Against the backdrop of revised codes of practice and failure of governance in other sectors, Chris expresses the concern that nobody has properly defined what governance is, or distinguished between governance and management. He also notes that while the University is successful he is not sure it is down to the governing body. His key ingredients for good governance are communication, by which he means ensuring governors have the information they require to be effective, having the right people as governors and a structure that allows governors to contribute on the Council. The Council meets three or four times a year, and he suggests that a three-year term of membership is too short once it is recognised that it takes between three and four years for a new governor to understand what is going on.
The University’s experience of using external advertising has been disappointing, and doubts are expressed as to whether advertising is likely to bring forward individuals with the qualities that the Council is seeking. The knowledge and experience sought from prospective members of Council include organisational decision-making at a relatively high level, the ability to communicate effectively and general intelligence. A majority of the University's Council members are drawn from the county of Yorkshire. A key role of the Council is agreeing a policy framework for the executive to action and the subsequent monitoring of the impact of the actions taken. Governors should not become involved in undertaking the tasks themselves. If they do, because they think the executive isn’t competent, they should change the executive.