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All-staff briefing: A conversation with University Council members


Our latest all-staff briefing focused on the role of University Council as Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort was joined in conversation by: 

  • Council President Paul Preston 

  • Vice-President Kate Owen  

  • Vice-President Helen Gordon 

  • Jon Gibbins (academic community representative)  

  • James Magee (professional services community representative) 

  • Richard Messer (University Secretary and Chief Strategy Officer) 

Introducing the session Robert said that this was an opportunity for colleagues to get acquainted with key members of Council and what they and the Council does for the University. 

Richard Messer provided the context to the conversation by explaining the Council’s make-up and its responsibilities. Council is the ultimate governing body of our University and ensures that our institution is properly governed and meets all of its legal and regulatory requirements. Amongst its tasks is monitoring the University Strategy, as well as appointing the Vice-Chancellor and the University Executive Board.  

Council is made up of 27 members in total, including 15 members external to the University known as lay members. It meets 4-5 times a year, with various sub-committees meeting more regularly to focus on specific issues. 

Richard’s presentation is available for colleagues to view. 

Robert then spoke with the other Council members to discuss what being a member of Council meant to them, and how they worked to ensure that the voices of colleagues, students and other stakeholders were heard.   

You can find out more about University Council, include profiles of all its members, on the new Council webpages. 


You can also access the recording on Microsoft Stream.  

Upcoming talks  




Wednesday 16 December  


Autumn term in review  

We will be sharing a schedule of all-staff talks for spring and summer terms in the new year. 

All colleagues will be sent an Outlook Calendar invite ahead of the session. If you have any queries, please contact  

Previous talks


All-staff briefings 

You can view our all-staff briefings from last academic year through Microsoft Streams.  




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