As stated in the message to you on Tuesday, last November the University commissioned an independent, specialist Higher Education consultancy, Halpin Partnership, to conduct a full review of the effectiveness of the University of Bath’s Council.

The full report can be read on the University website

The report showed that 1,392 students and staff completed Halpin’s survey and many of you took part in interviews and discussion groups. Thank you to all who contributed your time and thoughts.

Council, the University’s governing body, met yesterday and discussed the report in detail. It welcomed the Halpin Review and the opportunity it provides to help achieve our ambition to place Bath at the forefront of governance practice in the sector.

Council acted immediately to agree many of the primary recommendations, including:

  • Student and staff representation on Remuneration Committee
  • Student representation on Nominations Committee
  • Extending the Register of Interests for Council members to include former employment, as well as current employment
  • Council to consider the diversity and skills of its membership
  • Undertaking a review of Court, with Court representation, to seek ways and means of modernising engagement

Some of the proposals need further, detailed consideration and, as recommended in the Review, we have now set up a Steering Group appointed by Council to be chaired by Ruth Foreman, Vice-Chair of Council. This group of Council members will include representation from academic staff, professional services staff, student and lay members of Council.

Further decisions, and progress on implementation, will be reported back to Council and communicated to our community.

The Review’s findings and recommendations are robust, and we welcome that. The reason we commissioned an independent review is to both help us learn from the past and challenge us to improve in the future.

Council takes both the words in this report and the intent behind them very seriously and it will ensure care is taken to progress the recommendations effectively and without delay.

We are committed to ensuring our University is well led and well governed. We embrace the need to keep pace with best practice at a time where expectations on the sector are rapidly changing. We are ready to make the changes needed to our governance structures so we can continue to deliver excellent teaching to our students and world-leading research with our partners.

Changes to governance do not happen overnight. However, we hope today is an important next step in this process as we move forward as a community.

Kind regards,

Thomas Sheppard Chair of Council