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Which items should be presented to the Board?

It is critical that the Board spends time as a collective body discussing and deciding upon strategic and other significant matters. This is with the intention of making decision-making more agile and effective for all colleagues, and that University ‘business’ can be moved forward in the most effectively and timely way.

Items presented to the Board:

  • Should be relevant, concise, focused, evidence-based, underpinning and informing proposals in the item
  • Should provide clear and focused recommendations to the Board which are unpacked, and present a steer where several options or scenarios are posed. 
  • Which are predominantly operational, procedural OR pertaining to academic governance, regulation and policy, whether for note, review or decision, will only be added to a Board agenda when there are evident or likely major corporate, commercial, statutory or resource impacts in its widest sense
  • for the purpose of information-sharing and solely for note will not find a place on the Board's agenda, unless there is a compelling requirement to provide a ‘heads-up’ to the Board on a significant future matter, or to satisfy audit or assurance trail requirements.

In summary, items of the following type should be brought to the Board for consideration, approval or endorsement or note (where the Board is not the final approving body).

Strategic Plan/Strategic Plans and annual, medium and longer-term financial or resourcing plans

University-level plans requiring strategic positioning and major resourcing and decisions to be taken, and performance outcomes and implications to be monitored and evaluated.

Regulations and Policies

Regulations and Policies with major corporate, financial or wider financial and staff and physical/virtual resourcing implications, or significant external legislative impacts.

The Board will be the final approving point for many Regulations or Policies fitting this criteria. However, there are some policies and Regulations which require escalation into committees of Council, or even to Council. Advice should be sought from the Secretary. The Board should not be asked to approve predominantly academic or academic related regulations policy (such as relating to student entry, progressions awards, assessment, discipline etc) unless there are major resource or organisational implications.

Specific financial expenditure or revenue or income generating levels and related matters

 (many of these will be incorporated into a business case item as per below)

Examples of these could be:

  • Capital Expenditure at the level set in the Financial Regulations
  • Student Tuition Fees
  • Entering into high value and/or high profile leases
  • Disposal of assets
  • Pension Arrangements.

Business Cases (Summarised) for major projects or partnerships

Where the strategic scale of the case for the investment or partnership is significant, and known or expected expenditure for major projects and partnerships and return exceeds the amount set in the Financial Regulations. See row above. The Board should not normally be asked to approve detailed:

  • Tender evaluations for major projects (delegated to a Project Board or other body led by a Board member or other senior staff member)
  • Contractual particulars (unless this is a condition of entering the contract).

Instead it should receive summary assurance on these as part business case or final approval proposals.


Internally or externally commissioned reports

Examples of these are:

  • Outcomes of an internal working/task and finish group to address a specific issue or tactical or strategic response/intervention OR
  • An external investigation, audit or consultancy commissioned by, on behalf of, or with the cooperation of UEB, which will have regulatory or policy implications at a University-wide level
  • Monitoring Reports or Reviews (for example, quarterly annual reviews and Reports)
    • Strategic, University-wide or other corporate activity, for example the Faculty Dean’s Report, Financial performance (annual, quarterly), Health and Safety, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Corporate/Strategic Risk Registers, Estates, OPPA; other accountability reports, as required by OfS (Access and Participation, Prevent Duty).

Consultation Exercises

An example would be where the consultation relates to institution-wide matters (for example OfS, UKRI or USS), these should be co-ordinated by/on behalf of a Board member.

It is not expected that the Board would approve consultations at this level, depending on the significance and impact of that being consulted on, but as a minimum should receive these for information as part of its horizon scanning role.


If you are unsure if your item should be presented to the Board, please seek the views of the Secretary to the Board (Adam Dawkins or the Governance and Regulation Officer (Gill Gibbins) who can advise on the journey of the item between various University bodies, on the basis of a clear rationale and intended content of the item.  If the item is referred back it is not a signal that is not important, itw will be because it is not within the Board's remit, and a more appropriate place, or person(s) exist to discuss and decide upon it.

Items reviewed by the Board may be referred back to the Sponsor and Author for further work and clarification. Sometimes this will be:

  • With a view to the item being brought back to the Board for re-consideration, normally within a short timeframe
  • Where minor modifications or clarifications are required, which do not need to be brought back, but may need to recorded as a follow on action which has been completed.


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