Our governance structure

Firth Court and trees

The University is an independent corporation whose legal status derives from a Royal Charter granted in 1905. 

It is an exempt charity regulated by the Office for Students. Its objectives, powers and governance framework are set out in the Charter (pdf) and its supporting Statutes (pdf).

You can download a diagram showing the structure of the University's central committees (pdf), including committees of the Council and the Senate.


Overview of our governance structure

The University's Charter requires the existence of the following bodies:

The Council

The University's Council is the governing body of the University, responsible for the strategic development and overall performance of the University's business.

Council membership comprises lay and academic persons appointed under the Statutes of the University, the majority of whom are non-executive. Much of the work of Council is carried out through formally constituted committees.

Terms of Reference (pdf)  Membership  Minutes

The Senate

The Senate is the academic authority, whose role is to direct and regulate the teaching and research work of the University.

Its membership is drawn mainly from the academic staff of the University. Much of the work of Senate is carried out through formally constituted committees.

Terms of Reference (pdf)  Membership (pdf)  Minutes

The Faculties

The University's five faculties are responsible for teaching, research and examining of subjects within departments and for regulating admission of students to them.

Faculties also make recommendations to the Senate on the award of degrees, fellowships and prizes as well as on academic staff appointments and promotions.

University Committees


Officers of the University

As well as requiring the existence of the above bodies, the Charter also requires there to be a number of specific Officers.

You can view the Register of interests (pdf) for each officer.

For the session 2018-19 the Officers of the University are:

The Right Honourable Lady Justice Rafferty, DBE


The Chancellor is formally the lay head of the University and attends on a number of special occasions, including degree ceremonies. Other lay officers comprise the Pro-Chancellors, one of whom acts as Chair of Council, and the Treasurer.

The Rt Hon Lady Justice Rafferty DBE is the eighth Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.

Professor Koen Lamberts

President and Vice-Chancellor

The President and Vice-Chancellor, assisted by a Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and seven Vice-Presidents, is the chief academic and executive officer of the University. He is Chair of Senate, is responsible for the executive management of the University and is accountable to Council for the exercise of these functions.

The President and Vice-Chancellor undertakes his responsibilities for the operational running of the University with the support of senior executive colleagues who meet weekly as the University Executive Board.

Mr Tony Pedder

Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor

Tony Pedder is a member of the following University Committees: Council (Chair), Council Nominations Committee (Chair), Finance Committee, Honorary Degrees Committee, Human Resources Committee, Senior Remuneration Committee (Chair).

Mrs Alison Hope

Pro-Chancellor and Senior Independent Director

Alison Hope is a member of the following University Committees: Alumni Board; Audit Committee (Chair); Council; Council Nominations Committee; Honorary Degrees Committee; Senate Nominations Committee; Senior Remuneration Committee.

Mr Richard Mayson


Richard Mayson is a member of the following University Committees: Alumni Board (Chair), Audit Committee, Council, Council Nominations Committee, Honorary Degrees Committee, Human Resources Committee (Chair), Senior Remuneration Committee.

Mr John Sutcliffe


John Sutcliffe is a member of the following University Committees: Council, Council Nominations Committee, Finance Committee (Chair), Honorary Degrees Committee, Investment Group (Chair), Senior Remuneration Committee.

Professor Gill Valentine

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Working closely with the President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gill Valentine has the responsibility of delivering a number of the University's key aims and priorities in the region, nationally and internationally.

Professor Wyn Morgan

Vice-President for Education

Professor Wyn Morgan's role is to ensure excellence and innovation in teaching and learning for all students including undergraduate, postgraduate, overseas students and those studying for University of Sheffield qualifications overseas.

Professor Dave Petley

Vice-President for Research & Innovation

Professor Dave Petley provides the strategic lead for research and innovation across the University. He is responsible for developing and delivering the University's research strategy, ensuring that the local community gains maximum benefits from research at Sheffield.

Professor Susan Fitzmaurice

Vice-President and Head of Faculty (Arts and Humanities)

Professor Susan Fitzmaurice will take the lead in directing the faculty, which has over 350 staff and 3,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Professor Mike Hounslow

Vice-President and Head of Faculty (Engineering)

Mike is a chemical engineer with BE and PhD degrees from the University of Adelaide in South Australia. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw

Vice-President and Head of Faculty (Medicine, Dentistry and Health)

During her eminent career Professor Dame Pamela Shaw has supervised the research training of over 100 colleagues and generated over £52 million in research funding. In 2014, she was made a Dame in recognition of her exceptional contribution to neurosciences.

Professor John Derrick

Vice-President and Head of Faculty (Science)

Professor John Derrick was Head of Department in Computer Science between 2009 and 2015. In 2015 he was appointed to the post of Deputy PVC for Research and Innovation. John joined the Faculty of Science towards the end of 2017.

Professor Craig Watkins

Vice-President and Head of Faculty (Social Sciences)

Professor Craig Watkins joined the University's Department of Town and Regional Planning in February 2004 and was promoted to Reader in September 2004. He also served as Head of Town and Regional Planning, before taking up the post of Faculty Director of Research and Innovation.

Dr Tony Strike

University Secretary

As University Secretary, Dr Tony Strike works to ensure the highest standards of governance in liaison with the Chair of Council, President and Vice-Chancellor, University Executive Board members and Professional Services Directors.

University Secretary's Office

University Secretary's Office

University Secretary's Office

Dr Tony StrikeThe role of the University Secretary's Office is to oversee the overall effectiveness of the University's governance and compliance structures and to ensure the integrity of the conduct of the University in pursuit of its strategic goals and ambitions. The office provides independent advice to the Council, the Senate, the President and Vice-Chancellor and the executive leadership and ensures they gain the advice and assurances required to fulfil their statutory and regulatory responsibilities.

The Office's responsibilities include work in the area of strategy development, policy and legal advice, key performance indicators, risk management, data protection, freedom of information and records management. The office co-ordinates responses to sector consultations, works to influence and support higher education policy development nationally and supports initiatives in the University to innovate and change practice in pursuit of the University Strategy.

Dr Tony Strike is University Secretary. As University Secretary, Tony works to ensure the highest standards of governance in liaison with the Chair of Council, President and Vice-Chancellor, University Executive Board members and Professional Services Directors.

University Secretary's Office

Terms of reference for:

Council (pdf)| Senate (pdf) | University Executive Board (pdf)