Court of Governors

Memorandum and Articles of Association

The composition of the University of Westminster Court of Governors is set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Download the University's current Memorandum and Articles of Association PDF

List of members

The following are Governors (Directors) of the University as of 1 December 2015:

Mr Peter Kyle, OBE CCMI

Formerly Director General of the English Speaking Union, CEO of Shakespeare's Globe, the Arts Educational Schools, London and of The Scottish Ballet. He is Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and of The Centre for Magic Arts. He is a trustee of the John Ellerman Foundation, the Noel Coward Foundation and the Dance Teachers Benevolent Fund.

Ms Rita Bellamy-James, DCHS LLB CQSW Barrister
Deputy Chair

Professionally qualified Social Worker, one time Deputy General Secretary of British Association of Social Workers. Having been called to the Bar she was in private practice before joining the FCO where she became Head if Specialist Advisers in the Consular Directorate. She now acts as an Independent Consultant and is currently Chairman of National Family Mediation. Visiting Fellow Commoner Corpus Christi College Cambridge 2012-2013.

Mr Stephen Hart, MBE BA
Deputy Chair

Solicitor currently working as an employment and public lawyer for HM Government.

Mr Chester Barnes, BSc Hons
Managing Director at JP Morgan Asset Management where he is the Portfolio Manager for the European Property Fund. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1985 having graduated from the Polytechnic of Central London BSc Hons Urban Estate Management in 1983. He has held a variety of roles in portfolio and asset management for investments in the UK and more recently in 15 European countries for companies including LaSalle, Merrill Lynch and GE.

Mr David Batchelor, FCA Chartered Accountant
Former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner with extensive commercial and professional experience in a wide range of business sectors. Non-executive Chairman of CBRE Global Investors (Jersey) Limited. A Freeman of the City of London and on the Court of Assistants of the Turners Livery.

Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster in the Department of Property and Construction, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment and is the elected representative for Academic Council. In addition to his teaching duties John is a Westminster Change Academy project leader, Admissions Tutor and a member of the University's Academic Council.

Mr David Cheeseman, BSc
David originally trained in the transport sector and is currently a Director of Chef Express UK, part of Grupo Cremonini of Italy. He is also a non-executive Director of private aircraft caterer Bond and Butler, and a Director of Momentum Services, the provider of crew, catering and lounge services to Eurostar International. David has advised on transport projects in Russia, India and much of Europe and has also worked in Southern and Eastern Africa on logistics and distribution projects for famine relief and environmental charities. David is a Director of the ESU, a trustee of the Centre for the Magic Arts and an advisor on Human Resource matters to The London Irish Rugby Club.

Mr Geoffrey Davies
A Principal Lecturer in Journalism and International Director for the School of Media, Arts and Design, he sits on Court as the the staff governor nominated through election by teaching staff. Formerly Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, he joined the university in 2002 having worked across newspapers and television as a journalist, producer/director and business manager. In his international role he has taught in Beijing and Hong Kong.

Dame Karen Dunnell
Karen has spent all her working life in research and statistics in the public sector. From 1974-2009 she worked in the Government Statistical Service and from 2005 was its head and Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics. She also has Advisory/Trustee roles for PricewaterhouseCooper, Legal and General, the UK Health Forum, Northern Ireland Heart, Chest and Stroke, the Department for Business-BIS, Highgate Scientific and Literary Society.

Mr Anupam Ganguli, BA (Hons) Economics MBA FCA
Finance Director, Royal Museums Greenwich. His career has included senior roles at the Victoria and Albert Museum and at Arts Council England. He is a governor of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, a trustee of Wayne McGregor/Random Dance and the Runnymede Trust, and an independent member of the audit committee of Historic Royal Palaces.

The Hon Dame Mary Hogg, DBE FRSA
Holds an honorary LLD from the University. A former QC, she is now a High Court Judge in the Family Division. Her Great-Grandfather, Quintin Hogg, founded the Polytechnic.

Mr Trevor Hope, ACIB DipFS CIM MBA
Chief Investment Officer of international venture capital firm Beringea LLP.

Professor Graham M Megson, BSc (Leeds), PhD (Loughborough), MBA (Reading), FBCS CITP CEng
Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Knowledge Exchange and a Professor of Computer Science with particular interests in Parallel Computation, Neural networks and Emergent algorithms and is the elected representative for Academic Council. He has published 200+ research papers including 5 books on these and related topics. He is sits on a number of editorial boards for technical journals and has interests in change management and organisational development.

Mr Gary Morley, FCA
Partner with MHA McIntyre Hudson. He is Hon. Treasurer of City YMCA London, Vice Chairman of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and former Chairman of the British Suzuki Institute.  He is also a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers.

Mr Philip Murphy, BSc MRICS
Partner with PRP Architects LLP, a multi-disciplinary design and project management practice based in Smithfield. PRP is a leading housing regeneration design and delivery consultancy with very strong links to the public sector. He is involved with a number of education and arts organisations as a Trustee and Governor.

Ms Lindsay Neil
Associate Director (Admissions) at the University of Westminster and is the staff governor nominated through election by non-teaching (support) staff.

Professor Geoffrey Petts, BSc PhD FRSA FRGS
Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Mr Matthew Smith, MA LLM
Barrister specialising in charity law and a voluntary youth worker. He is Chairman of The Boys' Brigade and Vice Chairman of City YMCA, London.

Ms Freya Thompson
President of the University of Westminster Students' Union.

Chairman of Wates Group. He is Chairman of CITB, Chairman of the UK Contractors Group, a Vice Chairman of the CBI Construction Council, Past President of the British Council for Offices, a Commissioner for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Board Member Green Construction Board and Past President of the Chartered Institute of Building.  James is also a Trustee of the Building Research Establishment and the College of Estate Management, a Governor of Emanuel School, Vice Chairman of Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for the Disabled and a member of the London Regional Council of The Prince's Trust. He is also a patron of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust.

Mrs Diane Yeo, BSc FRSA FInstF
Consultant to not for profit organisations and Chairs 151 Proprietors Limited, SOS Westminster and the Arts Educational Schools.

For queries relating to the Court of Governors, please contact Elaine McMillan, Clerk to the Court of Governors: [email protected]


Chair to the Court of Governors and Pro Chancellor

The members of the Court of Governors elect a Chair to hold office for an initial period of three years. The appointment shall then be renewable by the Court of Governors (on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee), one year at a time, to a maximum period of five years. A member of the Court of Governors who is employed by the University or a student at the University is not eligible for election as Chair.

Role description Chair to the Court of Governors and Pro Chancellor

Independent members

Where a vacancy exists for an independent member of the Court of Governors, the Nominations Committee will consider whether, having regard to the balance of existing members on the governing body and the needs of the institution, specific guidelines should be established in respect of the nomination in addition to the generic criteria.

A vacancy for an independent member of the Court of Governors will be publicised within the University and to the Court of Governors, together with a note of the ordinary criteria for membership and any guidelines agreed by the Nominations Committee, with a deadline for receipt of nominations. Vacancies may also be advertised in the media, circulated to employers' organisations and placed on the internet.

Members of the University, and of the Court of Governors, will be invited to submit nominations to the Clerk to the Court, in confidence, for consideration by the Nominations Committee. No commitment may be made to the proposed nominee [since not all nominations will be successful] and nominations must be accompanied by brief biographical details and reasons for the proposal. Applications received by the Clerk to the Court as a result of advertisement will also be put to the Nominations Committee for consideration.

The Nominations Committee will consider all nominations and/or applications submitted by the due date, and make such additional enquiries as it believes appropriate. It will consider, inter alia, whether the person[s] nominated or applying are qualified in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and the needs of the Court and of the University in respect of particular expertise or experience. Qualified persons will be invited in to the University for an interview with members of the Nominations Committee. The Committee may either reject a nomination/application, or advise the person that their nomination will be recommended to the Court for approval at a later date, or make a formal recommendation for approval at the next meeting of the Court of Governors.

The full Court of Governors will consider recommendations and supporting documentation.  Any recommendation to invite an individual to serve as an independent governor must be supported by the majority of the independent members.

Appropriate individuals may be considered for appointment in the first instance as non-governor members with expertise on the sub-committees of Court. In due course and as vacancies in Court membership occur, non-governor members of sub-committees may then be considered for appointment as governor members of Court.

Co-opted members

The University and the Court of Governors wish to maintain the current representation of both teaching and non-teaching staff achieved through the co-option of one member elected by and from each of those constituencies. The co-options will be subject to formal endorsement by the full Court of Governors.

Where a vacancy exists for a co-opted member outwith these categories, nomination and appointment will proceed as for independent members.

Other constituencies

The constituency for one student nominated by the Students' Union will continue to be nominated on an annual basis. The University and the Court would encourage the Students' Union to continue its current practice of nominating the Students' Union President. This nomination as a co-opted member is subject to formal endorsement by the full Court of Governors.

The constituency for one teacher nominated by Academic Council is subject to formal endorsement by the full Court of Governors.

Terms of office

The Clerk to the Court will write to all nominees/applicants on their endorsement by the Court and advise all new non-staff governors that they will be expected to serve on at least one of the sub-committees of the Court. A member of the Court of Governors shall normally be appointed for a period of three years, with the following exceptions:-

  • the student nomination shall be for a period for one year;
  • the Chairman shall be appointed for a period of three years in the first instance, such period to start from the date of his/her appointment as Chairman and supersede any previous period of tenure.  The appointment shall be renewable, one year at a time, to a maximum period of five years.

No governor shall normally serve for a period longer than nine years [other than where s/he is appointed as Chairman or Deputy Chairman, at which point his/her term of office shall automatically be extended].

The Nominations Committee may identify circumstances in which the membership of an individual governor should exceptionally be extended beyond this point [such as the wish of the University and the Court to maintain its link with the family of its founder]. Such recommendations shall be subject to the approval of the Court of Governors.

The Clerk to the Court shall prepare for the Nominations Committee in October and in Marchof each year a list of all governors whose terms of office formally expire within the next twelve months, identifying where such governors have formally served for a period of nine years [or where a further term would extend the period of service beyond that date].

The Committee will identify any special considerations in respect of individual governors and make recommendations to the Court where it considers that, exceptionally, an individual term of office should be extended. The Clerk to the Court will advise governors where their term office has expired and may not be extended.

The Clerk to the Court will also enquire of governors eligible for a further term whether they would be prepared to serve for a further term if so requested.

At the same time, a call for nominations will be published and/or staff elections organised, if and as necessary, under the procedures outlined above.

The Nominations Committee will receive nominations and indications of willingness to serve from current governors. When nominations for renewal of membership are being considered, and especially for a third term, they will be considered against explicit criteria, such as regularity of attendance at meetings of the Court and its sub-committees. The Nominations Committee will consider the balance of expertise and experience on the Court and the balance between continuity and change, and put appropriate recommendations to the Court of Governors.

Effectiveness reviews

During 2013-14 the Court conducted a periodic review of its effectiveness. This commenced with committee and Court questionnaires being sent to all governors during February and April 2014, with the initial outcomes discussed at meetings between March and May. The findings of the review were reported to the meeting of the Court in September 2014 and, with one exception, the review recommendations were agreed. Enhancements agreed at this meeting will be implemented from October 2014.

Download an Executive Summary of the Court of Governors Effectiveness Review 2013-14 (PDF)

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Annual reporting

View our Financial Statements, Key Performance Indicator Reports and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Reports.

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University calendar dates

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