According to the Universities Act 1997, Section 17
- The first meeting of a Governing Authority of a University shall be chaired by the Chief Officer and, subject to this Section, at that meeting and from time to time as the Governing Authority determines, the Governing Authority shall decide whether
- The holder of the office of Chief Officer should be or continue to be the Chairperson, or
- A person other than the holder of the office of Chief Officer should be appointed as Chairperson.
- Where the Governing Authority decides at a meeting that a person other than the Chief Officer should be the Chairperson, it shall, as soon as practicable, at that or subsequent meeting, by a majority vote of not less than two thirds of its members, appoint a person who is not an employee of the University or a member of the Governing Authority to be the Chairperson.
The practice of DCU is to appoint a person other than the Chief Officer to act as Chair of the Governing Authority. That person is known as the Chancellor of the University, and his/her primary role is to act as Chair of the Governing Authority.
The Chancellor of the University is responsible for ensuring that the Governing Authority conducts itself according to the accepted standards of behaviour in public life and these include attention to integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness and honesty at meetings of the Governing Authority. The Chancellor will exercise personal leadership, promote responsible governance within the Governing Authority, support the activities of the University, and advance the profile of the University in the public forum.
- The Chancellor is responsible for the leadership of the Governing Authority. As Chair of its meetings, he/she is responsible for ensuring that the necessary business of the Governing Authority is carried out efficiently, effectively, and in a manner appropriate for the proper conduct of public business.
- The Chancellor should ensure a good working relationship with the committees of the Governing Authority and that regular and satisfactory reports of such committees be presented to the Governing Authority.
- The Chancellor should ensure that the Governing Authority acts in accordance with the Universities Act, 1997, the Instruments of Governance of the University, the University’s internal Rules and Regulations, and should seek advice from the Secretary of the University in any case of uncertainty.
- Where possible the Chancellor shall preside over graduate ceremonies.
- The Chancellor should ensure that the Governing Authority exercises collective responsibility, that is to say, that decisions are taken corporately by all members acting as a body. The Chancellor will encourage all members to work together effectively, contributing their skills and expertise as appropriate, and will seek to build consensus among them.
- The Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that the Governing Authority conducts itself in accordance with the standards of behaviour in public life and implements the spirit and letter of the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001. (http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/codesofconduct/officeholders)
- The Chancellor shall ensure that the Secretary of the University maintains an up-to-date register of interests of members on an annual basis. The Chancellor shall ensure that any conflict of interest is identified and managed appropriately, in order that the integrity of the Governing Authority business shall be and shall be seen to be maintained.
- The Activities of the University
- The Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that the Governing Authority exercises control over the strategic direction of the University, through an effective planning process, and that the performance of the University is adequately assessed against the objectives which the Governing Authority has approved.
- The Chancellor shall endeavour to establish a constructive and supportive working relationship with the President of the University, while recognising the proper separation between governance and executive management, and avoiding involvement in the day-to-day executive management of the University.
- Any arrangements for the Chancellor to act as a formal signatory on behalf of the University shall be made known to the Governing Authority.
- External Role
- The Chancellor will be expected to promote the profile of the University in the public forum.
- The Chancellor may be invited to use personal influence and networking skills on behalf of the University.
- The Chancellor will be asked to play a major role in liaising between key stake-holders and the University. This role in particular should be exercised in a carefully co-ordinated fashion with senior officers and staff of the University.
- The Chancellor will have a strong personal commitment to higher education and the values, aims and objectives of higher education as laid out in the Universities Act, 1997, as well as the values, aims and objectives of the University.
- The Chancellor will at all times act fairly and impartially in the interest of the University as a whole, using independent judgement and maintaining confidentiality as appropriate.
- The Chancellor is expected to attend all meetings in which he/she is Chair or a member, or give timely apologies if absence is unavoidable.
- The Chancellor is not remunerated by the University but may be offered a honorarium and is entitled to expenses incurred in the course of University business.
- The formal start date and duration of appointment, together with any other relevant considerations, should be set out either in the role description or in the appointment letter which, in the normal course of events, will coincide with the second meeting of the new Governing Authority.