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College Council

The Council is the supreme governing body of the university, established under the Charter and Statutes. It is responsible for the long term sustainability of the institution and operates in accordance with the principles of good governance.

The function of the Council  

The functions of the Council are defined in the Charter and Statutes and the Ordinances, and include, among other things:   

  • defining and upholding the university's mission, vision and strategic direction 
  • monitoring the university's progress against agreed goals 
  • establishing management systems and monitoring their effectiveness 
  • ensuring that delegated responsibilities are clearly defined for the university's standing committees
  • ensuring that the university has effective risk management and internal controls 
  • overseeing the effective and prudential operation of the university
  • approving and monitoring commercial undertakings 

King's College London is a charity and members of the Council serve as its Trustees. They have a legal fiduciary duty and must ensure that the university's affairs are conducted in an effective, prudent and financially viable and sustainable manner.

Full details of the Council’s powers and functions can be found in the university’s Charter and Statutes. The Council’s terms of reference and details of its standing committees are given in the university's Ordinances

More information about the role of Council, the responsibilities of members and the criteria for membership (pdf 58KB).  

Membership and procedures  

The structure of the  College Council is in line with guidance on university governance produced by the Committee of University Chairs (CUC) and with other higher education institutions in the UK.  

The Council consists of 12 independent members who provide specific external expertise in a range of key areas vital in running the university, as well as accountability regarding decision making and the spending of public funds. Appointments to the College Council are made through a Nominations Committee as required by the CUC Higher Education Code of Governance.   

The Council also includes representation from students and staff, including the Student Union President, and seven staff members – including the President & Principal, three appointed staff members and three elected staff members.  

The Council’s mix of staff, student and independent representation delivers the expertise and accountability required to look beyond the day-to-day running of the university and provide effective and independent governance of the institution over the long term.  

Robust policies to deliver transparency  

The Council’s work is supported by a number of committees and sub-committees. There are robust governance and procedures in place to ensure transparent and independent decision-making processes across the entire governance structure.  

This includes clear separation between Council meetings and our investment management decisions which are made by a separate committee and taken on independent professional advice. Decisions regarding remuneration are taken by the Remuneration Committee - a sub-committee of College Council. The Remuneration Committee reports directly into Council, and its membership does not include the Principal or any other member of the Senior Management Team.  

Members of the Council and members of its standing committees and subcommittees adhere to the Council Conflict of Interest Policy, which ensures that all members of Council disclose their interests every year and any conflicts are immediately declared if related matters are due to be discussed in a Council meeting or on an upcoming agenda. This is consistent with good practice in the higher education sector.