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GDP Role and Responsibilities of Staff Governors (Online)

County / Region
United Kingdom
Position on the Pathway
Governor's Pathway
Fellowship Category
Event Type
Virtual Networking Event
Start Date
End Date
5 hours
Institution Type
Higher Education and Further Education
Price From


For new and continuing Staff Governors and those considering whether they would like to become a Staff Governor.

This one-day event, which forms part of our Governor Development Programme (GDP),  will consider the role of Staff Governors and how they can best make an effective contribution to the work of the governing body. Staff Governors provide a direct link between the staff of the institution and the governing body, yet a balance must be struck as they are not acting as a representative of the constituency from whom they have been elected or appointed. As Governors, they should act in the best interests of the institution and accept collective responsibility for the decisions agreed by the governing body. Independent Governors may also look to Staff Governors as a source of information to help their understanding of the institution, and to gain insights into how it operates.

The event will look at the importance of building good relationships with other members of the governing body, explore how difficult issues can be raised, and the balance between supporting and challenging the executive.

Governors Pathway

Role and Responsibilities of Staff Governors Programme

10.00am   Welcome and introductions,  Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

10.15am  Understanding the HE policy landscape, Ross Renton, Pro Vice Chancellor, Worcester University

11.00am  Understanding HE governance, Catherine Baxter, University Secretary, Harper Adams University

11.45am  Break

12 noon Composition of governing bodies with headlines and insights from Advance HE Diversity of UK HE Governing Bodies Report, Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

12.15pm  Staff governor panel, Sarah Cowls, Head of Student Services and staff governor, Queen Mary University of London, Dominic Laffy, staff governor, Regent's University London

1pm  Lunch

1.30pm  Breakout discussions

2.10pm  Feedback from discussions

2.30pm  Close


Catherine Baxter
University Secretary, Harper Adams University

Catherine was appointed to the role of University Secretary at Harper Adams University in September 2009 having previously worked in senior roles at both pre and post 1992 Universities in England and Wales.  She also has experience of setting up an overseas campus.  

Catherine’s role at Harper Adams includes being Secretary to the Board of Governors and its committees and Secretary to the HAU Development Trust (a separate charity established to raise scholarship and capital funds).  She also manages a range of teams including Estates & Facilities, HR, Legal, Data Protection/FOI; Catering, and Health and Safety.

Catherine Baxter University Secretary Harper Adams University

If you would like to find out more about our other governance events, please visit our Governance Development Programme page.

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