Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge
pp. 7–9

In this section

Chapter V


The General Board of the Faculties

1. (a) Subject to the powers of the Regent House, and subject to the responsibilities of the Council under Statute A IV 1, the General Board of the Faculties (‘the General Board’) shall be responsible for the academic and educational policy of the University, and shall advise the University on questions relating to such policy. The General Board is accountable to the Council for its management of the University’s academic and educational affairs. It shall make an Annual Report to the Council on the discharge of its duties. It shall fulfil the duties placed on it by Statute or Ordinance.

(b) The General Board shall consider the estimates of annual expenditure submitted by Faculty Boards and other authorities and, if it approves them, shall transmit them to the Council. The Board shall allocate the funds made available to it for the support of teaching and research.

(c) The General Board shall oversee the teaching and research work undertaken by the Schools, Faculties, Departments, and other institutions placed under its supervision; it shall ensure, in respect of those institutions,

  1. (i)that the University officers assigned to those institutions are satisfactorily performing the duties and fulfilling the conditions of tenure of their offices;
  2. (ii)that adequate facilities for teaching and research are available;
  3. (iii)that appropriate courses of study and instruction are provided and that the teaching given is of the highest standard;
  4. (iv)that research of the highest quality is conducted.

(d) The General Board shall have the power to make regulations about any matters within its responsibility, such regulations not to be inconsistent with the provisions of any Statute, Ordinance or Order, and to be published. In particular the Board may make regulations relating to:

  1. (i)the administration and management of the institutions under its supervision other than Schools and the Councils of the Schools; and
  2. (ii)University courses and examinations, degrees, diplomas, and other qualifications in accordance with Statute B (except the degree of Master of Arts).

2. The General Board shall consist of the following members:

  1. (a)the Vice-Chancellor, as Chair;
  2. (b)eight members of the Regent House appointed by the Councils of the Schools to serve for four years in accordance with arrangements determined by Special Ordinance;
  3. (c)four members of the Regent House appointed by the Council, to serve for four years, subject to the requirement that not fewer than three members of the Board (including the Vice-Chancellor) shall be members of the Council. If a member of the Board ceases to be a member of the Council he or she shall not thereby cease to be a member of the Board;
  4. (d)two student members, who shall be such persons as shall be prescribed by Special Ordinance and shall serve for a period determined by Special Ordinance.

3. If any member of the General Board becomes Vice-Chancellor, her or his seat shall thereupon become vacant.

4. The General Board shall meet at least twice in each term, provided that the Chair shall have power to cancel any meeting if there is insufficient business. No business shall be transacted at a meeting unless five members at least are present.

5. The Registrary or a University officer designated from time to time by the Council after consultation with the General Board shall be Secretary of the Board.

The Schools

6. On the recommendation of the General Board the University may at any time by Special Ordinance institute one or more Schools. There shall be placed in each School such Faculties, Departments, and other institutions as the University may from time to time determine by Ordinance.

7. There shall be a Council of each School. The composition of such a Council, the number and manner of appointment of its members, and, subject to the provisions of Section 8 below, its powers and duties shall be determined by Ordinance.

8. Subject to the provisions of Section 7, the duties of the Council of a School shall include:

  1. (a)the preparation of such academic and financial plans, and reports as the General Board shall determine;
  2. (b)the allocation of the funds made available to it by the General Board amongst the institutions comprising the School;
  3. (c)working with the institutions which comprise the School to ensure institutional and School academic plans are consistent, realistic, and affordable;
  4. (d)consideration of any matter referred to it by the General Board.

9. There shall be a Head of each School who shall be appointed and hold office on such terms as may be determined by Ordinance.

10. The Head shall be Chair of the Council of the School and the principal academic officer of the School. The Head of School shall be responsible to the Council of the School, the General Board, and the Vice-Chancellor for the overall running of the School, including the use of the funds specified under 8(b) and the implementation of the approved plans referred to in 8(a).

11. The Council of each School shall have the right of reporting to the University.

The Faculties

12. The term ‘Faculty' shall denote a body of persons associated in accordance with the Statutes for the purpose of furthering the study of a subject or subjects.

13. On the recommendation of the General Board the University may at any time by Ordinance institute one or more Faculties. Each Faculty shall be assigned to one or other of the Schools.

14. There shall be a Board of each Faculty, which shall oversee the work of the Faculty. Provision shall be made by Ordinance for the membership of Faculties and for the composition of Faculty Boards.


15. On the recommendation of the General Board, the University may at any time constitute one or more Departments within any Faculty, may constitute Departments independent of any Faculty but under the supervision of the General Board, or may suppress any Department.

16. There shall be a Head of each Department appointed in accordance with Regulations made by the General Board.

17. Subject to the powers of the Council of School, the Faculty Board or comparable authority and subject to the Ordinances and such Regulations as the General Board may make from time to time, it shall be the duty of the Head of a Department:

  1. (a)to organize the teaching and research of the Department;
  2. (b)to prepare and submit to the General Board, in accordance with arrangements determined by Ordinance, the annual estimates of the Department for consideration by the Board in accordance with Statute A V 1(b);
  3. (c)to be responsible for the proper application of the funds available to the Department, and to ensure that the approved estimate of expenditure is not exceeded and that the accounts are correctly maintained;

provided that the duties specified under Subsections (b) and (c) may be assigned by the Head of a Department to some other person approved by the General Board.

Degree Committees

18. There shall be Degree Committees for such Faculties and other institutions as may be determined by the General Board after consultation with the Board of Graduate Studies. Each Degree Committee shall be constituted in accordance with Regulations made by the General Board.

19. Subject to the powers of the Board of Graduate Studies, it shall be the duty of each Degree Committee to exercise such functions as may be prescribed by Regulation of the General Board in respect of the approval of students as Graduate Students and the supervision of their work, the award of degrees, diplomas, and certificates in respect of graduate study or contributions to learning, and other cognate matters.