Council – Governing Body

Governance and Leadership

The University is an exempt charity formed by Royal Charter.

Overall responsibility for its affairs lies with the University’s Council, comprising of external Independent Members, the Vice-Chancellor, the Provost, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and representatives of the Senate, support staff and the student body.

Council members are the University’s trustees who must comply with basic charity law and have the same key duties and responsibilities as the trustees of a registered charity. The University’s principal regulator is the Office for Students although it has responsibilities to numerous other professional, statutory and regulatory bodies.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor David Richardson, is the University’s Chief Executive Officer, accountable to Council for the overall management of the University. He is supported by the Executive Team and leads the delivery of the UEA Vision and Plan which sets out the University’s priorities for the future. Key amongst these are the educational and research missions of the University, which are underpinned by significant estates and digital transformation strategies to ensure that the University has appropriate facilities for the future. The Executive Team has established a number of other groups and management committees and executives to support its work.

Senate is responsible for the academic affairs of the University and the University engages formally with the wider community through its annual report to the Court, its membership of the Civic Universities Network and in being a University of Sanctuary.

Current key priorities are:

  • Maintaining the well-being of staff, students and visitors;
  • Ensuring the financial stability of the University through the national economic recovery;
  • The on-going delivery of world-class education and research;
  • Maximising the student experience; and
  • Delivering on both estates and digital transformation strategies.

The Council is the governing body of the University and its members are the trustees. The Council holds collective responsibility for:

  • Approving the mission and strategic vision of the University, its long-term business plans, key performance indicators and annual budgets and ensuring that these meet the interests of stakeholders;
  • Appointing the Vice-Chancellor and putting in place arrangements to monitor their performance;
  • Ensuring there are systems of control and accountability; and
  • Monitoring the University’s performance.


These responsibilities are expanded upon in the University’s Statutes.