Purpose and Responsibilities of Council

Primary page content

Council’s role is to act in the best interests of the College as a whole, ensuring it strategically delivers its mission to high standards with the necessary financial stability and sustainability.

Council also needs to make sure the Institution is meeting the requirements and performance levels expected by the College’s Regulator, the Office for Students, and achieves the necessary support to deliver our world class research.

All Council Members are equal and share all responsibilities. The composition is made up of staff and student representatives, alongside independent Members chosen for their expertise in fields relevant to the College.

Council delegates some of its responsibilities to committees, but has approved reserved powers for itself as follows:

  • to ensure high standards of corporate governance to include integrity, objectivity, openness and transparency
  • to ensure that an appropriate framework exists to manage the quality of learning and teaching and to maintain academic standards
  • to be generally responsible for the welfare of students and staff
  • to approve the Strategic Plan, and Key Performance Indicators to be used to monitor the performance of the College as a whole
  • to monitor the College's delivery against the Strategic Plan and Key Performance Indicators
  • to approve the annual budget
  • to ensure that funds provided by the Office for Students (OfS) are used in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of Funding, and that the conditions of funding of any other funding bodies, including the Teaching Agency (TA) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are similarly met
  • to ensure that the College complies appropriately with other regulatory documents from the Higher Education Funding Council for England which are for the time being in force
  • to approve borrowing or loans above an agreed value
  • to approve contractual commitments over an agreed value and authorise College signatories
  • to approve the Financial Statements and accompanying reports, including the Corporate Governance Statement
  • to approve the appointment of the College's bankers, and internal and external auditors
  • to approve policies and strategies designed to ensure good financial and risk management, and to monitor the College's arrangements for risk management in ways which Council shall from time to time determine
  • to approve the Articles of Governance of the Goldsmiths Students' Union, the Memorandum of Understanding between the College and the Union, and procedures designed to ensure that the College complies with its legal responsibilities in relation to the Union 's conduct of its affairs
  • to approve the College's Health and Safety Policy and Procedures and to monitor their implementation
  • to approve the sale, purchase and lease of College land over an agreed value and/or an agreed period of time
  • to approve building projects over an agreed value and monitor their progress
  • to be the employing authority for all staff in the institution, approve employment policies and strategies to ensure compliance with employment legislation and guidance and to monitor their implementation
  • to approve recommendations made by a properly-constituted Redundancy Committee to make academic and academic-related staff redundancies
  • to approve procedures for handling internal grievances and for managing conflicts of interest
  • to appoint the Warden, the Chief Operating Officer and the Director of Finance, and to approve recommendations for the appointment of Pro-Wardens, including the Deputy Warden
  • to appoint the Secretary to Council
  • to ensure compliance with all legislation affecting the College
  • to act as appropriate in relation to the role of Council as trustees, and to ensure that the College complies with charity law, and with the requirements of the Higher Education Regulatory Body
  • to agree proposed changes to the College's Statutes, Ordinances, General Regulations and Financial Regulations
  • to approve the establishment and termination of College companies, or the College's acquisition of a legal interest in a jointly-owned company (or voluntary termination of such interest), and to ensure that appropriate arrangement are in place to monitor the College's existing interests in companies
  • to establish processes to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of Council itself

Note: This statement (first approved by Council in December 2003, in essentially this form) was further amended by Council on 29 June 2010, by Chair's action on behalf of Council in the Summer term 2011 and (for minor terminological changes) in summer 2012. A further major review took place at the meeting of Council on 20 March 2013.

The Statement of Primary Responsibilities should be read in conjunction with the sections of the Statutes which relate to Council.

Further information for those interested in taking on the role of an Independent Member of Council can be found in the Independent Council Member Guidance (PDF).

Class 1

Chair Dinah Caine to 2024

Class 2 (ex officio members)

The Warden Professor Frances Corner ex officio
Pro-Warden Professor David Oswell ex officio
Pro-Warden Professor Ernest Caldwell ex officio
The Clerk to the Goldsmiths' Company vacancy ex officio
The President of the Students' Union Victoria Chwa ex officio

Class 3 (elected members)

Member of the Academic Board Dr Michael Guggenheim to 2025
Member of the Academic Board Professor Richard Noble to 2026
Member of the Academic Board Dr Jamie Ward to 2026
Member of the academic staff Professor Kiran Grewal to 2024
Member of the Non-Academic Staff, by that Staff in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Ordinances Kelly Mills to 2026 
Student Assembly Chair Elsabet Genti to 2024

Class 4 

Up to 14 persons, not being members of staff or students who shall be representative of educational, economic, social, cultural, charitable, community and other interests relevant to the work of the College.

Philip Stoltzfus  to 2025 (eot)
Irene Adeyinka to 2026 (eot)
Pam Raynor to 2024 (eot)
Aaron Porter, Deputy Chair to 2024 (eot)
Andrew Laurence to 2025 (eot)
Ben Morton-Wright to 2026 (eot)
Professor Susan Dilly to 2025 (eot)
Monika Barnes to 2025 (eot)
Dr Ronke Akerele to 2025 (eot)
Fiona McLaren to 2025
Dr Clare McConnell to 2026 

Class 5

At the discretion of the Council, one further person, who may or may not be a member of staff or a student.


Any member of staff may apply to observe a meeting of Council. For details please email governance (

Terms of office on committees are for three years, renewable for three further years. If the letters "eot" appear against a person's name in a membership listing, this indicates that he or she will reach the maximum term as a member of the body concerned on 31 August in the year specified.