Staff Governor election 2013

Below you will find the election address of Douglas Chalmers, the successful candidate for Academic Staff Governor, who stood for the post supported by the joint unions at GCU

Why I am standing for the position of Staff Governor

The Combined Union Committee at GCU comprising UCU; EIS; Unison and Unite are supporting Douglas Chalmers as a staff governor in the election to court on Thursday 13th June. Below Douglas tells Brian Pillans the type of reforms he would like to support to the existing governance structure; why he thinks the current governance is not working at GCU; and why he believes he would be a good staff governor.

The video is approximately 3 minutes 20 seconds long




Here is the legal position of the University Court:

Who are the members of the University Court?

Why are there no recent minutes of the Court meetings available?

Statement of Court’s Primary Responsibilities


Under the terms of the Glasgow Caledonian University (Scotland) Order of Council 1993, Court is the governing body of the University and, as such, is responsible for overseeing the management and administration of the whole of the revenue and property of the University. Court exercises general control over the University and all its affairs, purposes and functions, taking all final decisions on matters of fundamental concern to the University.

Specifically, Court’s Primary Responsibilities are detailed as follows:

Staff and students

1. To appoint the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, including the term and conditions of such appointment, and to put in place suitable arrangements for the monitoring of his/her performance;

2. To ensure a safe working environment is provided for staff and students;

3. To make such provision as it thinks fit following consultation with the Senate, for the general welfare of its students;

Financial responsibilities

4. To ensure the solvency of the University and to safeguard its assets;

5. The preparation and approval of the University’s annual accounts and report;

6. To ensure the proper use of public funds awarded to the University and to ensure that the terms of the Financial Memorandum with the Funding Council are observed;

7. To approve the annual operating plans and budgets and to ensure that these reflect the University’s strategic plan and strategic risk assessment

Strategic responsibilities

8. To approve the mission statement of the University and its strategic plan and to ensure that these articulate the University’s goals and meet the interests of the stakeholders.

9. To approve a financial strategy for the University, as well as long-term business plans;

10. To approve an estates strategy for the management, development and maintenance of the University land and buildings in support of institutional objectives;

11. To approve a human resources strategy;


12. To ensure that the University operates in accordance with the University’s Statutory Instrument as well as all UK and EC legislation where applicable;

13. To ensure that in all the University’s policies, procedures and actions, the University complies with the requirements of the law relating to equal opportunities as a provider of education and as an employer;

14. To ensure that systems are in place for the assessment and management of risk;

15. To ensure the existence and integrity of financial control systems and to monitor these through the Audit Committee;

16. To ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for the proper management of health and safety in respect of students, staff and other persons on University premises or affected by University operations;

Monitoring performance and effectiveness

17. To monitor the University’s performance against its strategic plan and agreed key performance indicators;

18. To monitor and review the performance and effectiveness of the Court and its standing committees;

19. To ensure that the proceedings of Court are conducted in accordance with best practice in higher education corporate governance and with the principles of public life drawn up by the Committee on Standards in Public Life;

Statement revised: November 2007

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