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Modernising and strengthening our Charter – University of Reading

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Modernising and strengthening our Charter

The University's Charter, our core constitution, was drawn up when Reading became an independent institution in 1926. Granted by Privy Council, acting on the authority of The Monarch, it constitutes the University as a legal entity and gives us the power to award degrees.

The Charter has been barely touched since then and, alongside the Statutes and Ordinances, is anachronistic, complex and, in some cases, not compliant with employment law. As we forge ahead with the University Strategy and our ambitious programme to realise our vision for 2026, our centenary year, we need governance structures that are fit for purpose for a 21st century institution.

To that end we have reviewed our 'instruments of governance' - that is, our Charter and its accompanying Statutes and Ordinances. An all staff consultation on the proposed new instruments was carried out earlier this academic year with the University's Council approving changes to the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances in March 2015. Her Majesty the Queen approved the proposals at a Privy Council meeting held on 10th June 2015 at Buckingham Palace. As a result, the new Charter, Ordinances and employment policies will be effective from 1 August 2015.

Due to the changes to the University's Instruments of Governance and in order to ensure that all employees are, in so far as possible, on the same terms, all staff will eventually be issued with a new contract of employment. The University is currently consulting with UCU and the Staff Forum on new contracts for academic staff and will be sharing a draft with colleagues shortly.

The University's Charter, our core constitution, was drawn up when Reading became an independent institution in 1926. Granted by Privy Council, acting on the authority of The Monarch, it constitutes the University as a legal entity and gives us the power to award degrees.

The Charter has been barely touched since then and, alongside the Statutes and Ordinances, is anachronistic, complex and, in some cases, not compliant with employment law. As we forge ahead with the University Strategy and our ambitious programme to realise our vision for 2026, our centenary year, we need governance structures that are fit for purpose for a 21st century institution.

To that end we have been reviewing our 'instruments of governance' - that is, our Charter and its accompanying Statutes and Ordinances. We have recently consulted  on updated Charter and new Ordinances in draft form and provide a summary below ('Consultation responses') of the issues raised and how we will respond to them

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