The aim of governance at the University is to:
The underpinning principles of good governance are openness, inclusivity, integrity and accountability. The University supports these principles in ensuring that:
The University’s governing body is the Council. It is particularly concerned with the University’s overall strategy, finances, property and staff, and is supported by a number of subcommittees. The Council has the ultimate authority within the OU, but it has to respect the views of the Senate in academic matters. Further information can be found on the Government Structure and Council Members pages.
The Senate is the academic authority of the University, responsible for academic strategy, policy, priorities and performance. Below it is a substructure consisting of policy committees and faculty or central academic unit (CAU) committees. These are shown in the OU Academic Governance Structure Chart (internal only) and further information can be found on the Academic Structure page.
Information on the way in which associate lecturers and students contribute to University governance can be found on the Representative Structure page.
The Charter also identifies the roles and responsibilities of the Officers of the University, key figures within the governance structure such as the Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor. The Officers of the University should not be confused with the OU’s executive team (Vice-Chancellor’s Executive). Some Officers are members of the executive, but others are not.