SOAS University of London

SOAS Standing Orders XXI: Statement of Primary Responsibilities

XXI Statement of Primary Responsibilities

The Board of Trustees has set out a ‘Statement of Primary Responsibilities’, listing 10 core areas of responsibility covered by it and its sub-committees.

A. The Proper Conduct of Business

1. To conduct its business in accordance with best practice in higher education corporate governance and with the principles of public life drawn up by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

2. To establish processes to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the Board of Trustees itself.

3. To delegate authority to the Director, as chief executive, for the academic, corporate, financial, estate and personnel management of the institution; and to establish and keep under regular review the policies, procedures and limits within such management functions as shall be undertaken by and under the authority of the Director.

B. Strategic Planning, Policies and Strategies

1. To approve the mission and strategic vision of the School, long-term academic and business plans and key performance indicators, and to ensure that these meet the interests of stakeholders.

C. Monitoring Performance

1. To ensure that processes are in place to monitor and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the School against the plans and approved key performance indicators, which will be – where possible and appropriate – benchmarked against other comparable institutions.

D. Financial Stewardship and Estate Management

1. To be the principal financial and business authority of the School, to ensure that proper books of account are kept, to approve the annual budget and financial statements, and to have overall responsibility for the School’s assets, property and estate.

E. Audit and Risk Management

1. To ensure the establishment and monitoring of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment, and procedures for handling internal grievances and for managing conflicts of interest.

F. Student Issues

1. To make such provision as it thinks fit to ensure that the Student's Union operates in a fair and democratic manner and is accountable for its finances and, in consultation with the Academic Board, to make provision for the general welfare of students.

G. Health and Safety

1. To demonstrate a visible and active commitment to health and safety, and to approve the Health and Safety Policy and Procedures of the School.

H. Employment

1.  To be the employing authority for all staff in the School and to be responsible for establishing a human resources strategy.

2. To appoint the Director as chief executive, and to put in place suitable arrangements for monitoring his/her performance.

3. To appoint a secretary to the Board of Trustees and to ensure that, if the person appointed has managerial responsibilities in the institution, there is an appropriate separation in the lines of accountability.

I. Legal Matters

1. To be the School’s legal authority and, as such, to ensure that systems are in place for meeting all the School’s legal obligations, including those arising from contracts and other legal commitments made in the School’s name.

2. To act as trustee for any property, legacy, endowment, bequest or gift in support of the work and welfare of the School.

3. To ensure that the School’s constitution is followed at all times and that appropriate advice is available to enable this to happen.

J. Reputation

1. To ensure that the good name and values of the School are safeguarded.