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Independent Members of Court

Members of Court

Court is particularly interested in new independent members with high-level strategic experience in finance, audit and/or higher education.  As the University comprises 13 partners, experience of working in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders would be helpful.

As a Member of Court you will be required to:

  • constructively challenge and help develop proposals on strategy;
  • scrutinise the performance of management in meeting agreed goals and objectives and monitor the reporting of performance;
  • be satisfied with the integrity of financial information and that financial controls and systems of risk management are robust and defensible;
  • devote time to developing and refreshing your own knowledge and skills;
  • uphold high standards of integrity and probity and support the Chair of Court and other directors in instilling the appropriate culture, values and behaviours in the boardroom and beyond;
  • insist on receiving high-quality information sufficiently in advance of meetings; and
  • take into account the views of students and other stakeholders where appropriate.



Appointment is for an initial term of three years and is subject to the University’s articles of association. Continuation is contingent on satisfactory performance.  Independent members typically serve two three-year terms but may be invited by the Court to serve for an additional period.

Independent members are required to serve on one or more committees of the Court.  


Time commitment

Independent members are expected to devote such time as is necessary for the proper performance of their duties and should be prepared to spend at least ten days per year on University business after the induction phase. The required time commitment for chairs of committees is likely to exceed ten days.

This is based on preparation for and attendance at:

  • scheduled Court meetings (usually a maximum of five per year, mostly held on a Wednesday afternoon)
  • attendance at annual Court strategy away-day(s) (there will be one residential Court conference in August 2023 and there may occasionally by shorter strategy sessions during the academic year)
  • site visits (Court meetings are mostly held in-person in Inverness)
  • attendance at Committee meetings (Committee meetings are usually virtual and normally not held on a Monday or Friday)
  • meetings with key stakeholders
  • attending update meetings/training some of which may be virtual and others may be in-person
  • meetings as part of the Court evaluation process

Meetings may involve travel throughout the Highlands and Islands region.

The nature of the role makes it impossible to be specific about the maximum time commitment, and there is always the possibility of additional time commitment in respect of preparation time and ad hoc matters which may arise from time to time, and particularly when the University is undergoing a period of increased activity. At certain times it may be necessary to convene additional Court, committee or members meetings.


Remuneration and expenses

The position is non-remunerated.  The University will reimburse all reasonable and properly-documented expenses incurred by independent members in performing their duties of office.


Role Description