Accessibility statement

The Governance and Assurance Office

The Governance and Assurance Office was formed in June 2019. It is an office within the Vice-Chancellor's Department.

The team is led by Dr Adam Dawkins, the University Secretary.

The team is responsible for developing and ensuring compliance with the governance framework of the University. We support and advise University Executive Board (UEB), Council, Senate and Court, and a range of other sub-committees and bodies. We provide a general corporate and academic governance advisory service to the University.

The Governance and Assurance team works closely with UEB and the Professional Services Departments, the Chief Operating Officer’s portfolio and Finance Directorate in particular.

Key responsibilities

The key responsibilities of the team are:

  • advising on the interpretation, application and review of the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and relevant Regulations of the University which are our governing instruments as a chartered corporation and exempt charity
  • providing advice and guidance on exemplary stewardship through the University's key governance bodies
  • acting as secretariat to UEB, Council (and the majority of its core corporate sub-committees), Senate and Court, and providing advice, guidance and framework for consistency for colleagues outside the team supporting other Council and Senate sub-committees
  • Council members' individual and collective induction, development and evaluation; membership management, election, nomination and rotation
  • working with colleagues to support an Ethics Governance Framework (beyond that related to the University's research activities) as well as wider corporate governance-related policies for proper and responsible business conduct
  • horizon scanning in relation to national governance and related regulatory policy, including the Committee of University Chairs (CUC), and as a key focal point for the Office for Students
  • supporting a developing non-academic assurance agenda for the University, in conjunction with other professional support departments.

See University Secretary Key Responsibilities (PDF , 59kb) for more information.

Please note that the Governance and Assurance Office is not responsible for Legal Services. The majority of legal and contract advisory work and all other Professional Services matters sit within the Chief Operating Officer’s portfolio (currently held by Dr Joss Ivory).

On return to the office, the team will be based in H/B15 in Heslington Hall.

For general enquiries please email us on

Meet the team