The Universities Act, 1997 underpins everything that the University does.  It provides a foundation for all of its activities, academic and otherwise, and establishes a framework within which these activities should be undertaken and managed.  The Act is supported by statutes which give effect to its provisions.

The University is an autonomous body which has the status of a charitable institution.  It receives a block grant from government through the Higher Education Authority, which has overall responsibility for higher education in Ireland.  Additional income is derived from research grants and tuition fees, which for undergraduates are currently paid by government.

The President of the University

Professor Professor Eeva Leinonen, President, is the Chief Officer of the University, overseeing all operations from teaching and research to capital development and international initiatives. She is responsible for setting the future direction and goals for the University, reporting to the Governing Authority. 

Governing Authority

The decision-making body in the University is the Governing Authority.  It has responsibility for the strategic direction of the University, the management and administration of its revenue and property and the general conduct of its affairs. 

Members of the Governing Authority are drawn from the staff, students, graduates and external organisations.  It normally meets six times a year, and receives reports from a range of committees including: Audit & Risk Committee, Finance, Human Resources and Development Committee and the Remuneration Committee.  The Governing Authority is chaired by an external chairperson  or in his/her absence, the deputy chairperson and adheres to the Code of Governance for Irish Universities 2019 (published jointly by the HEA and IUA) as its primary code of practice.  Dr Mary Canning is current Chair of the Governing Authority. 

Link to further information on the Governing Authority of Maynooth University.

Academic Council

The Academic Council, subject to review by the Governing Authority, controls the academic affairs of the University, including the curriculum of, and instruction and education provided by, the University.  It is chaired by the President, and includes the Vice-Presidents, Registrar, Deans, Heads of Schools and Departments, the Librarian, and representatives of all grades of academic staff and students.  It is supported in its activities by a committee structure and by Faculties. 


There are three Faculties, which act as advisory bodies to the Academic Council.  In addition, Council has formally delegated some of its powers to Faculties.