Staff news

Court meeting: 20 June 2016

The University Court had its most recent meeting on 20 June.

We publish regular updates on matters discussed at all Court meetings, during which members consider matters of strategic importance to the University.

Meetings of the Court are held five times a year.

Governing body

The Court is the University’s governing body and its legal persona.

With a focus on strategic direction, it takes the final decisions on issues of fundamental concern to the wellbeing of the University.

Detailed information on the membership and activities of the University Court, including meeting agendas, papers and minutes, is available online.

Detailed information on University Court

Summary of Court meeting: 20 June 2016

The following reports are summaries of a selection of items discussed and agreed at Court on 20 June.


The Principal indicated that he will demit office in September 2017, with the recruitment process previously approved by Court to be followed in order to appoint a successor.

Principal to stand down

Appointment of Assistant Principal

Court approved the establishment of an Assistant Principal Agriculture and Food Security, with Professor Geoff Simm to be appointed for an initial period of three years.

Food security focus for new Global Academy

Student Experience Update

The Senior Vice-Principal presented an update on work to embed the

unambiguous priority of learning and teaching at the University, including reviewing policies and processes for enhancing teaching performance for the coming academic year and examining how to stimulate and manage innovation in learning and teaching.

Business Planning Round 2016-19

The final draft of the University’s three year financial plan for 2016-19, synthesising business plans submitted by major budget owners was reviewed and plans, investments and management actions approved.

Strategic Plan

The final draft Strategic Plan was presented, following review of a high level draft at the February 2016 meeting. Court agreed to the arrangements for monitoring the performance of the University and agreed that the Strategic Plan can be published subject to any drafting comments.

Strategic Plan

Student Recruitment Strategy

The Senior Vice-Principal presented a Student Recruitment Strategy with the intention to enable the University to achieve its objectives for student recruitment over the period of the new Strategic Plan and beyond. The Strategy was approved.

Estates: Holland House

Proposals to refurbish Holland House – a 350 bed undergraduate catered residence constructed in 1965 located at the Pollock Halls of Residence site – were considered. Court approved the proposals, with the refurbishment costs to be wholly funded via an internal loan. 

Other items

Updates from EUSA and on the proposed City Deal for the Edinburgh region and reports from Court’s committees on activities being undertaken in support of Court were received. Court also approved a Code of Practice relating to EUSA, the University Risk Register and Risk Appetite Statement, the External Audit Annual Plan, a reorganisation of endowment funds held in the excess of 10 years in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and appointments to Committees proposed by Nominations Committee.

Further information on the remit and work of Court and its Committees can be found online.

Court and Committees