Senior Management Group

Appointed by Court, the Senior Management Group (SMG) is convened by the Principal.  Membership comprises the senior executive officers of the University and members advise the Principal, as chief executive officer of the University, on matters of policy.

Group remit

The Group shall:

  • Provide cohesive and unified leadership to the University, developing and ensuring the delivery of the University’s strategic plan
  • Provide clarity across the University community regarding the University’s strategic priorities and direction
  • Consider and take decisions in respect of any aspect of the University’s strategy, including academic matters, managing the University’s human, physical and financial resources to ensure the delivery of that strategy. It takes these actions under delegated authority on behalf of the governing body of the University, the University Court
  • Make recommendations to the University Court and Committees of Court on strategic, resource and policy matters
  • Inform Senate on strategic and policy issues and work with Senate Committees on the Senate’s development of academic policy
  • Assess, and respond to, the impact of the external political, economic and higher education environments in Scotland, the UK and internationally, in order to shape policy and strategic direction, with a view to maximising the University’s performance and success
  • Agree and convene sub-committees, boards and working groups as required
  • Identify, assess and mitigate strategic risk including defining risk appetite and ensuring minimal risk exposure to the University

Scheme of Delegation

The following details the delegated authority for the SMG and shows how it is placed in the overall University Scheme of Delegation with escalation to Court:

Area of Responsibility


Decision Making Delegated Authority

Escalation To

Approve all strategies prior to Court




Approve, as required, all policies




Pre-approve annual, rolling 5-year budget and 10-year outlook prior to presentation at Court




Approve, as required, all investments



Finance Committee

Group Membership

This is an executive chaired Group with the following membership:

  • Principal and Vice Chancellor (Chair)
  • Senior Vice Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic)
  • Chief Operating Officer /University Secretary and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Operations)
  • Vice Principal (External Relations) and Deputy Vice Chancellor (External Engagement)
  • Vice Principal (Research & Knowledge Exchange)
  • Vice Principal (Economic Development & Innovation)
  • Vice Principal (Learning and Teaching)
  • Vice Principal and Head of College (CoA)
  • Vice Principal and Head of College (CoSE)
  • Vice Principal and Head of College (CoSS)
  • Vice Principal and Head of College (MVLS)
  • Clerk of Senate and Vice Principal (Academic Services)
  • Executive Director of Finance
  • Executive Director of People & OD

In attendance

  • Clerk
  • Principal’s Office & Government Relations colleagues
  • Presenters of papers as required

Appointments to SMG are made by the Principal, subject to agreed appointment procedures for Vice-Principals and SMG members and are reported to the University Court. The membership of SMG and portfolios of the Vice-Principals can vary at the discretion of the Principal.

Group Member Responsibilities

Each Group member has a responsibility to:

  • Provide scrutiny and challenge to all strategic documents, policies and papers
  • Apply current thinking and subject matter expertise in relevant fields to SMG topics
  • Openly and constructively challenge where proposals do not meet key criteria for regulatory, business continuity or sustainability requirements
  • Take ownership for specific risks and actions in the University Strategic Risk Register. All risks must have a committee members as overall owner
  • Embody the University’s values in activity and behaviour (click here for details)

Format and cadence

The meeting schedule will be weekly and last 2 hours. Once per month, there will be an extended meeting lasting up to 5 hours.  Extraordinary meetings will also be held.


  • University Strategy 2020-2025
  • All thematic and enabling strategies
  • Financial Reports and Statements
  • Summary of changes made to action log, schedule of investments agreed by SMG and previous minutes
  • Papers to be presented


  • Action Log
  • Minutes
  • Schedule of agreed investments

Substitutions and Quorum

Substitutions may be made with prior notice given to the clerk. In the event of a consensus not being reached, the decision will be made by the Principal.

Conflict of Interest

The SMG will follow the UofG procedure for the management of any conflicts.  The procedure defines declaration of conflicts as a standard agenda item at the start of the meeting, the maintenance of a register of conflicts, and a process for managing all conflicts which are declared.