With many departments and Colleges, not to mention students, some form of administration and directive is necessary. Here lie the bodies at the top of the University:
The Regent House
This is the governing body and principal electoral constituency of the University. It has more than 4500 members including University Officers and Heads and Fellows of colleges. Responsibilities comprise of making and amending University regulations and electing members to the University Council.
The two Proctors are the representatives of the Regent House in formal and disciplinary matters (a main one is ensuring the proper conduction of examinations). Additionally, The University Advocate is appointed by this House; an independent officer responsible for prosecutions before the University Courts for breach of discipline.
Formerly the governing body of the University until 1926, it’s now responsible for election of the Chancellor and the High Steward (one of the high officers of the University).
Members consist of holders of (amongst others) any Doctor’s degree of the University and all current members of the Regent House.
The University Council
At the very top, this is the principal executive and policy-making body of the university. It not only deals with relations between the University and the Colleges, but also negotiates with external bodies on many matters. Additionally, the Council is responsible for issuing ‘a motion for decision’, known as a Grace, to the Regent House.
The Council consists of 21 members including: the Chancellor (the constitutional head of the University; has important statutory duties including conferment of Honorary Degrees), the Vice-Chancellor (the full-time resident head of the University; provides academic and administrative leadership in relation to policies established. Delegates responsibility to the Deputy and Pro-Vice-Chancellors) and also three current student representatives.
The General Board
The principal duty of this board is to advise the University on educational policy and control the relevant resources (delegated away from the University Council). It is responsible for maintaining a high standard of teaching and research.
Consists of 17 members including the Vice-Chancellor, members of the Regent House and student representation.