Structure and Management
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors is the institution’s governing body and is responsible for matters including the finances, property and staffing of the University. It is specifically required to determine the educational character and mission of the institution and to set its general strategic direction. The Board has a number of committees covering finance, estates, staffing, audit and risk management, governance, health and safety and the remuneration of senior staff. Comprising a maximum of 23 members, up to 18 of whom are independent of the University, the Board also includes the President of the Students’ Union, the Vice-Chancellor and three elected staff representatives.
Independent members of the Board play an important role in the life of the University and provide vital insights into external organisations and trends within the specialist areas covered by the institution. The Board meets four times a year, and one of these meetings involves a strategic planning session, typically held in conjunction with members of the University Executive.
The Finance and General Purposes Committee and Audit and Risk Management Committee both meet four times a year. The Vice-Chancellor will have responsibility for preparing a range of data and agenda papers and/or presentations for the Board, and both of these important Committees, in relevant areas covered by the role or more general aspects of University business.
The Academic Board, chaired by the Vice- Chancellor, is the main academic decision-making body of the University. It has 27 members, including student representatives, along with a member of the Board of the Governors, providing a link between the governing body and academic decision-making within the institution. The Academic Board’s responsibilities include learning and teaching, research, knowledge exchange and matters relating to student welfare. It also considers and contributes to major strategic developments and academic policies.
Regular meetings of the University Executive are chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and cover the development of policy and strategy. The Executive consists of the Vice-Chancellor’s management team and heads of academic departments, and is a major forum for debate and communication on a range of issues where advice is required to inform decision-making by the Vice-Chancellor.
The Management Team is led by the Vice-Chancellor. It includes the Deputy Vice-Chancellor who leads the activities of academic departments and academic resources and the development of research and education; the University Secretary who is responsible for the coordination of corporate strategy and a range of administrative functions, and who also acts as the Clerk to the Board of Governors; the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Marketing and Communications and the Director of Academic Services and Academic Registrar.
The University has five academic departments:
- Agriculture & Environment - including Agriculture and Farm Business, Crop Protection and Agronomy, Environment, Animal Production, Sustainable Systems and the Crop and Environment Research Centre
- Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences – including Animal Sciences, Animal Health, Veterinary Nursing and Veterinary Physiotherapy
- Engineering - including Agricultural Engineering and Off-Road Vehicle Design
- Land and Agribusiness Management - including Business and Rural Enterprise and Land Management
- Food Technology and Innovation - including Food Science/Technology and Supply Chain Management
The new Veterinary School being established in partnership with Keele University operates jointly between the universities.
The University’s administration is managed by a team of highly qualified professionals who comprise a central administrative service.
Amongst others the Human Resources Team, Estates and Facilities Team and the Development Trust all report to the University Secretary.
Staff in Learner Support, Admissions and Compliance, the Examinations Office, the Scheduling Team, Student Services, Library Services, the Taught Postgraduate Office and Careers and Placement Support report to the Director of Academic Services and Academic Registrar.
A team of qualified staff support the Chief Financial Officer in matters concerning the financial management of the institution. The team that provides IS/IT services across the University, including academic and administrative systems support, together with a team that supports Short Courses and Conference Activities also report to the Chief Financial Officer.
The Students’ Union is actively supported by the University’s Student Services team and regular contact is maintained between senior members of the Students’ Union Executive, the Vice- Chancellor and the University Secretary.
The President and Vice-President serve in sabbatical posts and are involved in a wide range of University committees and initiatives.
The Students’ Union Executive, led by the President, is extremely active and plays a critical role in the student experience offered by the University, running a comprehensive range of clubs and societies, fundraising and social events.
The system for student representation on University committees is widespread, ensuring that staff are informed on the latest developments, views or issues from within the student community.
The University won the WhatUni Student Choice Award for Student Support in 2019 based on its holistic approach to the provision of services in support of the student community, and the Award for Job Prospects in 2020, based on its outstanding record for graduate employment.