Board of Governors

About us


Why do we have a Board of Governors?

As some of you may remember, the formal inauguration of the University of Portsmouth was celebrated in July 1992. With this new University status came the requirement that the University be managed in accordance with Articles of Government approved by the Secretary of State.  The Articles of Government say we must have a Board of Governors and sets out the Board's responsibilities, constitution and powers.

Statement of Primary Responsibilities [Acrobat (.pdf) - 257 KB Wed, 22 Aug 2018 15:36:00 BST]

Articles of Government [Acrobat (.pdf) - 61.2KB Wed, 08 Jun 2005 09:49:00 BST]

Instrument of Government [Acrobat (.pdf) - 48.7KB Wed, 08 Jun 2005 09:48:00 BST]

What does the Board do?

The Board of Governors is the Governing Body of the University and carries responsibility for ensuring the effective Management of the Institution and for planning its future development. It is the Board that has ultimate responsibility for all the affairs of the Institution.

University governance is the constitutional forms and processes through which universities govern their affairs.  The Board of Governors holds management accountable.  The Board observes the seven principles of public life:

  • Selflessness
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Accountability
  • Openness
  • Honesty
  • Leadership

Standing Orders of the Board of Governors and its Committees [Acrobat (.pdf) - 63 KB Tue, 06 Jun 2017 15:43:00 BST]

This document supplements the Articles of Government and should be read in conjunction with the Articles of Government and the Instrument of Government.

The University works in line with the CUC Code and we regularly review our operation against it.

How does it work - committees?

The Board of Governors conducts its work through a number of committees which report into the main Board. These are:

Audit and Quality

Audit and Quality Committee meets four times a year. The membership is restricted to external Governors only with members of Directorate and senior management invited to attend for specific items. The Committee carries out all the responsibilities placed on it by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) Financial Memorandum (which incorporates the HEFCE Accountability and Audit Code of Practice at its Annex B).

In particular, it recommends the appointment of external and internal auditors and monitors their performance and effectiveness; reviews the internal audit plan and considers all audit reports; monitors the effectiveness of internal control systems to ensure that satisfactory arrangements are in place to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness; and commissions and reviews the outcomes of value-for-money audits.

The Committee is also charged with monitoring the effectiveness of quality assurance processes in respect of all audit matters and, on behalf of the Board, the Committee receives and discusses reports on reviews undertaken by external bodies concerned with quality.

Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference [Acrobat (.pdf) - 178 KB Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:37:00 BST]

Who's Who on the Committee [Acrobat (.pdf) - 181 KB Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:28:00 BST]

Infrastructure and Finance

The purpose of the Committee is to support and guide the delivery of the University's ambitions by providing high-level scrutiny, giving constructive advice and making decisions that have a strategic impact upon the University's infrastructure and finances.

Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference [Acrobat (.pdf) - 491 KB Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:10:00 BST]

Human Resources

Human resources Committee meets three/four times a year.  The Committee formulates overall policy on personnel and employee relations matters, including recommendation of the University’s Human Resources Strategy; approves the broad framework of pay and conditions of service for staff; approves changes in other conditions of service; offers advice on personnel policies and practices and best practice in personnel management; monitors compliance with statutory and other requirements in such matters as equal opportunities and health and safety, seeking to ensure that the work environment and personnel policies and practices are conducive to realisation of the full potential of staff.  

As part of its remit, the external Governor members of the Committee also act on Appeal Panels on behalf of the Board to consider appeals against dismissal and appeals made under the Disciplinary, Grievance and Occupational Performance Procedures.  (On occasion, External Governors who are not members of Human Resources Committee may also be called on to act on Appeal Panels.)

Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference [Acrobat (.pdf) - 522 KB Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:20:00 BST]

Who's Who on the Committee [Acrobat (.pdf) - 261 KB Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:30:00 BST]

There are also a number of committees which meet only on a needs basis and then report into the main Board. These are:

Exceptional and Urgent Approvals Group 

The purpose of the Group is to consider the granting of exceptional approval for matters that due to their urgency should not be deferred to the next meeting of the Board of Governors and are not suitable for action under normal delegated authority (ie they carry significant financial or reputational risk).

Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference [Acrobat (.pdf) - 343 KB Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:19:00 BST]


Nominations Committee meets on a needs basis, and advises the Board on the overall balance of its membership and recommends the appointment of new Governors, drawing on nominations received from within the University, from Governors, and from open advertisement.

Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference [Acrobat (.pdf) - 492 KB Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:21:00 BST]


Remuneration Committee meets on a needs basis, usually once a year, to determine on behalf of the Board the salaries and conditions of service of the senior post holders:  the Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Finance and Clerk to the Board of Governors.

Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference - Vice-Chancellor [Acrobat (.pdf) - 39 KB Mon, 26 Feb 2018 12:50:00 GMT]

Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference - Senior Postholders [Acrobat (.pdf) - 42 KB Mon, 26 Feb 2018 12:50:00 GMT]

The University has established a framework of clear principles to guide consideration of the remuneration of senior postholders. This is available here:

Overview of Framework for Setting Pay [Acrobat (.pdf) - 40 KB Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:07:00 GMT]

External Governors

Role and Responsibilities [Acrobat (.pdf) - 88 KB Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:07:00 BST]

Staff Governors

There are three categories of Staff Governor:

  • Elected Academic Staff Governor
  • Elected Support Staff Governor
  • Academic Council Nominated Teaching Staff Governor

Student Governor

Student Governor Application Pack [Acrobat (.pdf) - 212 KB Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:49:00 GMT]

Staff Representatives on Governors Committees

Result of Appointments of new Staff Representatives as at August 2018 [Acrobat (.pdf) - 16 KB Fri, 03 Aug 2018 09:48:00 BST]

Results of Elections and Appointments

Results of elections of Staff Governors and appointments of Staff Representatives on Governors' Committees.

Results of Election of Academic Staff Governor 2018 [Acrobat (.pdf) - 32 KB Wed, 06 Jun 2018 16:20:00 BST]

Results of Election of Support Staff Governor 2018 [Acrobat (.pdf) - 9 KB Wed, 06 Jun 2018 16:21:00 BST]


Governors' Register of Interests

A Register of Interests is held by the Clerk to the Board of Governors and details the interests of members of the Board and University staff associated with Board level committees.  The Register identifies the following interests:

                i)             remunerated employment, office, trade profession or vocation, and

                ii)            financial securities, and

                iii)           contracts with the University, and

                iv)           personal relationship interests, and

                v)            membership of mutual support organisations.

Full information and guidance regarding the Register of Interests can be found in the Standing Orders of the Board of Governors and its Committees, which is currently under review. 

The Register of Interests can be found here:

Register of Interests - Members of the Board [Acrobat (.pdf) - 163 KB Thu, 07 Mar 2019 10:40:00 GMT]

When do we meet?

The Board of Governors meets five times a year: in October, November, January, March, and June.

The Governors' committees each meet between four to six times per year, reporting into the main Boards. The dates for all scheduled meetings are given here:

Calendar of Meetings 2019/2020 [Acrobat (.pdf) - 84 KB Tue, 28 May 2019 10:56:00 BST]

Calendar of Meetings 2018/2019 [Acrobat (.pdf) - 144 KB Fri, 02 Nov 2018 08:35:00 GMT]