The Secretary to the Governing Authority is appointed to that post by the Governing Authority itself in accordance with its adopted Standing Orders. The Secretary (Chief Operations Officer) of the University shall normally be appointed as Secretary to the Governing Authority.
Irrespective of any other responsibilities the appointee may hold, in relation to his/her responsibilities as Secretary to the Governing Authority, he/she is responsible solely to the Governing Authority and reports directly to the Chair of the Governing Authority and the President (Chief Officer) in relation to Governing Authority business (i.e., the preparation of agendas, papers, minutes, etc).
The Business of the Governing Authority
The Secretary is required to provide the Governing Authority with authoritative guidance about its responsibilities under the legislation, statutes and regulations to which it is subject, including the requirements of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and other relevant bodies, and on how these responsibilities should be discharged.
The Secretary should ensure that new or revised responsibilities for the Governing Authority (e.g. arising from new legislation) are drawn to the Governing Authority’s attention.
The Secretary has a responsibility to alert the Governing Authority if he/she believes that any proposed action would exceed the Governing Authority’s powers or be contrary to legislation or to advice from the HEA or other competent authority.
The Secretary has sole responsibility for providing legal advice to or obtaining it for the Governing Authority and shall be provided with a budget for that purpose, and for advising the Governing Authority on all matters of procedure.
The Secretary shall ensure that all documentation provided to members of the Governing Authority is concise and its content is appropriate.
The Secretary will also act as Secretary to Committees of the Governing Authority, (the Audit Committee, the Nominations Committee) or be responsible for ensuring that adequate clerical support is provided to Governing Authority Committees, and shall be provided with a budget for that purpose.
The Secretary shall maintain the Register of the Interests of the members of the Governing Authority and of any other persons from whom the Governing Authority requires a statement of interests.
The Secretary shall be responsible for the custody of the University Seal and for its proper use.
The Secretary shall be responsible for arranging an induction programme for new members of the Governing Authority, and shall draw the attention of Governing Authority members to training activities arranged by the Leadership Foundation and other appropriate providers.
The Secretary shall arrange for the re-imbursement to Governing Authority members of the expenses they incur in carrying out Governing Authority business, and shall be provided with a budget for the purpose.
Working Relationships and Conflict of Interest
The Secretary may combine the function of Secretary with a senior administrative or management role in the University. He/she must exercise care in separating these two functions.
If the Secretary perceives any conflict of interest between his/her separate functions, he/she should report it forthwith to the Governing Authority. If the Governing Authority believes it has identified a conflict of interest of this nature, the Secretary will be offered an opportunity to respond to any such question.
The Secretary will be required to form effective working relationships with the Chair of the Governing Authority and the President of the University. The Secretary is required to consult the President and keep him/her fully informed on any matter relating to Governing Authority business.
The Secretary is required to advise the Chair in respect to any matters where conflict, potential or real, may occur between the Governing Authority and the President.
The Secretary will be required to form effective working relationships with other senior managers in the University in order to facilitate the effective conduct of Governing Authority business.
The Secretary shall make a full and timely disclosure of his/her personal interests in the Register.
The Governing Authority will safeguard the Secretary’s ability to carry out his/her duties.
The Secretary will have a strong personal commitment to Higher Education and the values, aims and objectives of the University.
The Secretary will at all times regulate his/her personal conduct in relation to the Governing Authority and the University in accordance with accepted standards of behaviour in public life, embracing selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership, and maintain confidentiality as appropriate.
The Secretary will participate in procedures established by the Governing Authority for the regular appraisal/review of his/her performance as Secretary. These procedures will be separate from procedures for the appraisal/review of any other responsibilities the Secretary may hold.
The Secretary is required to maintain a high standard of personal and professional self development.