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Commercial Activities Committee

The Commercial Activities Committee advises Council on all matters relating to the university’s commercial activity. It takes action as appropriate, to assess, approve and monitor commercial activity.

2019 meeting dates

Wednesday 3 April
Wednesday 22 May
Wednesday 17 July
Wednesday 13 November

Time: meetings commence at 8am


Position Member Current term 1
Chair Dr Ron Sandland, AM ongoing
Member (Council) Peter Bennett ongoing
Member (Council) Dr Merilyn Sleigh ongoing
External member Bill Trestrail ongoing
External member To be determined
Vice-Chancellor or nominee Professor Glenn Wightwick ex-officio

1. ‘Ongoing’ membership terms are from 1 November 2018 until Council otherwise makes a determination.

Positions on the Committee are in accord with its composition.

Committee contact

Molly Lamping Fleck
Senior Governance Support Officer
Tel: 02 9514 1235

Terms of reference

Strategic Intent

Commercial activity is a critical part of UTS’s external engagement, activating partnerships with the community, industry, government and other enterprises. It plays a critical role in the transfer of UTS knowledge to the Australian and international communities. UTS commercial activity also makes a significant contribution to the diversification of UTS income.

Given the importance of commercial activity in the achievement of the university’s objectives, Council has established the Commercial Activities Committee to provide Council with strategic advice on the direction, opportunities and overall performance of UTS commercial activity specified in the Commercial Activities Policy.

Recognising that the conduct of commercial activity always involves some level of risk, which may be significant risk in some cases, and that Council has specific statutory responsibilities in this regard, the Commercial Activities Committee has responsibility to monitor and advise Council on the effectiveness of the governance of UTS commercial activity, including risk and compliance management.

Terms of reference

To fulfil its strategic governance role the Commercial Activities Committee undertakes the following specific functions with regard to the commercial activities specified in the Commercial Activities Policy:

  1. Advise Council on any amendments required to ensure the effectiveness of the governance, policy, risk and compliance management frameworks for UTS commercial activities. [Timeframe for reporting set out below.]
  2. Advise Council and the Vice-Chancellor, as appropriate, on the strategic development of UTS commercial activities, both at a broad level and for specific commercial activities.
  3. Advise Council on performance through assessment of:
    • the performance of UTS commercial activities, addressing all classes of UTS commercial activity, including UTS controlled entities,
    • the risk profile of UTS commercial activities and any individual high rated risks, and
    • any compliance issues related to UTS commercial activities.

[Timeframe for reporting set out below.]

  1. Approve courses of action for specific commercial activities in accordance with UTS Delegations.

Interaction with Controlled Entities

  • Commercial Activities Committee is not authorised to provide direction or guidance to a UTS controlled entity in relation to its performance or operations but will provide advice to Council in accordance with the Committee’s terms of reference.
  • In addition to the requirements of the UTS Controlled Entities Reporting Protocol, the Commercial Activities Committee may seek information from the Board of a controlled entity, or a Board’s nominee for this purpose, that the Committee considers is required to fulfil its responsibilities to Council under the Committee’s terms of reference.
  • Additional information requested by the Committee from a controlled entity must be set out in a Committee resolution.
  • The Committee’s request for additional information from controlled entities may be coordinated by the UTS staff member nominated by the Vice-Chancellor as having UTS responsibility for relationship management with the specified controlled entity, or otherwise via the Committee Secretariat.
  • Commercial Activities Committee may request the Vice-Chancellor, or his or her nominee, to inform the Committee about UTS’s plans and interests that are relevant to a controlled entity.
  • The Committee may, but is not required to, request the Chair of the Board of a controlled entity to meet with the Committee to discuss or clarify matters of the entity’s performance or operations that are relevant to the Committee’s terms of reference. The Chair’s participation in a meeting of the Committee may be regular or ad hoc but would be expected to be no more than twice per year unless exceptional circumstances exist.
  • The Chair of the Board of a controlled entity may be invited to include other Board members or senior management of the controlled entity in a discussion with the Committee.


Commercial activities are defined in the Commercial Activities Policy.

Controlled entities are those specified in the UTS Controlled Entities Reporting Protocol.

Governance framework for UTS commercial activities includes:

Risk and compliance management frameworks for UTS commercial activities includes:

  • the risk profile of UTS commercial activities,
  • any individual high-risk commercial activities,
  • strategies to manage significant risks, and
  • the Register of Commercial Activities.

Timeframe for reports

[As referred to in terms of reference 1 and 3 above.]

  • Reports covering risk and compliance will be submitted to Council annually.
  • Reports for controlled entities will be submitted to Council in line with the UTS Controlled Entities Reporting Protocols.

Risk management governance of committees reporting to Council

Risk management governance flowchart (20kb PDF)


The Commercial Activities Committee consists of the following positions:

  • Chair — one of the external members of Council who have been appointed to Council for expertise in commercial activities
  • Four other members, of whom:
    • all should have strategic commercial skills and experience
    • up to two may also be members of Council with qualifications and experience related to the operations of the university
  • Vice-Chancellor or nominee (ex-officio)