The Committee of Chairmen of University Councils (CCUC) grew out of a small meeting of university chairmen, originally convened by the Chairman of the Council of the University of Nottingham in 1986. In 1988 the membership was extended to include all institutions represented on the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals.
In 1993 the CCUC merged with the Standing Committee of New University Chairmen to form the Committee of Chairmen of University Councils and Boards (CCUCaB). In 1996 it adopted the title of the Committee of University Chairmen, which was changed in 2008 to the Committee of University Chairs.
At its meeting held on 16 April 1999 the Committee adopted the following statement of aims and objectives:
The purpose of the CUC is to bring together the chairmen of governing bodies of all universities in the UK with a view to:
1. Securing the continuing autonomy and independence of universities in partnership with the CVCP.
2. Assisting governing bodies to fulfil their responsibilities particularly in relation to strategy.
3. Developing and enhancing good relationships between the university sector as a whole and appropriate external bodies in the context of the specific and strategic responsibilities of governing bodies.
4. Promoting best practice in university governance and enabling such best practice and related topics to be examined under its auspices through seminars, publications, conferences and advice.
5. To develop and maintain contacts with Ministers on strategic issues.
In 2015 it was describing its role thus: "The Committee of University Chairs (CUC) represents Chairs of UK University Governing Bodies and develops and promotes governance standards for higher education in the UK. It provides an opportunity for Chairs of Governing Bodies to share advice, experience and expertise on all matters concerning university governance." (http://www.universitychairs.ac.uk/about/, CUC website accessed 12 Nov 2015).