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Boston College > About Us > The Governing Body

 The Governing Body

The Governing Body, sometimes called the Corporation or the Board, is made up of 20 people drawn from a number of different sectors of the local community as well as staff and learners at the College. The Principal is also a college governor.

The full Board normally meets five times a year with an additional two planning sessions In November and March each year.

Most Governors are also a member of one of the Board’s committees. At present these are Finance & General Purposes, Standards, Audit, Remuneration and the Search Committee. The committees meet at intervals and times to meet their own requirements.

The role of the Corporation is to set the strategic direction and framework within which the College operates, monitor results and support the College to provide a high quality and effective learning experience for everyone who enrols at the College.

The main duties of the Corporation are:

> To determine the educational mission and character of the College
> To approve the quality strategy
> To be satisfied as to the effective and efficient use of resources
> To approve the annual budget
> To appoint the Principal and other Senior Post holders and determine their pay and conditions
> To set the framework for pay and conditions of service for all other staff

A college Governing Body is very similar to a Board of directors in a company. The main part of the Board’s work should be outward-looking and strategic. The day to day running of the college, the operational management, is left to the College Principal and her senior team. There is a legal framework within which the Board operates and the Clerk to the Corporation provides guidance on such matters and on the best processes to adopt in the interests of ‘good governance’. The Board is overseeing the spending of public money and should be open and accountable in all that it does. There is a code of conduct for governors which sets the standards within which they will perform their duties.

The Governing Body is accountable for the success of the College and works within the legal framework laid down in the Instrument and Articles of Government. Only the governing Body has authority, not individual governors. The Board can only speak with one voice. Individual governors can, of course, present advice to managers outside Board meetings but this is only advice. Only members acting collectively can take binding decisions. This means that, in practice, individual governors have no legal liability. However, should the Board take decisions which are beyond its powers, it could be held collectively liable and individual governors could be held personally liable. However, there are no examples of this ever happening in a college. There have been examples of failing colleges where Governing Bodies have been replaced but this is extremely rare.​​