The Council is the governing body of the University. It is ultimately responsible for the overall planning and management of the University, including (among others):
- additions, amendments and revocations to the Statutes and Ordinances
- the making of regulations
- the management of financial and physical resources
- the appointment and management of staff
- the supervision of commercial and trading activities
- the execution, variation and rescission of contracts on behalf of the University.
The Council is also responsible for ensuring that the funding made available to the University by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is used as prescribed.
The Council derives its existence and authority from Article 11 of the Charter. The powers vested in the Council are set out in the Statutes Section 4. The Council's primary responsibilities and scheme of delegation is set out in the Statement of the Council's Primary Responsibilities and delegated and related matters. The Standing Orders of the Council set out such matters as the conduct of meetings, quorum and voting, registration and declaration of interests, arrangements for committees (including joint committees) and the role of the Nominations Committee.
Much of the business of the Council is transacted through the committee structure, and through the delegation of powers to individual members of the Executive. See the page on decision-making structures for further information.
The composition of the Council is set out in the Statutes Section 3. This provides that Council shall consist of members of different classes, namely: (1) officers; (2) twelve members appointed by the Council; (3) six members appointed by the Senate; (4) one member of the non-teaching staff; (5) the President of the Students’ Union.
The Clerk to the Council is the Registrar, Tessa Harrison. Day-to-day enquiries should be addressed to the Head of Governance Services by e-mailing J.L.Williams@soton.ac.uk. The confirmed, unrestricted/ non-confidential minutes of Council meetings are publicly available and copies can be obtained by e-mailing H.Daggenhurst@soton.ac.uk
To view abridged biographical details of members of the Council, arranged by class of membership, please click on the relevant class of membership below.
Council Effectiveness Review 2010
Council is required by the terms of the Committee of University Chairs (CUC) Guide for Members of Higher Education Bodies in the UK to conduct an evaluation of its own effectiveness and that of its committees not less than every five years. A review was carried out by a small working group in 2010, reporting to Council in January 2011. Council approved the recommendations put forward by the working group as set out in the report (with the proviso that the introduction of the proposed reduction in the size of Council should be staged over time, to reach the final agreed number by 2013). Read the report from the working group here.