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Legal and Governance

Statement of Primary Responsibilities

A full statement of the responsibilities of the Board of Governors is contained in the Board's Terms of Reference which comprise extracts from the University's Articles of Association (which incorporate the Instrument and Articles of Government) and the Charity Commission Scheme. The primary responsibilities of the Board of Governors, should be read alongside the Terms of Reference, which are available from the Clerk to the Governors:

  • To approve the mission and strategic vision of the institution, long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators, and to ensure that these meet the interests of stakeholders.
  • To delegate authority to the head of the institution, as chief executive, for the academic, corporate, financial, estate and personnel management of the institution, and to establish and keep under regular review the policies, procedures and limits within such management functions as shall be undertaken by and under the authority of the head of the institution.
  • To ensure the establishment and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment, and procedures for handling internal grievances and for managing conflicts of interest.
  • To ensure processes are in place to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the institution against the plans and approved key performance indicators, which are, where possible and appropriate, benchmarked against other comparable institutions.
  • To establish processes to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the Board of Governors itself.
  • To conduct the business of the Board of Governors in accordance with best practice in higher education corporate governance and with the principles of public life drawn up by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the institution.
  • To appoint the head of the institution as chief executive, and to put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring his/her performance.
  • To appoint a Clerk to the Board of Governors and to ensure that, because the person appointed has managerial responsibilities in the institution, there is an appropriate separation in the lines of accountability.
  • To be the employing authority for all staff in the institution and to be responsible for establishing a human resources strategy.
  • To be the principal financial and business authority of the institution, to ensure that proper books of account are kept, to approve the annual budget and financial statements, and to have overall responsibility for the University's assets, property and estate.
  • To be the institution's legal authority and, as such, to ensure that systems are in place for meeting all the institution's legal obligations, including those arising from contracts and other legal commitments made in the institution's name.
  • To make such provision as it thinks fit for the general welfare of students, in consultation with the Academic Board.
  • To act as trustee for any property, legacy, endowment, bequest or gift in support of the work and welfare of the institution.
  • To ensure that the institution's constitution is followed at all times and that appropriate advice is available to enable this to happen.


If you have any questions about governance at Harper Adams University please contact:

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