What is the University Council?
The members of the University Council represent the academic community. They constitute the highest democratically elected body within the governance of the university. Each Spring, twelve delegates are elected by the students from their midst. Staff designate twelve colleagues from among them every other year. The twenty-four members jointly appoint a chairperson - either or not from their midst, who duly represents the council - inter alia at the national consultation of university participation presidents (LOVUM), and academic ceremonies. The council is supported in its work by a registrar, and by the Office of the University.
Every last Thursday of the month, a Council meeting takes place. On the Thursday prior to this meeting, the Committee meetings take place. In these Committee meetings, the relevant documents are discussed in-depth. The documents are subdivided into three Committees.
During the meetings, the members of the Council ask critical questions about the topics discussed in the documents. The University Council meetings as well as the committee meetings are open for the public.
How does the University Council work?
The University Council is the University of Groningen’s representative body. It has a number of general powers and tasks that are set out in Article 9.32 of the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW). These tasks include for instance the approval of the annual budget or the the internal organization of student facilities. Furthermore, the University Council has the right of initiative. That means that the parties themselves can formulate propositions for policies, for example by righting a memo or by asking questions toward the board of directors. Formally, the University Council meets with the Executive Board in public eleven times a year, and twice a year in private with the Supervisory Board. Four times a year, at the Consultation of Councils, mutual consultations with the Faculty and Services Councils take place. Additionally, the council regularly organizes technical consultations with divisions of the Office, and informative armchair meetings with the rector, deans, department heads, and / or other parties. Members of the council make regular working visits to affiliated organizations such as the umbrella foundation for student sports ACLO, the cultural student center USVA, and the University Library (UB).
By virtue of its position, the council has observers to the principal advisory committees of the Board of Directors: the staff section at the University Committee for Academic Practice (UCW) and the student section to that of Education (UCO). Also, on the recommendation of the council presidium, two students take a seat on the IT strategy committee, and one in the jury for the election of the teacher of the year, and the student section as a whole is closely involved in the composition and policies of the Central Executive Board for Student Organizations (CUOS). Finally, the University Council regularly advises the Supervisory Board and Ministry of Education, Culture and Science on the level of support for policies and managerial appointments.