As a registered charity the Union is required to have a Board of Trustees to have overall responsibility for the strategic direction, governance and financial performance of the Union.
The Board of Trustees is made up of the four Sabbatical Officers, the four Student officers, four External Trustees and two Student Trustees who each bring a variety of experience and skills to inform our decision making and ensure the accountability of officers and staff.
How are Trustees chosen?
The Sabbatical and Student officers are elected each year by the whole student body. The Union President chairs the Board of Trustees.
Studnet Trustee vacancies are advertised each year and interested individals are asked to apply. Their roles have a strong business focus. The two Student Trustees are appointed for one year by Student Council Democracy & Oversight Forum.
The four external trustees are recruited by the Board's Search Committee and their appointment is approved by both the Board of Trustees and finally by the Student Council. The external trustees are all experienced and distinguished people who bring their expertise from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Their appointment lasts for four years and they can serve for two terms of office.
You can find out who our current External and Student Trustees are here.
Responsibilities of Trustees
When the Union is recruiting external trustees, we have to give careful consideration to the balance of skills and expertise on the Board so that these complement the skills and experience of the student officers. The role of a trustee is a very important one and all 14 trustees are equally responsible for ensuring that the Union is managed in the best interests of the students at Bath Spa.
Trustees are responsible for the proper administration of the charity - They make sure that the charity’s assets and resources are used only for the purposes of the charity.
Trustees must accept ultimate responsibility for everything the charity does - The trustees are responsible for the vision, mission and management of the charity. They are accountable if things go wrong.
Trustees have to act reasonably and prudently in all matters relating to their charity - The law imposes a duty of care on the trustees of charities. This is sometimes expressed as a duty ‘to exercise such care and skill as is reasonable in the circumstances’.
Trustees must safeguard and protect the assets of the charity - A charity’s assets include its investments, cash, land, intellectual property, staff and reputation.
Trustees have a duty to act collectively - Decisions and responsibilities are shared; so all trustees should take an active role.
Trustees must act in the best interests of their charity - The interests of the charity are paramount. Trustees should not allow their personal interests or views to override this: they must exercise independent judgment.
Trustees must avoid any conflict between their personal interests and those of the charity Unless there is specific legal authority, charity trustees cannot receive any benefit from the charity. All trustee positions are voluntary, including the roles of the Sabbatical officers who are not paid for this element of their roles.
What does the Board do?
The Board meets on a regular basis the discuss the key issues facing the Union. They have overarching responsibility for ensuring that the Union has a long term strategic vision and to monitor progress in delivering it. The whole board collectively makes decisions on changes which affect the Union.
The Board also ensures that the Union has policies and procedures in place to ensure we comply with any relevant legislation, manage any risks facing the Union and are ultimately acountable to the student body and the University.
You can read recent Board papers here:
The Board has four sub-committees which look at specific areas of work in detail and report their findings back to the Board. The minutes of their meetings appear at the end of the Board of Trustee meeting papers. You can find out more about the work of each committee and who sits on them by clicking on each committees to read their remit.