The University of Limerick operates under the aegis of the Universities Act, 1997. Overall authority for the affairs of the University is vested by the State in the Governing Authority of the University of Limerick. The Governing Authority, a 29-member body, is appointed in accordance with the Universities Act.
The current Governing Authority's term of office is from 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2022. The Authority is chaired by Ms Mary Harney.
The functions carried out by the Governing Authority include:
- Approval of the University's Strategic Plan;
- Approval of all policy matters relating to the University of Limerick;
- The control and administration of land and other properties of the University;
- Approval and establishment of statutes and regulations in compliance with the Universities Act, 1997;
- Appointment of the chief officer and employees of the University;
- Approval of the University budget on an annual basis;
- Approval of the numbers, composition, selection, appointment and terms of office of members of the Academic Council;
- Approval of the composition of the incoming Governing Authority.