Constitution and management

Charter, Statutes and Ordinances

The University of Kent at Canterbury received its Royal Charter in 1965. The University’s Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations form the University’s constitutional framework.

The Charter sets out the University’s fundamental objectives ("the objects of the University are to advance education and disseminate knowledge by teaching, scholarship and research for the public benefit"). [Extract from Paragraph 3 of the Charter] It also makes provision for:

(a) the University’s major statutory bodies: Council, Court and Senate.

(b) the University's principal officers: the Visitor (Archbishop of Canterbury,�ex officio), the Chancellor, the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Council, the Vice-Chancellor.

The Statutes provide further information on the appointments of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Council, the Vice-Chancellor and the Chancellor and make provision for the appointment of Deputy and Pro-Vice-Chancellors and the Secretary of the Council. Statutes also make provision for Faculties and Academic Schools and deal with employment matters for academic and academic-related staff.

The Ordinances define, amongst other things: the Faculties and their constituent schools and the membership of Faculty Boards; the procedure for elections of members of staff to the Council and the Senate; first and higher degrees; the appointment of the lay officers and members of the Council, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor(s) and Pro-Vice-Chancellors and the Deans of Faculties; the role of the Colleges and matters relating to the Students’ Union (Kent Union).

Chart: Principal constitution bodies and committees

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The Court

The Court includes representatives from many sections of the local and national community as well as the University’s principal officers, ex officio, elected representatives of staff and students and graduates of the University (currently over 500 members). The Court is chaired by the Chancellor and at its annual meeting "an annual review of the University and the Annual Accounts ... (is) presented." [Extract from Ordinance 9.4]

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The Council

The Council is "the supreme governing body of the University" and its responsibilities include "the oversight of the management and administration of the revenue and property of the University" and "oversight of the conduct of the affairs of the University "*.

Amongst other things, the Council is responsible for;

a) the appointment of lay officers, including its Chair and the Chancellor,

b) the appointment of lay members of the Council,

c) the appointment of external auditors, and

d) for the making and amending of the University’s Statutes (subject to the Privy Council’s approval) and Ordinances.

The Council’s principal committees include the Finance and Resources Committee, Audit Committee, Lay Nominations Committee and the Remuneration Committee. Council comprises 25 members.�The majority of its membership is of lay members (17); other members include staff and student representatives. The Council holds five meetings per year.

* Extract from Section 6 of the University’s Charter.

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The Senate

The Senate is "responsible for the academic work of the University"*. Its principal committees include the Learning and Teaching Board, the Research and Innovation Board, the Graduate School Board and the Information Services Board. Senate is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and currently comprises 48 members.�Members include the Deans of the Faculties and the Graduate Dean and Heads of academic schools ex officio and student representatives.�Senate holds three or four meetings per year.

* Extract from Section 17 of the University’s Charter.

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The Faculties

The University has three Faculties (Humanities; Sciences; Social Sciences) each headed by a Dean. The Faculties each have a Faculty Board, the duties of which are to direct, subject to the control of Senate, the work of the Faculty. Within each Faculty academic staff are organised in schools, each with a head appointed by the Council with designated responsibilities for the day-to-day management of resources and the work of the subjects concerned. The Schools are defined in Ordinance 14.1 as follows:

  • Faculty of Humanities: School of Architecture, School of Arts; School of European Culture and Languages; School of English; School of History; School of Music and Fine Art.

  • Faculty of Sciences: School of Biosciences; School of Computing; School of Engineering and Digital Arts; School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science; Medway School of Pharmacy; School of Physical Sciences, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

  • Faculty of Social Sciences: Kent Business School; School of Economics; Kent Law School; School of Politics and International Relations; School of Psychology; School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research; School of Anthropology and Conservation.

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University Principal Officers and Management

The Vice-Chancellor is the principal academic and administrative officer of the University. The Vice-Chancellor is assisted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor(s) and Pro-Vice-Chancellors, the Secretary of the Council and other administrative officers and their staff in the day-to-day management of the University.

Members of the Executive Group (EG) (the Deputy and Pro-Vice-Chancellors and the Secretary of the Council) have both policy and management responsibilities in the University. Administrative and other officers reporting to EG members are as follows: Academic Registrar; Director of Student Services; Deans of the Faculties; Director of Human Resources; Director of Estates; Director of Research Services; Director of Innovation and Enterprise; Director of Information Services; Director of the International Development; Director of Corporate Communications; Director of Development and Alumni Relations; Dean for Brussels; Director of Commercial Services.

The Secretary of the Council is appointed by the Council.

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Governance - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823903 or Contact us

Last Updated: 29/11/2018