Appendix 19 – Standard Appointment Letter for Lay Member of Court

This page is an appendix of the Court Members Handbook and provides the standard wording used for an appointment letter for a lay member of Court.




Dear [Name]

Membership of the University Court

Firstly, my warmest congratulations to you on your appointment to the Court of Queen Margaret University. I am delighted to write to you formally to confirm that you will serve as a lay member of the University Court for an initial term of 3 years, effective from [DATE]. This means that you are eligible to serve until [DATE].

I confirm also that this letter forms part of your formal induction, but also that, as suggested in recent email correspondence, you will be invited to a formal induction event on a date to be agreed before the 3 December meeting of the Court. During your induction, we will explore the role and responsibilities of the Court and, most importantly, the role of Court members. I would ask you to note specifically that, as a member of Court, you are also a Director of the Company, and a Trustee of the Charity.

As part of your induction programme, we will review a number of important background documents. You will also be provided with a printed copy of the Handbook for Court members, which we are just about to publish. In advance of that however, I am pleased to enclose the following:

  • The Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance.
  • Standing Orders for the Court.
  • Memorandum & Articles of Association.
  • The Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (Scotland) Order of Council 2007 (the statutory instrument).
  • Queen Margaret University Delegated Authorisation Schedule.
  • Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator Guide to being a Charity Trustee.
  • Financial Memorandum with the Scottish Funding Council (approved 2006).
  • Code of Conduct.
  • Schedule of meetings for 2014 and 2015.
  • Expenses Claims forms.

You might like to note that you can access further information, such as the University Annual Accounts, the Strategic Plan, Court Members’ Pen Portraits, and the University Court Committees’ Terms of Reference on the University’s web-site at under ‘University’.

As Company Secretary, I am required to submit to Companies House details of Directors of the Company. As such, the University’s Governance Officer, Riley Power, will be in contact with you shortly to gather the information needed to update the University’s records with Companies House.

Additionally, in order to obtain a Drinks License for the University, I do need to receive some specific information from you, including your town of birth and whether or not you have any criminal convictions. Again, Riley will be in touch in due course to ask if you could just confirm these details.

The University also keeps a Register of Court Member’s Interests, details of which are collected annually. For this purpose, I have enclosed a form which I would be grateful if you would complete and return to me. Please note that a full register of members’ interests is published on our website as part of our compliance with the recently published Code of Good Higher Education Governance.

Finally, all Court members are asked to sign the Code of Conduct once they are happy with their understanding of the role. You may wish to leave this until you have your induction, but I am enclosing the form for you now should you feel able to complete and return to me at this stage.

During the course of period of office, there will be a number of development opportunities and I would particularly welcome hearing from you about your particular needs. I am always available for informal and formal advice and support.

Thank you for taking on this important role and contributing in a significant way to the future development of the University. I look forward very much to working with you.

Yours sincerely

Irene Hynd

University Secretary Secretary to the Court