Cambridge University Council

The Council of the University of Cambridge is its principal executive and policy making body, having responsibility for the administration of the University, for the planning of its work, and for the management of its resources.[1] Since the Regent House is the governing body of the University, however, the Council must report and be accountable to the Regents through a variety of checks and balances. It has the right of reporting to the University, and is obliged to advise the Regent House on matters of general concern to the University. It does both of these by causing notices to be published by authority in the Cambridge University Reporter, the official journal of the University.


Membership of the Council consists of the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of the University (the office of Chancellor, which is held for life, is mainly ceremonial, while the Vice-Chancellor is de facto the principal academic and administrative officer), nineteen elected members, and four appointed members, as follows:

  • Four Heads of Colleges,
  • Four Professors or Readers
  • eight from the other members of the Regent House
  • three students, of whom at least one is a graduate student
  • four external members

Current constitution

Position Name Term Ending
Chancellor Lord Sainsbury of Turville, K LIFE
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stephen Toope OC, CLH 30 September 2024
Heads of Colleges
President of Hughes Hall Dr. Anthony Freeling, HH 31 December 2020
Master of Trinity Hall Rev'd Dr Jeremy Morris, TH 31 December 2018
Provost of King's Prof. Michael Proctor, K 31 December 2020
Mistress of Girton Prof. Susan Smith, G 31 December 2018
Professors or Readers
Professor of Security Engineering (2003) Prof. Ross John Anderson, CHU 31 December 2018
Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry (2009) Prof. Nicholas John Gay CHR 31 December 2020
Professor of Nephrology (2005) Prof. Fiona Eve Karet, DAR 31 December 2020
Reader in Medieval Archaeology (2014) Dr Susan Marian Oosthuizen, W 31 December 2018
Other members of Regent House
Dr Richard Anthony, JE 31 December 2018
Dr Ruth Lisa Chadwick Charles, N 31 December 2018
Dr Stephen John Cowley, EM 31 December 2020
Dr Nicholas John Holmes, T 31 December 2018
Dr Jennifer Hirst, JE 31 December 2020
Dr Alice Jill Hutchings 31 December 2018
Dr Mark Roderick Wormald, PEM 31 December 2020
Ms Jocelyn Margaret Wyburd, CL 31 December 2020
Three student members [2]
GU President Mr Alessandro Ceccarelli, M 30 June 2020
CUSU President Mr Edward Parker Humphreys, J 30 June 2020
Ms Poppy Cockburn, R 30 June 2020
Four external members
Prof. Sir David Greenaway 31 December 2020
Mr Mark Lewisohn, CHR 31 December 2018
Mr John Shakeshaft, T 31 December 2018
Ms Sara Weller 31 December 2020

External Members

From January 2005, the membership of the Council included two external members.[3] The Regent House voted for an increase from two to four in the number of external members in March 2008,[4][5] and this was approved by Her Majesty the Queen in July 2008.[6]


The Council must meet at least twice per term.


  1. Statute A, IV: Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge
  3. Reporter 15/12/04: Annual Report of the Council for 2003-04
  4. Grace 2 of 5 December 2008
  5. Acta in the Reporter, No 6107, publishing Results of Ballot
  6. Reporter 23/07/08, Statutes approved: Notice

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