The Governing Body

Boston College's Governing Body, also known as the Corporation or the Board, is made up of a group of people drawn from a number of different sectors of the local community as well as staff and students at the College.

The full Board normally meet five times a year with an additional two planning sessions in November and March each year.

Most Boston College Governors are also members of one of the Board's committees. At present these are Finance and Resources, Standards, Audit, Remunerations, and the Search and Governance Committee. The committees meet at intervals and times to meet their own requirements. Visit the 'Constitutions and Meeting Minutes' page for more information and up-to-date minutes.

The role of the Corporation is to set the strategic direction and framework which the College operates, monitors results and supports the College to provide a high quality and effective learning experience for everyone who enrols at Boston College.

The main duties of the Corporation are:

  • To determine the educational mission and character of the College
  • To approve the quality strategy
  • To be satisfied as to the effective and efficient use of resources
  • To approve the annual budget
  • To appoint the Principal and other senior post holders and determine their pay and conditions
  • To set the framework for pay and conditions of service for all other staff

The College's Governing Body is very similar to a Board of Directors in a company. The main part of the Board's work should be outward-looking and strategic. The day to day running of the College, the operational management, is left to the College Principal and her senior team. There is a legal framework within which the Board operates and the Clerk to the Corporation provides guidance on such matters and on the best processes to adopt in the interests of 'good governance'. The Board oversees the spending of public money and should be open and accountable in all that it does. There is a Code of Conduct for Governors which sets the standards within which they will perform their duties.

The Governing Body is accountable for the success of Boston College and works within the legal framework laid down in the Instrument and Articles of Government. Only the Governing Body has authority, not individual governors. The Board can only speak with one voice. Individual governors can, of course, present advice to managers outside Board meetings but this is only advice. Only members acting collectively can take binding decisions. This means that, in practice, individual governors have no legal liability. However, should the Board take decisions which are beyond its power, it could be held collectively liable and individual governors could be held personally liable. However, there are no examples of this ever happening in a college. There have been examples of failing colleges where Governing Bodies have been replaced but this is extremely rare. The Governing Body publishes a report within the College’s annual accounts on its work and compliance with regulatory requirements.

For a full list of current Boston College Governors, visit the 'Meet our Governors' page. Alternatively if you are interested in joining the College's Governing Body, visit the 'Becoming a Governor' page.

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