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Terms of Reference - Academic Board Rule

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Section 1 - Authorisation

(1) The Council of Southern Cross University, as the Governing authority of Southern Cross University, by resolution makes the following Rule under section 30 (1) of the Southern Cross University Act 1993 ('Act'), pursuant to section 52 of the Southern Cross University By-Law 2005 (the By-Law).

(2) Dated: 31 March 2016

(3) Authorised: Council

Section 2 - Purpose and Scope

Purpose

(4) The purpose of this Rule is to define terms of reference for Academic Board in accordance with section 15 of the Act and section 49 of the By-Law.

Scope

(5) This rule applies to the members and operation of Academic Board.

Section 3 - Terms of Reference

Purpose

(6) The Academic Board is the principal academic body responsible for establishing and maintaining the highest standards in teaching and learning and research in the University.

(7) The Academic Board is the primary advisory committee of the University Council on academic matters. It provides a forum for the discussion and debate of the academic directions of the University, as well as the quality of its academic programs. It may consider any matter relating to the University's teaching, learning, research or other academic activity, and approve such matters or advise the Council and the Vice Chancellor as delegated to it by Council. When conducting its business the Academic Board will have particular regard to issues of academic accountability and quality assurance, and to University plans.

Authorisation

(8) Subject to the Act and the By-Law, the Academic Board is authorised to:

  1. consider and advise on all matters referred to it by the Council or the Vice Chancellor;
  2. develop and approve academic Policies, Awards and Rules for the University relating to academic and research matters. These include:
    1. rules governing the awards and academic processes of the University;
    2. issues related to teaching and learning at the University;
    3. issues related to research in or associated with the University;
    4. the introduction, structure, progression, and review of undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered by the University that are not in new discipline areas;
    5. requirements for the completion of degrees and awards;
    6. the admission, assessment and progression of students;
    7. the Rules and procedures for the award of student scholarships, medals and prizes;
    8. the award of student scholarships, medals and prizes unless the Rules of those student scholarships, medals and prizes state otherwise;
    9. mechanisms for the hearing of appeals made by students against grades, exclusion and progression;
    10. any other academic matter;
  3. advise the Council on:
    1. the strategic directions of the University with regard to academic and research matters;
    2. the undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered by the University that are in new discipline areas;
    3. criteria and procedures for the appointment, promotion and professional development of the academic staff of the University;
    4. the discontinuation of academic awards and courses;
    5. the effective operation of this Rule;
    6. any other academic matter;
  4. consider reports of Academic Board committees and working parties and any other body required to report to the Academic Board; and:
    1. determine such matters as authorised;
    2. transmit to the Council with or without amendment or comment any report or recommendation requiring the attention of the Council;
  5. make and approve standing orders with respect to:
    1. the manner and time of convening, holding and adjourning a meeting of the Academic Board;
    2. the quorum and voting at such a meeting;
    3. the powers and duties of the person presiding at a meeting of the Academic Board;
    4. the conduct of the business at a meeting of the Academic Board;
    5. the election of Academic Board members and office bearers;
    6. the appointment, powers and duties of committees and working parties of the Academic Board;
    7. the membership and quorum at meetings of committees and working parties so appointed;
    8. the establishment and maintenance of a public register of the Academic Board's policies, procedures and delegations.

(9) The Academic Board and its committees will conduct business in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Academic Board and its Committees.

(10) This Rule will be reviewed annually by the Academic Board and any amendments recommend to Council for consideration.

Section 4 - Composition

(11) The structure and membership of the Academic Board will be as follows:

  1. The following will be ex-officio members of Academic Board:
    1. Vice Chancellor;
    2. Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor;
    3. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research);
    4. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education);
    5. Director, Teaching and Learning;
    6. Director, GNIBI College of Indigenous Australian Peoples;
    7. Director, SCU College;
    8. Head, School of Arts & Social Sciences;
    9. Head, School of Law & Justice;
    10. Head, School of Business & Tourism;
    11. Head of School, Education;
    12. Head, School of Environment, Science and Engineering;
    13. Head, School of Health & Human Sciences;
  2. The following will be ex officio members of Academic Board unless already a member under another category:
    1. Chair of Accreditation Committee;
    2. Chair of Academic Standards and Quality Committee;
    3. Chair of Research Committee;
    4. Chair of Higher Degrees Research Committee;
  3. The following will be elected members of Academic Board:
    1. Chair of Academic Board;
    2. Two Deputy Chairs of Academic Board:
      • Deputy Chair of Academic Board (Teaching and Learning);
      • Deputy Chair of Academic Board (Research);
    3. Eight staff representatives (one per school/college):
      • GNIBI College of Indigenous Australian Peoples;
      • SCU College;
      • School of Arts & Social Sciences;
      • School of Law & Justice;
      • School of Business & Tourism;
      • School of Education;
      • School of Environment, Science and Engineering;
      • School of Health & Human Sciences;
    4. One undergraduate student;
    5. One post-graduate student;
  4. The following shall be observers at Academic Board:
    1. Director, Library Services*;
    2. Director, Planning Quality and Review*;
    3. Director, Student Administration Services*;
    4. Head, Sustainability Partnerships and Community Engagement*;
    5. Director, International Office*.

[* or nominee]

(12) The Academic Board may by resolution co-opt such other persons to membership as it determines from time to time, including to maintain an appropriate gender balance.

(13) The office bearers of the Academic Board will be the Chair, and up to two (2) Deputy-Chairs, as per clause (11)c.ii

(14) In the event that the Vice Chancellor does not wish to be the presiding member of the Academic Board, the Board will elect a Chair from the full-time Professors and Associate Professors of the University. The Deputy-Chairs will be elected by the Academic Board from the full-time academic staff of the University. The Chair will be a member of Council in accordance with the SCU Act.

(15) In the event that the Vice Chancellor does at any time wish to be the presiding member of the Academic Board, there will be fresh elections for Deputy-Chairs of the Academic Board, who will hold office until the normal time for elections of office bearers of the Academic Board. One Deputy-Chair will be elected by the Academic Board from the full-time academic staff. The other Deputy Chair will be elected by the Academic Board from the full-time Professors and Associate Professors of the University and will be a member of Council in accordance with the SCU Act.

(16) In the event that a Chair elected as prescribed in clause (14), or a Deputy-Chair elected as prescribed in clause (15), is also an elected member in another category, the constituency concerned will be entitled to nominate an additional member to the Academic Board.

(17) The Academic Board and its committees will conduct any elections for the appointment of members and office-bearers in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Academic Board and its Committees.

Quorum

(18) The quorum for Academic Board meetings will be determined by the Academic Board and specified within the Standing Orders for Academic Board and its Committees.

Meetings

(19) The manner and time of convening, holding and adjourning meetings of the Academic Board will be determined by the Academic Board and specified in the Standing Orders for Academic Board and its Committees.