Annex 11 - University Visitor appointment procedures

Role of the University Visitor

Paragraph 4 of the Loughborough University Charter provides for the office of the Visitor:

  1. There shall be a Visitor of the University who shall have the right from time to time and in such manner as he/she shall think fit to direct an inspection of the University, its buildings, laboratories and general equipment and also an enquiry into the teaching, research, examinations and other work done by the University. These powers of the Visitor shall not, however, extend to investigation of any matters of concern raised by student members of the University. 
  2. The Visitor shall be appointed by Us, Our Heirs or Successors in Council on the representation of the Council of the University for such period as We, Our Heirs or Successors shall see fit.

Following the Higher Education Act 2004, the powers of the Visitor explicitly exclude applicant, student and former student complaints from their jurisdiction; instead, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for HE fulfils this function.

The Visitor’s jurisdiction is limited to adjudicating on petitions from members of the University’s staff on the interpretation and application of the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations, provided the point at issue is not an employment dispute.

Appointment of the University Visitor and Tenure of Office

The Visitor is formally appointed by the Privy Council on the recommendation of the University Council. The Privy Council will determine the period of office of the Visitor, which normally commences from the date the appointment is approved, although the Privy Council will take into consideration any recommendation from the University. Normally, the Visitor is appointed for a term of up to five years. Terms are renewable but the reappointment must be approved by the Privy Council.

Procedure for Appointment of the University Visitor

1. Where a vacancy in the office of University Visitor arises (or is due to arise), a search for a new Visitor should be undertaken. The search should bear in the mind the nature of the role and the desirability of appointing an individual of seniority, with relevant legal expertise (judicial or otherwise) and experience of employee issues in large complex organisations. Council may determine the process for conducting the search.

2. Once a suitable candidate has been identified, the Chair of Council and the Vice-Chancellor will propose to Council that it recommends to the Privy Council the appointment of the individual to the office of University Visitor. Prior to any proposal being made, the candidate should have confirmed that they are willing to accept the role for the proposed period of office. The proposal will normally include a brief summary of the candidate’s suitability for the role, their CV and a copy of this procedure.

3. Proposals supported by the University Council will be recommended to the Privy Council for formal approval. This will normally take the form of a letter setting out the University Council’s recommendation including:

  1. A summary of what the proposed candidate brings to the role and the rationale for appointing them
  2. Reference to the process used to select the candidate, confirming consideration of more than one possibility
  3. Information on whether the candidate has been approached and is willing to serve
  4. Any proposed period of office
  5. Confirmation that the process and recommendation are made in accordance with any provisions of the Charter and Statutes.

4. Subject to any comments from the Privy Council Advisors, two Privy Councillors will review the proposal formally before it is submitted on their advice for Her Majesty’s approval at a meeting of the Privy Council. Depending on the time of year, the process may take around three months.

Reappointment of the University Visitor

5. University Visitors are eligible for re-appointment on an unlimited number of occasions in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraph 6. below.

6. Where the Visitor’s term is due to end and they are willing to serve another term, the Chair of Council and the Vice-Chancellor may propose to Council that the Visitor be reappointed. Where Council supports the proposal, it will recommend the reappointment to the Privy Council for formal approval. This will take the form of a letter recommending the reappointment and any proposed term of office and will include the relevant Council minute.