Role of Governing Body


The Governing Body of University College Cork (UCC) was established under the Universities Act 1997 and is collectively responsible and accountable for institutional activities. It is charged with the overall governance of the University and provides active strategic direction and leadership to enable the University to succeed in its mission of education and research.  

As set out in the Code of Governance for Irish Universities 2019:

  • The Governing Body should fulfil key functions within its remit, including: reviewing and guiding strategic direction and major plans of action, risk management policies and procedures, annual budgets and business plans, setting performance objectives, monitoring implementation and university performance, and overseeing major capital expenditure and investment decisions.
  • The Governing Body should act on a fully informed and ethical basis, in good faith, with due diligence and care, and in the best interest of the university, having due regard to its legal responsibilities and the objectives set by the Universities Act 1997.
  • The Governing Body’s role is to provide leadership and direction to the University within a framework of prudent and effective controls which enables risk to be assessed and managed.
  • The Governing Body has a key role in setting the ethical tone of the University, not only by its own actions but also in setting an example for senior management and staff. High ethical standards are in the long-term interests of the University and a key means to help maintain a high level of credibility and trustworthiness. The Governing Body should lead by example and ensure that good standards of governance and ethical behaviours permeate all levels of the organisation.


Amendments to the 1997 Act introduced by the Higher Education Authority Act 2022 require that a restructured composition of the UCC Governing Body be in place on or before 9 November 2023.

Membership of the new Governing Body shall comprise 19 members as follows:    
Chairperson 1
President 1
Nominees of the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science 3
Other External Members 6
Internal Members 5
Student Members 3


The Governing Body currently has six standing Committees which support its work: Finance Committee, Audit & Risk Committee, People Committee, Student Experience Committee, Strategy, Research & Innovation Committee and a Nominations Committee.


The Governing Body ordinarily meets six times each year however, additional meetings may be required from time to time.  Meetings generally last approximately four hours.

Functions of Governing Body

The functions of the Governing Body are set out in Section 18 of the Universities Act 1997 and Section B.1.b of the UCC Principal Statute. In pursuance of the objects of the University and within the constraints of its budget, the functions of the Governing Body shall include:

  1. to control and administer the land and other property of the University;
  2. to appoint the President and such other employees as it thinks necessary for the purposes of the University;
  3. to determine the membership of the Governing Body, subject to the general law and to the University’s charter, statutes and regulations; and
  4. to perform such other functions as are imposed on it by or under any law or by the University’s charter, statutes and regulations.

The Governing Body shall:

  1. promote the success (including academic success) and reputation of the university,
  2. satisfy itself that appropriate systems, procedures and practices are in place—
    1. to achieve the objects of the university,
    2. for the internal performance management and accountability of the university in respect of—
      1. the performance of its functions, and
      2. the achievement of the aims in the strategic development plan of the University, and
    3. in order to implement, and report on compliance with, the policies (whether set out in codes, guidelines or other documents, or any combination thereof) of the Government or a Minister of the Government to the extent that those policies may affect or relate to the functions of the university, and
  3. establish and implement arrangements for the management of the performance of the President of the Unviersity

The Governing Body shall perform the following functions with regard to the University:

  1. approve expenditure for major capital and investment projects;
  2. approve annual financial statements;
  3. provide for and maintain a system of audit;
  4. provide for and maintain a system of risk management;
  5. provide for and maintain a system of quality assurance in accordance with the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012;
  6. review and oversee the implementation of major plans of action and provide strategic direction;
  7. delegate such functions as may be appropriate to the President;
  8. manage the financial affairs of the University to ensure value for money and its financial viability; and
  9. account to the Higher Education Authority for funding provided to the University by the Authority.


Office of Corporate & Legal Affairs - Governance

Oifig na nGnóthaí Corparáideacha agus Dlí - Rialachas