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Standing Orders - the Academic Board and its Committees

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) These Standing Orders set out the manner in which the Academic Board and its Committees conduct their meetings and other business subject to the Southern Cross University By-Law 2005 and University Council resolutions and in accordance with the Terms of Reference – Academic Board Rule

(2) In order to fulfil its responsibilities, the Academic Board may establish committees to perform functions delegated to them by the Academic Board, which will also conduct their meetings and other business in the manner set out in these Standing Orders.

(3) The business of Academic Board and its committees is conducted in accordance with customary practice through a presiding member (normally the person referred to as the Chair) and proceeds on the basis of resolution. In the conduct of meetings of the Academic Board and its committees, all reasonable discretion is allowed to the presiding member.

Principles of Operation

(4) Academic Board and its committees will operate in a manner that is:

  1. Accountable: committees will conduct their business transparently and always in the best interests of the University;
  2. Collegial: committees will conduct their business in a manner that is consultative, communicative and respectful;
  3. Efficient: committee business will focus on matters relevant to the committee's Terms of Reference and within the scope of the responsibilities and authority of Academic Board as set out in the Terms of Reference – Academic Board Rule
  4. Representative: committee membership will reasonably represent the diversity of the whole University community while maintaining membership that is as compact as possible for the committee to effectively conduct its business; and
  5. Orderly: committee members will exhibit and uphold good conduct that complies with the University's Code of Conduct and as additionally set out in the Guidelines for Conduct of Members of Academic Board and its Committees
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Section 2 - Membership of Academic Board and its Committees

 

(5) Student members of the Academic Board and its committees will be elected from students who nominate for the position and who, at the end of the nomination period, are:

  1. enrolled in University course with a minimum duration of one year full-time or equivalent; and
  2. not on an approved leave of absence, suspended, excluded or expelled from the University.

(6) Unless otherwise specified in the relevant Terms of Reference, elected members of Academic Board and its committees hold office for a period of two years from:

  1. the end of the term of the member they are replacing; or
  2. if the position is vacant, the date of election.

(7) Other than as specified in the relevant Terms of Reference, no member may be represented by a nominee. 

(8) The Secretariat must be notified by the relevant member in in writing of any nominees. 

(9) The nominee:

  1. is entitled to attend all meetings of the Board or committee;
  2. when the member is not in attendance, is entitled to vote and will contribute to the quorum for that meeting; and
  3. when the member is in attendance, may speak to any item, but will not be entitled to vote and will not contribute to the quorum for the meeting.

(10) The term of office of any nominee on the Academic Board or its committees will expire at the same time as the term of office of the member being represented by the nominee.

(11) Academic Board and its committees may co-opt such persons to their membership as they determine from time to time.

Elections

(12) Unless otherwise specified in the relevant Terms of Reference:

  1. elected members will be elected by the members of Academic Board or the relevant committee.
  2. voting will be on a ‘first past the post’ basis.

(13) When an election is required, the Council Secretary or their nominee will call for nominations by email or other appropriate publication. The call for nominations will:

  1. provide information about the position
  2. invite candidates to nominate for the position
  3. specify the form in which nominations must be made
  4. specify the date and time for the close of nominations

(14) The nomination period will be for a minimum of 14 days.  The Council Secretary or nominee may accept a nomination received after the close of nominees in their absolute discretion.  

(15) If necessary, an election may be conducted:

  1. during a meeting; or
  2. electronically and separate to a meeting.

Vacancies

(16) The office of an elected or appointed member of the Academic Board or a committee will become vacant if that member:

  1. resigns; or
  2. is unable to act for a period of six months or more including as a result of taking leave; or
  3. ceases to be qualified for election or appointment; or
  4. is absent from three consecutive meetings of Academic Board, the relevant committee or another Academic committee of which they are also a member on the basis of their membership on Academic Board or the relevant committee, without reasonable excuse.

(17) If the office of an elected or appointed member of Academic Board or a committee becomes vacant, a person will be elected or appointed to fill that vacancy as set out in the relevant Terms of Reference or these Standing Orders. 

(18) The Academic Board or relevant committee may appoint a person from the relevant constituency to hold office while that vacancy is filled.

(19) In the absence, or while filling a vacancy in the office, of a Chair of Academic Board or a committee, a Deputy Chair (if any) will have all of the functions of the Chair.  If there is no Deputy Chair, Academic Board or the relevant Committee will appoint a person from the relevant constituency to hold office for that period.

(20) If an elected or appointed member of Academic Board or a committee, other than a Chair, is unable to act for a period of less than six months as a result of taking leave or a temporary variation to their employment, the Chair of Academic Board or the relevant committee may appoint another person from that constituency to hold office for that period.

(21) Where membership of the Academic Board or a committee is by ex-officio position, any person appointed to act in that position will hold membership of the Board or committee for the period so appointed.

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Section 3 - Meetings

Convening Meetings

(22) Academic Board and each of its committees will meet at least once a year, and with a frequency sufficient to meet their respective Terms of Reference. 

(23) Prior to the commencement of each year, the Council Secretary will publish the ordinary meeting dates on the University website.

(24) The Chair may convene additional meetings if the Chair considers it necessary in the interests of the University that the Academic Board or the committee should meet.

(25) The Chair of Academic Board or the relevant committee will convene a special meeting upon the written request of no less than 25% of members of the Academic Board or the relevant committee stating the business that they wish to address at such a meeting.

(26) The Vice Chancellor may summon a meeting of the Academic Board or a committee for the purpose of considering any business to be submitted by the Vice Chancellor.

(27) Other than meetings convened under clause (25) or clause (26), the Chair may cancel a meeting if there is insufficient business.

Agenda

(28) As far as practicable, the agenda for a meeting of the Academic Board or a committee will be circulated by the Secretary to each member at least four business days prior to the date of that meeting. The agenda will contain the daft resolutions to be considered at the meeting and copies of:

  1. the business papers; and
  2. the previous meeting's minutes.

(29) In exceptional circumstances, the Chair may allow additional business to be circulated. Materials may only be tabled at the meeting the discretion of the Chair.

(30) Proceedings of Academic Board and its committees will be valid despite non-receipt of an agenda or agenda papers by any one member.

Attendance

(31) All members of Academic Board and its committees are expected to attend each meeting.  A member who is unable to attend a meeting should record an apology by notifying the Secretary before the meeting.

(32) If an ex officio member of Academic Board or a committee (or their nominee, if any) is unable to attend a meeting and no person has been appointed to act in that position, the Chair may approve an alternate to attend that meeting on their behalf.  The alternate will be entitled to vote and will contribute to the quorum. 

(33) The Chair, Academic Board may attend any committee meeting as an ex-officio member and will contribute to the calculation of a quorum.

(34) Any staff member or student of the University may, at the discretion and with the prior permission of the Chair, attend meetings of the Academic Board or its committees as an observer, but may not in any event speak or otherwise participate in the meeting without the permission of the Chair. The Chair may limit the number of observers present at any meeting, or require an observer to withdraw in order to preserve confidentiality, or to maintain good order in the meeting.

Presiding Member

(35) The Chair of Academic Board or a committee, or in that person's absence, a Deputy Chair (if any), will preside at all meetings.

(36) If neither the Chair nor a Deputy Chair is present at any meeting, the Board or committee may elect a member to chair the meeting from those members present.

(37) The Chair will have a vote and, in the case of an equality of votes, a second or casting vote.

Adjournments

(38) The Chair may adjourn any meeting of the Academic Board or a committee in appropriate circumstances.

(39) The Chair will not adjourn a meeting to prevent a motion or amendment being put except with the approval of a majority of the members present. This discretion will not limit any other powers of the Chair to adjourn a meeting.

(40) If a meeting of the Academic Board or its committees is adjourned, the Chair will reconvene the meeting at a date and time approved by a majority of members present.

Quorum

(41) Unless otherwise specified in the relevant Terms of Reference, the quorum for meetings of Academic Board and its committees will be:

  1. at least the majority of the total number of members for the time being; and
  2. in any event, no less than four members.

Inquorate Meetings

(42) Any meeting of the Academic Board or its committees may be declared inquorate if insufficient members are present to constitute a quorum 10 minutes after the time set for the meeting.

(43) After the meeting is declared inquorate, the Chair may proceed with the business of the meeting. Any decision or resolution arrived at by Academic Board or the committees will be ratified:

  1. by flying minute;
  2. at the next meeting.

Conduct of Meetings

(44) Meetings must not be filmed or otherwise electronically recorded by any person without the prior permission of the relevant Chair.

(45) For Academic Board meetings, the Chair will determine what items of business require discussion.  These items will be starred on the agenda.  At the beginning of each meeting of Academic Board, the Chair will invite members to star any additional agenda item for discussion.  Agenda items which are un-starred will be determined as specified in the agenda without further discussion.

(46) The business of the meeting of Academic Board or a committee will be considered in the order determined by the Chair of the meeting.

(47) If there is unfinished business on the agenda at the time at which a meeting is due to end and those present do not agree to extend the meeting, that business will to be deferred to the next meeting of Academic Board or the committee.

(48) Business that has been deferred to the next meeting of Academic Board or the committee is to have precedence over other business to be conducted at that meeting unless the Chair determines otherwise.

Motions

(49) The Chair has discretion regarding the acceptance of motions, except for the procedural motions covered in clause(55). The Chair's discretionary ruling may be reversed if a majority of the members present support a motion to this effect.

(50) All notices of motion accepted by the Chair will appear on the business paper for the meeting concerned. These motions will be given to the Secretary, in writing. 

(51) The introduction of a topic during the discussion of a motion that is ruled by the Chair to be additional to that relating to the motion must be raised in writing to a subsequent meeting.

(52) A point of order accepted by the Chair takes preference over all other discussion.

(53) Amendments will be considered prior to a vote on the substantive motion.

(54) All amendments must be relevant to the original motion and no amendment may directly negate the substantive motion or the original motion.

Suspension of Debate

(55) Debate on a motion or amendment will be immediately suspended, even if a person is speaking, if any of the following procedural motions is moved and seconded:

  1. that the Academic Board (or the committee) proceed to the next item of business;
  2. that the Academic Board (or the committee) do now adjourn;
  3. that the question be now put;
  4. that the speaker be no longer heard;
  5. that the matter be referred back to the person or body which submitted the proposal.

(56) Any such motion except clause (55)e may not be moved or seconded by a person who has already spoken to the motion or to an amendment, and will immediately be put without amendment or debate.

(57) Any of the above motions is carried only if a majority of the members present vote in favour. If clause (55)c above is carried in relation to an original motion, the mover of that motion may reply before the motion is put. If a motion is moved under clause (55)e, debate may continue on matters to which the attention of the person or body should be drawn.

(58) The Chair's decision on procedural motions is binding. No motions of dissent shall be moved.

Procedure on Conclusion of Debate

(59) As soon as debate upon a question is concluded, the Chair will put the question to the Academic Board or the committee.

Method of Voting

(60) All matters considered by the Academic Board or its committees will be decided by consensus. If consensus cannot be achieved, then that matter is to be resolved by voting on the motion or motions.

(61) A question will be decided on the voices. Alternatively, any member present may request a show of hands, and a secret ballot can be held at the discretion of the Chair or if requested by at least 25% of the members present.

(62) Where a member is unable to attend a meeting but has a particular interest in an item, the member may provide his or her views in writing to the Chair and request that those views be made known during the course of consideration of the item.

Procedure After Question Put and Vote Taken

(63) No member may speak to any question after it has been put by the Chair and the show of hands or ballot has been taken.

Reference to a Committee or Working Party

(64) The Academic Board may refer any matter arising from the business of the Board to a committee or may establish a working party to consider any such matter.

(65) Committees may establish a working party to consider any matter arising from the business of the committee.  Academic Board will be informed of the formation of such a working party.

Matters not Dealt with in Standing Orders

(66) Should questions which are not dealt with in these Standing Orders arise, the decision of the Chair will be final.

Amendment to Standing Orders and Rules

(67) A motion for making, rescinding or amending a Standing Order will not be made except in pursuance of notice conveyed to the Secretary, Academic Board in writing five working days before the meeting. A resolution for any such purpose will require a two-thirds majority of the total membership.

Suspension of Standing Orders

(68) Any Standing Order may be suspended for the time being on a motion made with or without notice, provided that such a motion will have the concurrence of a majority of all the members of the Academic Board or the committee.

Urgent Business

(69) The Chair may determine that urgent matters requiring the committee’s consideration between meetings may be conducted by flying minute.

(70) Flying minutes require approval from the number of members comprising a quorum for that committee as evidenced by the members' signatures, which may include electronic signatures, or email confirmation sent from an authorised email account.

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Section 4 - Committees of Academic Board

(71) Terms of Reference - Academic Board Appeals Committee

(72) Terms of Reference - Academic Board Executive Committee

(73) Terms of Reference - Academic Standards and Quality Committee

(74) Terms of Reference - Accreditation Committee

(75) Terms of Reference - Admissions Committee

(76) Terms of Reference - Educational Partnerships Board

(77) Terms of Reference - Faculty Boards

(78) Terms of Reference - Higher Degrees Research Committee

(79) Terms of Reference - Research Committee

(80) Terms of Reference - Student Academic Experience Committee

(81) Terms of Reference - Teaching and Assessment Committee

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Section 5 - Associated Information 

(82) Conduct of Members of Academic Board and its Committees - Guidelines.