Council action on HEFCE report

At its meeting today, Council has agreed to take action on all the recommendations made in the report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) into governance relating to remuneration.

Council has agreed to implement a number of measures to further enhance its governance. Furthermore, all other recommendations contained in the HEFCE report will be considered as part of the independent Effectiveness Review with the aim of leading emerging best practice in the Higher Education sector.

Thomas Sheppard, Chair of Council commented: “We are committed to the highest standards of governance. The University’s governing body has today underlined that commitment in unanimously agreeing to implement a number of significant measures over the coming weeks.

“We look forward to receiving the findings of our forthcoming independent Effectiveness Review which will help to inform further enhancements.”

Council also formally noted progress made on the appointment of a consultant to conduct a full, independent and rigorous Effectiveness Review of Council. The review will fully consider the operation of the Remuneration Committee to ensure it reflects developing best practice and will report its recommendations to Council in May 2018. The process by which input into the review from the wider University community and other stakeholders including members of University Court will be communicated by the consultant after their appointment which will be confirmed shortly.

In relation to remuneration, the measures agreed by Council today are:

  1. A Statement on the Remuneration of Senior Staff will be published and developed further following the Effectiveness Review.
  2. The Chair of Council will no longer chair the Remuneration Committee. A new Chair of the Committee will be appointed by Council on the recommendation of its Nominations Committee.
  3. The Remuneration Committee will meet at least twice each year, taking independent specialist advice, and will approve objectives for the Vice-Chancellor which will be shared with Council.
  4. The Remuneration Committee will make an annual report to Council which includes information to be determined by Council in the light of the Effectiveness Review.
  5. A ratio of highest salary to median pay will be published using to be agreed standard definitions across the sector.
  6. Decisions on any severance arrangements for staff earning over £100k p.a. will be taken by Council on the recommendation of its Remuneration Committee.

In relation to future meetings of University Court, Council agreed that an additional meeting would be held during the current academic year with the first brought forward to January and the second in June.

Halpin Partnership has been appointed to conduct an independent review of the effectiveness of the University of Bath’s Council and governance arrangements, following an open and competitive tendering process.

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