne Taggart

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Elected members

Ms Goretti Horgan

Ms Goretti Horgan

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Professor Alison Gallagher

Professor Alison Gallagher

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Mr Eddie Friel

Mr Eddie Friel

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Membership Attendance

Membership attendance from 2016/17 - 2019/20


Governance Documents