Statute VI: Council
(Sections 1–18 are 'Queen-in-Council' statutes—see section 2 (2) of Statute IV.)
Approved with effect from 1 October 2002
Functions and Powers
1. Council shall be responsible, under the statutes, for the advancement of the University's objects, for its administration, and for the management of its finances and property, and shall have all the powers necessary for it to discharge these responsibilities.
2. In the exercise of its functions and powers Council shall be bound by all resolutions passed by Congregation and all other acts done or decisions taken by Congregation in accordance with the statutes and regulations, and shall do all things necessary to carry them into effect.
3. (1) Subject to the provisions of the statutes and regulations, Council may from time to time delegate responsibility for any matter to any other body or person and may delegate such powers (other than the power to put statutes to Congregation) as it may consider necessary for the discharge of this responsibility, but any such delegations may be withdrawn (either generally or in respect of a specific item) at any time, nor shall such delegations relieve Council of general responsibility for the matters delegated.
(2) Any body to which or person to whom Council has delegated responsibility and powers under sub-section (1) above may, unless Council otherwise determines, sub-delegate them to another body or person.
4. Subject to sections 5 and 8-12 of this statute, Council shall consist of:
(1) the Vice-Chancellor;
(2) the Chairman of the Conference of Colleges;
(3), (4) the Proctors;
(5) the Assessor;
(6) a member of Congregation elected by the Conference of Colleges;
(7)–(10) four external persons nominated by Council and approved by Congregation;
(11)–(14) the Heads of the Divisions of Humanities; Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences; Medical Sciences; and Social Sciences;
(15)–(18) four members of Congregation elected by Congregation from members of the faculties in the Divisions of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences and of Medical Sciences;
(19)–(22) four members of Congregation elected by Congregation from members of the faculties in the Divisions of Humanities and of Social Sciences;
(23)–(25) three members of Congregation, not necessarily being members of any division and not in any case being nominated in a divisional capacity, who shall be elected by Congregation.
5. (1) The election to Council of the members of Congregation in the three categories defined respectively in sub-sections (15)–(25) of section 4 of this statute shall be subject to the provisions of sub-sections (2)–(5) below.
(2) Not more than three members of the governing body of any one college, society, or Permanent Private Hall may at any time serve as members of Council elected from those three categories taken together.
(3) If the outcome of any election within any one or more of those three categories would otherwise result in there being more than three such members of Council, the number in excess of three shall be eliminated by comparing the votes received in that election by each of the candidates in question, confirming the election of the candidate or candidates receiving the highest number of votes until the limit described in sub-section (2) above has been reached, and disqualifying the remaining candidates.
(4) If any election is uncontested, a candidate who is returned unopposed shall for the purposes of sub-section (3) above be ranked ahead of all other candidates (unopposed or otherwise) to whom he or she is senior in academic standing.
(5) Where it is necessary to rank unopposed candidates of equal academic standing or to make a choice between candidates who have received an equal number of votes, the ranking or choice shall be determined by lot.
6. Council may, but is not obliged to, co opt up to three members of Congregation as additional members of Council, one of whom may serve as a deputy chairman of Council under section 7(4)(a)(ii) below.
7. (1) The Vice Chancellor, or a Pro-Vice-chancellor appointed as chairman under section 10(3) below, shall normally take the chair at meetings of Council.
(2) In the event that the person under sub-section (1) above cannot or should not act as chairman, a member of Council serving as deputy chairman shall take the chair.
(3) The chairman shall have a second or casting vote in the event of equality of voting.
(4) (a) Council may appoint up to two deputy chairmen:
(i) an external member of Council, appointed under section 4 (7)-(10) above, who shall take the chair for the discussion of items of business in which the chairman of the Council meeting has a conflict of interest;
(ii) a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, appointed under regulation 101 of Council Regulations 21 of 2002, who shall take the chair when the chairman cannot or should not act as chairman for reasons other than a conflict of interest.
(b) In the absence of the appropriate deputy chairman appointed under (a) above at a meeting, the Vice- Chancellor or the Pro-Vice-Chancellor appointed as chairman of Council under section 10 (3) shall have discretion to appoint an alternate.
(5) The appointment of a deputy chairman under sub-section (4) above shall be made on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor or the Pro-Vice- Chancellor appointed as chairman of Council under section 10 (3).
(6) Where a person is appointed as deputy chairman under sub-section (4)(a)(ii) above who is not a member of Council when appointed, that person shall thereupon become a co-opted member of Council and shall remain a member of Council for as long as he or she remains a deputy chairman.
(7) Each deputy chairman shall hold office for a period of up to four years and shall be eligible for reappointment.
(8) Each deputy chairman may exercise all the functions of the chairman at any meeting when the chairman cannot or should not act.
8. (1) Members of Council elected under section 4 (15)-(25) or appointed as an external member under section 4 (7)-(10) above shall serve for a period of four years and shall be eligible to serve for a second consecutive period of four years.
(2) The member of Council elected under section 4 (6) shall serve for such period as may be determined under the regulations of the Conference of Colleges.
(3) (a) Members of Council co-opted under section 6 may serve for a period of up to four years and shall be eligible to serve for a second consecutive period of up four years.
(b) The term of a person whose co-optation is made expressly subject to an appointment under section 7 (4)(a) (ii) will expire on the appointment of a deputy chairman who is not when appointed a member of Council.
(4) A member who has served two consecutive periods of four years under sub-sections (1) or (3) above shall not be eligible to serve as an elected external or co-opted member of Council earlier than four years after the end of his or her period of service.
(5) Vacancies caused other than by expiry of term as a member shall be filled for the remaining period of office of the member replaced in the same manner as that member took up office except on termination of Council membership under section 9 (1) of an ex officio member serving under section 4 (1)-(5) or (11)-(14), when the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with section 10.
(6) A person who is elected or nominated to fill a vacancy under sub-section (2) above shall be eligible to serve as an elected or external member of Council after the expiry of the period referred to in sub-section (2) for a period of four years and shall be eligible to serve for a second consecutive period of four years.
9. (1) Membership of Council shall terminate:
(a) automatically on disqualification from acting as a Trustee by virtue of section 72 of the Charities Act 1993 or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that provision;
(b) for good cause, defined as behaviour incompatible with the member's duties as a Trustee of the University;
(c) automatically at the close of an academic year for absence without permission from a prescribed number of meetings in that year, as determined by regulation;
(d) automatically on a member elected under section 4 (15)-(25) ceasing to be a member of Congregation;
(e) automatically on an external member appointed under section 4 (7)-(10) becoming the resident holder of a teaching, research, or administrative post in the University or in any college, society, or Permanent Private Hall;
(f) automatically for an existing appointed, elected or co-opted member on taking office which entitles him or her to serve as an ex officio member of Council;
(g) in accordance with section 8 above on expiry of term;
(h) in accordance with section 11 below unless the Chancellor shall determine otherwise in an individual case;
(i) on acceptance by Council of the resignation of a member.
(2) The decision to remove a member under sub-section (1)(b) above shall only be made by unanimous ballot of all Council members entitled to vote (not including the member whose removal is the subject of the ballot) in accordance with a procedure laid down by Council by standing order.
10. (1) On termination of Council membership under section 9 (1) above of an ex officio member other than the Vice-Chancellor, the appropriate body shall appoint a replacement Council member who shall serve with voting rights but that appointment shall cease automatically on a new appointment to the underlying post;
(2) for the purposes of sub-section (1) above, the appropriate body shall be as follows:
(a) under section 4 (2), the Conference of Colleges;
(b) under section 4 (3)-(4), a substitute qualified under section 17 of Statute IX shall be appointed by the head of the college or society that elected the Proctor in question, or, if the head is absent or the headship is vacant, the viceregent;
(c) under section 4 (5), a substitute qualified under section 17 of Statute IX shall be appointed by the head of the college or society that elected the Assessor, or, if the head is absent or the headship is vacant, the viceregent;
(d) under section 4 (11)-(14), the relevant divisional board.
(3) On termination of Council membership under section 9 (1) above of the Vice-Chancellor, one of the Pro-Vice-Chancellors shall be appointed chairman by the Chancellor or, in default of appointment by the Chancellor, by Council.
11. (1) No person appointed, elected, or serving as a member of Council while holding any academic post of the University or any other of the university or college posts specified in section 3 (6)-(9) of Statute IV shall continue to serve on Council after having retired from that post (or, in the case of a person retiring at different dates from those university and college posts previously held by him or her, after the date of the later of those retirements), unless the Chancellor shall otherwise determine in an individual case.
(2) No person who has previously retired from any of the university or college posts specified in section 3 (6)-(9) of Statute IV, and who does not continue to hold another such post, shall be appointed or elected a member of Council, unless the Chancellor shall otherwise determine in an individual case.
(3) No other person appointed, elected, or serving as a member of Council while not holding such a university or college post shall continue to serve on Council, and no such person shall be appointed or elected a member of Council, after the 30 September immediately preceding his or her 66th birthday, unless the Chancellor shall otherwise determine in an individual case.
12. (1) If at any time a vacancy arises through an appointing or electing body having failed to make an appointment or, in the case of an election, through insufficient nominations having been received by the due date or for any other reason, the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors shall appoint a person to the vacancy.
(2) This section shall apply to vacancies arising on termination of Council membership which in the opinion of Council have not been filled within a reasonable time by the appropriate body under section 10 (2)(b) and (3), such opinion to be determined by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.
13. Council shall determine by regulation arrangements whereby three student members shall be entitled to attend meetings of Council except for such matters of business as may be prescribed by regulation.
14. Any member of Council, and the chairman or vice-chairman of any committee of Council who is not a member of Council, may be relieved of such of his or her university duties, without loss of stipend, as Council shall determine; and Council shall be empowered to make such financial provision as it thinks fit for the carrying out of any of the duties of which such person has been relieved either by Council or by his or her college, society, or Permanent Private Hall.
15. Council shall have the power to make regulations not inconsistent with the statutes.
16. Council may authorise any other body or person to make regulations not inconsistent with the statutes, or with regulations made by Council, dealing with such matters as Council shall think fit to delegate.
17. Regulations made under section 15 or section 16 of this statute may:
(1) be designed to give detailed effect to the statutes; or
(2) provide for any matter not provided for in the statutes.
18. (1) Regulations made under section 15 or section 16 of this statute may at any time be annulled, amended, or repealed by Council by regulation.
(2) A body to which or person to whom the power to make regulations has been delegated under section 16 of this statute may unless Council otherwise directs amend or repeal regulations made by that body or person.
(3) The power to annul, amend, or repeal regulations under this section shall not apply to regulations made by the Rules Committee under Statute XI unless Council is required to do so by a resolution of Congregation.
19. (1) All regulations made under sections 15 and 16 of this statute and the annulment, amendment, or repeal of any such regulation (referred to below as 'a change in regulations') shall be published in accordance with either of the following procedures (a) or (b):
(a) a change in regulations shall be published on the University's Web site, and a brief descriptive notice of the regulations, which shall include the address of the location on the University's Web site at which the full text of the change in regulations may be found, shall be published in the University Gazette; the regulation shall come into force from the fifteenth day after the date of the publication of the descriptive notice in the University Gazette (though a regulation may contain an earlier or later date from which it comes into force), unless notice of a resolution calling upon Council to annul or amend the regulation is received by the Registrar by noon on the eleventh day after the day on which the descriptive notice was published;
(b) a change in regulations shall be published in the University Gazette and shall come into force from the fifteenth day after the date of its publication (though a regulation may contain an earlier or later date from which it comes into force), unless notice of a resolution calling upon Council to annul or amend the regulation is received by the Registrar by noon on the eleventh day after the day on which it was published.
(2) If such notice is received, the regulation shall not come into force until it has been approved by Congregation.
(3) A change in regulations made or approved by the Education Committee under regulation 2.4 (1) of Council Regulations 15 of 2002 shall be published in accordance with (1) (a) above, unless the Education Committee requires otherwise.
(4) All other changes in regulations shall be published in accordance with (1) (b) above.
20. (1) Regulations and amendments to regulations made under this statute shall bind all members of the University.
(2) Council, or, in a case falling within the delegated authority of any of the main standing committees of Council referred to in section 23 below, that committee, may however, by a resolution carried by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting, suspend the operation of any regulation, other than a regulation made by the Rules Committee under Statute XI, to cover some specific case.
Conduct of Business
21. (1) No business shall be transacted at any meeting of Council unless a quorum is present.
(2) Council shall lay down by regulation the definition of, and the application of rules governing, its quorum.
22. Council may lay down the procedure for the conduct of its business by regulation, standing order, or otherwise as it thinks fit.
23. (1) Council shall have the following main standing committees and shall lay down by regulation their composition and principal terms of reference, powers, and duties:
(a) Education Committee;
(b) General Purposes Committee;
(c) Personnel Committee;
(d) Planning and Resource Allocation Committee;
(e) Research Committee.
(2) These committees may include persons who are not members of Council, or who are appointed by persons or bodies other than Council, in addition to members of Council, but may not consist wholly of such persons.
24. (1) Council may set up such other standing or temporary committees as it may from time to time think fit.
(2) These committees may consist wholly or partly of persons who are not members of Council or who are appointed by persons or bodies other than Council.
25. The composition, terms of reference, powers, and duties of committees set up under section 22 of this statute shall be laid down by Council, by regulation or otherwise as Council shall think appropriate, subject to the provisions of the statutes and regulations.
26. (1) The Registrar shall publish annually a list of all the current committees which have been set up under sections 22 and 23 of this statute, except those which have been set up by statute or regulation, and shall on request supply to any member of Congregation details of their terms of reference and current membership.
(2) The Registrar shall also on request supply details of the current membership of committees set up by statute or regulation.
1 Following changes to Council Regulations 21 of 2002 with effect from 11 July 2014, a consequential change has been made to the cross–reference in this sub–section. This change will be submitted for approval by Congregation when the next substantive change to the statute is put forward.