The governing bodies of the University of Coimbra are:
• The Rector;
• The General Council;
• The Management Board.
The Rector provides governance and represents the University externally.
The Rector is appointed by the Council, by secret ballot of its members, and holds office for a period of four years, renewable for a further period of four years. He cannot be re-elected over a successive mandate, or during the subsequent period of four years to the term of the second mandate. The Rector can nominate Vice-Rectors to assist him in the line of specific functions.
The Rector is responsible for the elaboration and presentation to the Council of the following proposals: strategic medium term plan and plan of action for the four years of his mandate; the University’s general guidelines in the scientific, pedagogical, development and innovation areas; both the annual plan and the report of activities; annual budget and consolidated accounts, the latter accompanied by the report of the auditor; purchase and disposal of University's estate; credit transactions; creation, transformation or extinction of organic units; students' fees; nomination of the students' ombudsman.
The Rector also takes the necessary measures to guarantee the quality of teaching, of investigation, of development and innovation, and supervises the observance of laws, statutes and regulations. The Rector’s competences include the proposal and the decision on initiatives considered to be necessary for the good functioning of the University, the ratification of the Statutes of the Faculties and of the remaining organic units not under a creation regime; the decision on creation, suspension and extinction of courses that lead to academic degrees, to oversee the management of the academic and pedagogic matters and of the human resources, to guide and to oversee the administrative and financial management of the University, to define the school calendar, to oversee the Social Services, to set up school prizes, to exert the disciplinary power and to assure the fulfilment of the binding deliberations by the collegiate bodies of the University.
The General Council
The Council is made up of 35 members: 18 representing professors and researchers, 5 representing students, 2 representing the staff other than academic staff, and 10 members of merit of the community external to the University.
All members hold office for four years (renewable only one time) with the exception of the students' representatives, who hold office for two years. In any case, and except the members of merit external to the University, offices cease as soon as their holders retire from the body they represent.
The Council holds ordinary meetings four times a year, and extraordinary meetings, whenever the President may determine, by request of the Rector or of two thirds of its members. The Rector participates, without right to vote. The Council can invite directors of the organic units of the University of Coimbra and other personalities to be heard on subjects related to their qualifications.
The competences of the Council include the election of the Rector (and, quite so, his substitution, suspension or discharge, for a good cause regarding the University’s institutional sake), the appreciation of the Rector's and the Management Board’s acts, the proposal of initiatives deemed necessary to the good functioning of the University and the approval of changes to the Statutes of the University, further to hearing the Senate.
Under proposal of the Rector, it is up to the Council to approve the strategic middle term planning and the plan of action for the four years of the Rector's office; to approve the general guidelines of the University concerning teaching, research, development and innovation, the administration of human, estate and financial resources; to approve the annual plan of activities of the University; and to validate the annual report of activities and the annual accounts, the latter accompanied by the report of the auditor.
The Management Board is made up of the Rector (the President), one by him appointed Vice-Rector and the Administrator of the University. The Rector can appoint two more members to attend the meetings such as Deans of Faculties or other organic bodies, Heads of sections of the University, students or members who represent the staff, other than academic staff, without right to vote.
The Management Board carries the administrative, patrimonial, financial and human resources management of the University and establishes rates and fees.
Other Governing Bodies
The Senate is a consulting body assisting the Rector in the University’s management, with special focus on the co-ordination of activities concerning scientific research, educational offer, development and innovation, management of quality, teachers and students mobility within the University, international relations, financial resources and patrimony.
The Senate is made up of the Rector, who presides, Deans of the organic units, one student representing each teaching-and-research organic unit, two representatives of the staff, other than academic staff. The members hold office for two years, and may be re-elected.
The Students' Ombudsman is proposed by the Rector, among people with high reputation, credibility and integrity in the university community, namely in the students’ sphere, and appointed by the Council, further to hearing the Senate. The Students' Ombudsman holds office for three years.
The The Students' Ombudsman promotes and defends the student’s right, without interfering in the competences of other bodies.
The Faculty’s Assembly, its Dean, the Board, the Pedagogical Council, and the Scientific Council are the managing bodies of the Faculties. The Statutes of these units might foresee the establishment other consulting bodies.