The University Byelaws require that one of the governors is identified through an election process from within the Board to be the Senior Independent Member (SIM). The SIM takes delegated responsibility for the development of effective governance and takes the lead in the three yearly Effectiveness Review and the annual evaluation processes including the review of the Chair of the Board of Governors. There is often a role for the SIM in the cases where a Special Committee is called. The SIM is an officer of the University and his/her role is described in the Byelaws as follows:
“16. THE SENIOR INDEPENDENT MEMBER
16.1 There shall be a Member of the Board designated as the Senior Independent Member appointed by the Board who shall act to monitor the effective governance of the University and specifically the operation and effectiveness of the Board.
16.2 The Senior Independent Member shall be an Officer of the University and will articulate, sustain and exemplify its mission and values by his or her involvement in the life of the University.
16.3 The Senior Independent Member shall be selected using the election procedures in the University Byelaws, Procedures and Guidance Notes and if no nominations for the position are received shall be the Chair of the Audit Committee Ex Officio.
16.4 The Senior Independent Member shall be Ex Officio a Member of the Court.
16.5 The term of office of the Senior Independent Member shall be for a period of three years and shall not be renewable.
16.6 The duties of the Senior Independent Member shall be established by the Board and will include:
- monitoring and evaluating annually the processes of governance including the annual effectiveness review, including the review of the Chair and provide summary report to the Board;
- attending other formal meetings in relation to governance, both at the University and externally as necessary; and
- providing advice to the Chair, the Deputy Chair, Vice Chancellor, the Clerk and the members of Board.
16.7 The Senior Independent Member may resign by notifying the Chair of the Board. The Senior Independent Member’s appointment may be terminated early by the Board for good cause, the Senior Independent Member having had an opportunity to make appropriate written representation to the Board.”