+44 020 3930 8303

University of Exeter

Case Study
Senate Review

We were asked to do a thorough review of the University of Exeter’s Senate and its sub-committees, looking at all aspects of its work, including its reporting to and relationship with Council.

This involved:

  • interviews with all members of Senate and the University Senior Leadership team
  • surveys
  • observation of Senate and committees
  • desk review of Senate-related documents, strategies and policies.

The key outcomes of our review were accepted by the Executive and Senate, and involved:

  • clarifying the roles and responsibilities of Senate
  • reviewing the structure of Senate committees to provide full academic assurance
  • reviewing the induction to ensure cultural as well as compliance issues are covered
  • recommending ways to improve and strengthen relationships between Council and Senate
  • providing recommendations to enhance awareness of Senate across the University and to diversify membership.

Since completing the review, much has been achieved across all 19 recommendations, with 14 completed and the remaining 5 in progress. Senate members are gaining greater clarity in their roles as individual members and representatives of a constituency, and there have been huge strides in encouraging more participation and meaningful contribution within meetings and sub-committee meetings.

‘Halpin’s expertise and guidance were instrumental in helping us to deliver the recent Senate Effectiveness Review successfully undertaken in 2021. The Priority Actions, Recommendations and Suggestions that emerged from the review have provided us with a focused means to further enhance the effectiveness of Senate and acted as a catalyst to identify additional opportunities for continued improvement. The review was a very positive and productive experience for all involved and has resulted in clarity surrounding the role and responsibility of Senate members and greater levels of participation and engagement at Senate meetings.’ Mike Shore-Nye (Registrar & Secretary) and Professor Neil Gow (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Impact)