Academic Senate Regulations 2014

The Council makes the following Regulations:
Dated: 16 March 2015


Part 1. Preliminary

1. Objectives

The objectives of these Regulations are—

  1. to make further provision for the powers, functions and duties of the Academic Senate;
  2. to make provision about the membership of the Academic Senate; and
  3. to provide for meetings of the Academic Senate and the establishment and functions of Committees of the Academic Senate. 

2. Authorising provision

These Regulations are made under the University Governance and Administration Statute 2012 and sections 28, 29 and 30 of the Swinburne University of Technology Act 2010.

3. Definitions

In these Regulations—
Chair means the chairperson of the Academic Senate appointed under regulation 8(1)(a);

Committee means a committee of the Academic Senate appointed under regulation 12;

Deputy chair means the deputy chairperson of the Academic Senate appointed under regulation 8(1)(b);

ex officio member means a member of the Academic Senate referred to in regulation 8(1)(c);

Secretary means the University Secretary, who will also act as secretary of the Academic Senate.


Part 2. Powers, functions and meetings of the Academic Senate

4. Functions

  1. The functions of the Academic Senate are—
    1. the functions conferred by the Act and the statutes;
    2. to accredit, reaccredit, endorse and ratify programs and courses of study;
    3. to discuss and develop policy recommendations and approve policies, in relation to the University’s academic programs, both within and across sectors, including—
      1. planning academic activities;
      2. instruction, studies, discipline, examinations, assessments, research, degrees and diplomas, certificates, licences and other awards in the University’s programs;
    4. to monitor academic and research quality and standards;
    5. to report to the Council on—
      1. any issue within the powers and functions of the Academic Senate;
      2. any other issue referred to it by the Council for consideration and report;
    6. to report to the Council, at intervals and in the manner specified by the Council, on the performance of its functions;
    7. to make regulations for or with respect to—
      1. accreditation and reaccreditation;
      2. academic dress and academic titles, ranks or positions;
      3. examinations;
      4. assessment;
      5. graduates;
      6. students;
      7. programs and courses of study;
      8. credit in courses of the University for work done elsewhere;
      9. degrees and other awards. 

5. Powers

The Academic Senate has power to carry out its functions.

6. Meetings

Meetings of the Academic Senate and its Committees must be conducted in accordance with the Schedule to these Regulations.

7. Effectiveness of acts and decisions

An act or decision of the Academic Senate is effective even if there is a defect in the composition of the Academic Senate or the appointment, election or qualification of a member or members of the Academic Senate or if the Academic Senate did not comply with the Schedule to these Regulations.


Part 3. Membership of the Academic Senate

8. Members of the Academic Senate

  1. The following persons are members of the Academic Senate—
    1. the Chair appointed by the Council on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor, in accordance with the Governance and Administration Statute 2012;
    2. the Deputy Chair appointed from the membership of the Academic Senate by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Chair, in accordance with the Governance and Administration Statute 2012;
    3. ex-officio members—
      1. the Executive Deans of Higher Education faculties;
      2. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Pathways and Vocational Education);
      3. the Vice-Chancellor;
      4. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic);
      5. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development);
      6. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Sarawak);
      7. the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International);
      8. the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Quality);
      9. the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Engagement);
      10. the Registrar;
      11. the Vice-President (Students);
      12. the Chief Digital Officer;
      13. the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research and Research Training).
    4. a chair of a Committee who is not otherwise a member of Academic Senate;
    5. three members elected by students;
    6. eleven eligible academic staff members from Pathways and Vocational Education (two at Senior Educator level or equivalent), the Higher Education faculties (two from each faculty, at Academic D or E level), and all academic members of the University (three), elected by eligible academic staff of those areas. In this paragraph eligible academic staff means academic staff holding 0.5 or more on-going or fixed-term appointment.
  2. The Chair must be an academic staff member of the University.

9. Elected student members

The three members of the Academic Senate elected by students shall comprise—

  1. one member who is a student enrolled in and elected by students enrolled in an AQF level 1 – 6 course;
  2. one member who is a student enrolled in and elected by students enrolled in an AQF level 7 – 9 course;
  3. one member who is a student enrolled in and elected by students enrolled in a higher degree by research AQF level 10 course.

10. Term of office

  1. Except where otherwise provided in a statute or in these Regulations, the term of office of a member of the Academic Senate (other than the Chair, Deputy Chair, an elected student member, or an ex officio member) is two years unless sooner terminated.
  2. The term of office of the Chair and Deputy Chair is two years.
  3. The term of office of an elected student member is one year.
  4. A person who is or has been a member of the Academic Senate is eligible to be appointed or elected (or reappointed or re-elected) to the Academic Senate.
  5. A person who is or has been the Chair or Deputy Chair is eligible to be appointed and reappointed to that role but may not serve more than two consecutive terms unless determined otherwise by the Vice-Chancellor and in accordance with regulations 8(1)(a) and 8(1)(b).
  6. The term of office of a member of the Academic Senate is terminated if the member—
    1. being an ex officio member, ceases to hold the relevant office;
    2. being a student, ceases to be a student;
    3. being an eligible academic staff member, ceases to be an eligible academic staff member.
  7. If a member of the Academic Senate who is a student is suspended from being a student or is otherwise excluded from the University or any of its premises, facilities, programs or courses of study, his or her membership of the Academic Senate is suspended for the same duration. 

11. Conduct and timing of elections

All elections to the Academic Senate must be conducted in accordance with the Election Regulations 2012.


Part 4. Committees

12. Appointment of Committees

The Academic Senate may, with the approval of the Council, appoint Committees to assist it to perform its functions.

13. References to a Committee

The Academic Senate may refer an issue to a Committee for consideration.
A Committee must consider and report back to the Academic Senate on an issue which has been referred to it for consideration.

14. General provisions about Committees

The membership of a Committee, if not otherwise specified by the Council, is as determined by the Academic Senate.
If not otherwise specified by the Council, the chair of a Committee must be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Academic Senate Chair.
If not otherwise specified by the Council, the deputy chair of a Committee must be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Academic Senate Chair who must consult with the chair of the Committee.
A Committee may co-opt additional members, who need not be members of the Academic Senate.

15. Term of Committee membership

  1. The term of a person's membership of a Committee is—
    1. the term specified by the Council or the Academic Senate; or
    2. if the Council or the Academic Senate has not specified a term, the term as provided in subregulation (2).
  2. Except as specified by the Council or the Academic Senate, a person who is a member of a Committee ceases to be a member of the Committee—
    1. two years after his or her appointment; or
    2. if the person is a member of the Academic Senate at the time of the appointment, when the person ceases to be a member of the Academic Senate—whichever is the sooner.
  3. A person who is, or has been, a member of a Committee is eligible for reappointment.

16. Committee proceedings

  1. If neither the chair nor the deputy chair of a Committee is present at a meeting of a Committee, the Committee may select one of the members present to be the Chair.
  2. Subject to any resolution of the Council and the Academic Senate and any matters set out in the Schedule to these Regulations, a Committee may regulate its own proceedings.
  3. A Committee—
    1. must meet when directed by the Academic Senate; and
    2. may meet at other times as it considers appropriate.

Part 5. Transitional provisions

17. Commencement and continuing Members

  1. These Regulations come into operation on 1 January 2014.
  2. The elected members of the Academic Senate in office under the Academic Senate Regulations 2013 immediately before the commencement date continue in office for the remainder of their terms.
  3. The members of the Academic Senate referred to in subregulation (2) are taken to be the members of the Academic Senate elected in accordance with regulation 8(1)(e) and (f) and regulation 9 and the Chair and University Secretary may allocate—
    1. elected staff members into the areas under regulation 8(1)(f);
    2. elected student members into the categories under regulation 9.
  4. If after making the allocations under subregulation (3) an elected position for an area or category remains vacant, elections will be held to fill the vacancy.
  5. The University Secretary must conduct a ballot before the first meeting of the Academic Senate in 2014 to allocate members elected under subregulation (4) into class “A” or class “B”.
  6. The term of office of a class “A” elected member expires on 31 December 2014.
  7. The term of office of a class “B” elected member expires on 31 December 2015.

18. Successor to previous Boards

  1. In this section, previous Boards means the University’s previous Board of Technical and Further Education Studies and Academic Board.
  2. The Academic Senate is the successor to the previous Boards.
  3. Without limiting the meaning of subsection (2)—
    1. any hearing, proceeding, investigation or other process commenced by a previous Board may be continued by the Academic Senate as though it were commenced by the Academic Senate;
    2. any policy, procedure, decision, condition or other thing made, adopted or approved by a previous Board will be treated as having been made, adopted or approved by the Academic Senate;
    3. any matter submitted to a previous Board for report to the Council must, if the previous Board has not reported to the Council before 31 December 2010, be treated as having been submitted to the Academic Senate for report to the Council;
    4. any reference in any document to a previous Board shall, unless inconsistent with the context, be taken to include reference to the Academic Senate; and
    5. no decision, matter or thing of the Academic Senate is affected by the further provisions of these Regulations.

19. Repeal

The Academic Senate Regulations 2013 are repealed.


Schedule

Meetings of the Academic Senate

Procedure at meetings

1. Except where otherwise provided, the applicable regulation dealing with meetings applies to meetings of the Academic Senate.

Frequency of meetings

2. The Academic Senate must meet at least six times each year.

Calling of meetings

3. The Chair may call a meeting at any time.
4. The Chair must call a meeting if—

  1. requested to do so by the Vice-Chancellor; or
  2. a written request, signed by ten members of the Academic Senate, is received by the Chair.

5. A meeting which has been requested under clause 4 must be held within 21 days of receipt of the request unless the Chair considers that it is impracticable to do (in which case the meeting shall be held as soon as is practicable).

Notice of meetings

6. The Secretary must give at least three working days’ notice of a meeting of the Academic Senate.
7. Notice of meeting may be given by email.
8. Notice of a meeting under clause 6 must—

  1. be in writing;
  2. be given to each member of the Academic Senate;
  3. specify the time, place and agenda of the meeting. 

9. A meeting is not invalidated by—

  1. failure, by accidental omission or otherwise, to send a notice of meeting to a member of the Academic Senate; or
  2. the fact that a member of the Academic Senate has not received notice of a meeting. 

Quorum at meetings

10. The quorum at a meeting of the Academic Senate or a Committee of the Academic Senate is 35% of the members then in office except where otherwise provided in these Regulations.
11. If a quorum is not present within 15 minutes after the time nominated for the commencement of a meeting—
if the meeting was convened at the request of members – the meeting is dissolved;
in any other case – the meeting stands adjourned to a day which is one week later, at a place and time nominated by the Chair or, at the election of the Chair, any unfinished business may be dealt with by circulation under clause 19.
12. If, in the course of a meeting, the Chair’s attention is drawn to the absence of a quorum the Chair must—

  1. adjourn the meeting for one week at the same place, or to a place, date and time nominated by the Chair or declare that any unfinished business is to be dealt with by circulation under clause 19; or
  2. cancel the meeting. 

13. If a meeting is cancelled under clause 12(b), the Chair may declare that any unfinished business on the notice paper of the meeting be dealt with by circulation under clause 19 or be first priority business for the next ordinary meeting of the Academic Senate.
14. If a meeting is adjourned under clause 11(b) or 12(a), the members present at any time during the next meeting shall constitute a quorum.

Voting

15. Voting at a meeting of the Academic Senate is by show of hands.
16. Decisions are by majority. The Chair does not have a casting vote. If there is a tied vote the motion lapses in the negative.

Revocation and repetition

17. Resolutions may not be revoked unless—

  1. six months have elapsed since the resolution was passed; or
  2. the members present at a meeting agree, without dissent.

Alternative means of meeting

18. The contemporaneous linking of members by telephone, video or other means of communication constitutes attendance at a meeting of the Academic Senate or a Committee provided all members have been notified of and invited to participate in the meeting.

Resolutions by circulation

19. A written resolution by a majority of members of the Academic Senate or a Committee is valid. The resolution may consist of several documents from one or more members and may be in the form of electronic mail or other messaging service provided it forms a written record.

Persons in attendance

20. The Academic Senate may invite any person to attend the whole or part of a meeting.
21. Members of the Council may attend and speak at meetings of the Academic Senate, but without voting rights.

Observers

22. Any member of the University may attend a meeting of the Academic Senate as an observer, subject to clause 23.
23. The Chair or member presiding at a meeting of the Academic Senate may limit the number of observers or change the venue of a meeting to accommodate observers.
24. Observers may speak at a meeting only on the invitation of the Chair.
25. If there is incorrect behaviour on the part of an observer which could interfere with the running of a meeting, the Chair of the meeting—

  1. may request that the behaviour be corrected;
  2. if the behaviour continues, may ask the observer to leave;
  3. if an observer fails to leave as requested, may adjourn the meeting until the person has been evicted.

Meetings of Committees
Quorum

26. The quorum for a meeting of a Committee is—

  1. if the Academic Senate has specified a quorum – that quorum;
  2. if the Academic Senate has not specified a quorum - half of the number of members of the Committee.