This page provides information about the governance structure and charitable status of the University.
The University of Leeds is an independent corporation established by Royal Charter, granted in 1904. The University's objects, powers and framework of governance are set out in the Charter and its supporting statutes, amendments to which must be approved by the Privy Council.
The University is an ‘exempt charity’ under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. The University does not have a registered number issued by the Charities Commission but is in law a charity by Royal Charter. Our reference number with the charity division of HM Revenue and Customs is X6861.
The Council is the University's governing body. It consists of 23 people, the majority of whom are lay members. Members of the Council are trustees of the University.
The Council is committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance, as well as meeting the obligations placed on us as an exempt charity and body in receipt of public funds. The Council has a responsibility to promote the University's wellbeing and to ensure its sustainability. Its specific responsibilities include:
- corporate strategy, plans and budgets
- corporate policy and major business decisions
- establishing the framework for governance and management
- monitoring institutional and executive performance
The Council meets at least six times a year. It includes members of staff and student representatives but the majority are lay members (people who are not staff or students at the University). This includes the Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor, Alastair da Costa.
Find out more about:
- The Council and its terms of reference
- Profiles for members of the Council
- Register of interests of members of the University Council and Senior Officers (PDF)
The Senate is responsible to the Council for academic governance and for regulating:
- the admission of students
- the curriculum
- academic standards
- the award of degrees and other qualifications
The Senate is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor Simone Buitendijk. It consists of more than 50 members including academic staff and student members. In addition to its responsibility for academic governance, the Senate has an advisory role extending across most aspects of our work.
The Council and the Senate are each supported by a number of committees.
The principal committees of the Council are:
- Strategy and investment committee (chair: Deputy Pro-Chancellor, Liz Barber)
- Audit and risk committee (chair: Deputy Pro-Chancellor, Iain Moffatt)
- Health and safety committee (chair: Vice-Chancellor)
- Nominating and governance committee (chair: Pro-Chancellor)
- Remuneration committee (chair: Helen Grantham)
View the Remuneration Committee annual report for 2017-18
View the Remuneration Committee annual report for 2018-19
View the Remuneration Committee annual report for 2019-20
View the Remuneration Committee annual report for 2020-21
- Gift acceptance committee (chair: Pro-Chancellor)
Committees of the Senate include:
- Taught student education board (chair: Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, Professor Jeff Grabill)
- Graduate board (chair: Dean for Postgraduate Research Studies, Professor Luke Windsor)
- Research and innovation board (chair: Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Nick Plant)
- International strategy board (chair: Principal Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hai-Sui Yu)
The University Court has about 90 members (the majority are lay-members). It is chaired by the Chancellor or, in their absence, the Pro-Chancellor. It is not involved in the University's decision-making processes, but is an important link with the community and other stakeholders, fostering engagement, responsiveness and accountability.
The Court serves as a mechanism for – and a symbol of – the University’s accountability to the wider community. It is empowered to ask questions about, and express an opinion on, anything concerning the University. It conveys these opinions to the Council, and can invite the Council (or other University bodies) to consider particular questions or courses of action. It meets at least twice a year: a formal, minuted, business meeting in December and other, informal, meetings.
Chancellor – Professor Dame Jane Francis DCMG
The Chancellor is an honorary role. Professor Dame Jane Francis represents the University from time to time in a ceremonial and ambassadorial capacity.
Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Jane is a pioneering scientist whose study of fossil plants and their use as tools for climate interpretation is recognised internationally.
Senior officers and executive management
Membership of the University Executive Group (UEG) comprises:
- Deputy Vice-Chancellors
- Chief Operating Officer
- Faculty executive deans
- Chief Financial Officer
- University Secretary
The Vice-Chancellor delegates responsibility for specific aspects of the University’s management to the UEG but retains ultimate responsibility for their work. Executive officers are responsible for the leadership and overall management of the corporate services and executive deans are responsible for the management of the faculties.
The UEG’s formal terms of reference include:
- Protecting and promoting the interests of students
- Supporting staff in realising their career aspirations and the wider education and research mission of the University
- Ensuring the academic development of the University and securing its academic and financial sustainability
- Formulating the University's Strategic Plan, and ensuring its implementation and the achievement of key objectives and performance targets
- Identifying and managing risks
- Resource allocation
Find out more about the management responsibilities delegated to the executive.
Our annual reports and accounts are available for download as PDFs from the corporate publications download page.
Expenses for the last financial year
View expenses for the last financial year:
- Vice-Chancellor's expenses downloadable as PDF
- Chief Financial Officer's expenses downloadable as PDF
- Chief Operating Officer's expenses downloadable as PDF
- Deputy Vice Chancellor: Student Education's expenses downloadable as PDF
View the emoluments of the Vice-Chancellor, Simone Buitendijk.