Finding and appointing new members

Introduction

Good practice

  • It is good practice to ensure that the membership of the Board of Trustees and its Committees is diverse, reflecting the community in which they serve in the broadest sense i.e. in terms of gender, skills, age and ethnicity.  In recruiting new members it is essential to pay regard to the balance of membership and the needs of the institution by way of a skills register against which to consider the field of candidates.
  • CUC guidance suggests that members should not serve for more than 9 consecutive years and after this time members should normally retire and be replaced by new members. There should, however, be no bar to a particularly valued member returning to office if a vacancy occurs in future years.
  • CUC good practice also indicates that vacancies for lay/independent members and co-opted members should be publicised (including a written job specification and a clear indication of skills, knowledge, time commitment and experience required). This proves that there is an open and transparent process in place.

For any enquiries you can contact:

Information for current/prospective members

Lay members of the Board of Trustees are appointed by Court, usually in December, on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee of Court.   The Nominations Committee of Court shall put to Court each year at its Annual Meeting names for election to member of the Board of Trustees in Class 1 Statute 15 for a three year term (short-listed applicants will be those whose skills and experience most closely reflect the criteria set out in the person specification but regard will also be paid to the importance of diversity of members and the University's Equal Opportunities policy). The Committee shall search for suitable candidates, advertise vacancies in an open and transparent manner and where applicable shall give careful consideration to all names recommended to it. 

The Clerk to the Board of Trustees will confirm members' appointment in writing shortly after formal approval has been given.  The letter would set out the approved term of office and other key information that the new member will require.

Lay members are appointed for three-year terms of office, and may stand for re-appointment for a maximum of two additional three-year terms, in accordance with University Statutes and recognised good practice across the sector.

An example of a usual recruitment timetable is provided below (please note that this is sometimes subject to some flexibility/change):

Key dateDescription
28 September Closing date for submission of application forms.
3 October Meeting of Nominations Committee of Court to shortlist applicants.
5 October Candidates to be notified about whether or not they would be invited to interview (shortlisted candidates to be given a choice of three interview dates).
15, 16 and 17 October Interviews with the shortlisted candidates to take place.
7 November Nominations Committee of Court to consider Interview Panel's findings and make formal recommendation to University Board of Trustees.
23 November

University Board of Trustees to consider the Nominations Committee’s recommendation.

7 December University Court to consider final recommendations from University Board of Trustees.

Information for the Board of Trustees committee members

The Nominations Committee of Court works closely with the Board of Trustees Committee Appointments Group.

University is keen to ensure that there is a diverse pool of lay members of the Board of Trustees and as such the Board of Trustees Committee Appointments Group' (called the Membership Appointments & Governance Group) meets three times a year (at least) to review / undertake the following:

  • To review the effectiveness and governance structure of the Board of Trustees and its committees.
  • To review current and forthcoming vacancies on the Board of Trustees committees and to undertake succession planning strategies for chairs/members.
  • An annual review of the appropriateness of committees’ terms of reference (informed by feedback from the committees).
  • To approve minor changes to the Board of Trustees committees’ terms of reference and to recommend to the Board of Trustees the approval of substantive changes to the Board of Trustees committees’ terms of reference.
  • An annual review of the skills requirements of the Board of Trustees committees, based upon a review of the Board of Trustees committees skills matrix.
  • An annual review to endeavour to achieve the diversity of members of the Board of Trustees committees (to include lay, staff and student members) and to submit a report setting out the outcomes of this review to the Board of Trustees and to the Nominations Committee of Court. This may include the development of proposals for co-opting members onto committees to enhance diversity or for succession planning/skills development of co-opted members.
  • Preparation of an Annual Report to the Board of Trustees and to the Nominations Committee setting out any expertise/skills gaps on key committees and/or any diversity issues. This report would inform the Nominations Committee’s lay member recruitment strategies. The Nominations Committee will forward the CVs of any Board of Trustees applicants to the relevant committees if there appears to be a good skills match.
  • To approve the appointment and reappointment of lay members of the Board of Trustees committees, including Vice-Chairs of the Board of Trustees committees (members of joint Board of Trustees and Senate Committees would also require Senate’s approval).
  • To recommend to the Board of Trustees the appointment and reappointment of Chairs of the Board of Trustees committees.
  • To consider the training and development needs of members of the Board of Trustees committees and to make recommendations/requests to the Secretariat.