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Standing Orders for Faculty Boards

1. General

1.1 Each faculty of the University has a faculty board. The faculty board constitutes the primary forum in the faculty for the discussion and resolution of academic matters.

1.2 Academic Board determines the structures and functions of faculty boards, and any amendments to these, noting that a faculty board’s authority to act on specific matters will continue to require Council’s delegated authority.

1.3 In some instances, the Vice-Chancellor may make a designation that an organisational unit is equivalent to a faculty or faculty board.

1.4 Subject to the Rules and the resolutions of Council and Academic Board, each faculty board and faculty board equivalent (unless determined otherwise) is required to adhere to these Standing Orders.

2. Duties and powers

2.1 Subject to the Rules and the resolutions of Council and Academic Board, including the strategic direction and priorities set for the University, a faculty board has a responsibility to establish and maintain academic leadership by sustainably and effectively overseeing, assessing, monitoring, reviewing and improving the quality and outcome of the academic work of the faculty (including teaching, learning, scholarship, research training and research).

2.2 In addition to duties prescribed for faculty boards in the Rules, delegations and policies of the University, a faculty board is charged with advising Academic Board (including its committees, as appropriate), the Dean and other senior officers of that faculty on any aspect of:

(i) the goals, strategies, objectives, outcomes, principles, directions, priorities, policies, practices, profile and risk management for academic matters of the faculty;

(ii) the quality, standards and benchmarks appropriate to all aspects of the academic work of the faculty (including teaching, learning, scholarship, research and research training).

Additionally, the faculty board:

(iii) shall exercise such responsibilities and powers as are assigned to it by Academic Board and Council from time to time, and consider and report on all matters which are referred to it by Academic Board, the Vice-Chancellor or the Dean of the faculty, and make recommendations where appropriate;

(iv) shall consider proposals for the introduction of new courses and major changes to existing courses, reaccreditation or discontinuation of existing courses, changes to course nomenclature or course classification, and make recommendations on these to the relevant committee(s), as appropriate;

(v) shall maintain and develop courses to ensure a vital and contemporary relationship between the faculty and the professional fields which it seeks to serve;

(vi) shall recommend to Academic Board the minimum requirements that will provide eligibility for entry to particular courses of study of the faculty;

(vii) shall submit to Academic Board the names of students who have completed courses of study together with recommendations as to the award (including the grading) which should be made in each case; and

(viii) may establish such committees or sub-committees as it deems appropriate to assist its work, and may refer any matter to such committees or sub-committees of the faculty board or to any academic unit of the faculty, for report, noting that:

(a) some committees are mandated by Academic Board or Council resolution or Rules or policy instruments;

(b) it is not required that any or all of the members of such committees or sub-committees be members of the faculty board;

(c) a sitting Chair of a faculty board committee, unless an ex officio position, is ineligible to be renominated if completion of the designated term would result in a member serving more than five consecutive years as Chair of that Committee;

(d) the Dean of the faculty may be an ex officio member of all committees of the faculty board; and

(e) the Dean of the faculty may convene and/or preside at a meeting of a faculty board committee.

3. Composition and membership

3.1 The structure of a faculty board is approved by Academic Board on the recommendation of the faculty and the Vice-Chancellor and, depending on individual faculty structure, may vary between faculties.

3.2 The Dean of the faculty shall be Chair of the faculty board, or may appoint a member of the faculty board as Chair.

3.3 A Deputy Chair of the faculty board shall be elected by and from faculty board members at a faculty board meeting. The Deputy Chair shall be appointed for a one year term of office commencing 1 January. Upon expiry of the one year term, the presiding Deputy Chair shall be eligible for re-election as Deputy Chair.

3.4 The faculty board shall consist, as a minimum, of ex officio members, nominated members and elected members as follows:

(i) The ex officio members are:

(a) the Dean; and

(b) other senior full-time or fractional-time staff members including, where applicable, the Deputy Dean, the Associate Deans, Heads of School and the Faculty Manager.

(ii) The nominated members include:

(a) a nominee of the University Librarian;

(b) a nominee of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students); and

(c) one member of academic staff from the faculty board of at least three faculties that contribute to the teaching or research programs or other collaborative programs of the faculty concerned, to be nominated by the Deans of those faculties in consultation with the Dean of the faculty concerned.

(iii) The elected members include:

(a) academic staff (full-time or fractional-time) elected by and from the academic staff of the faculty, the total number of persons to be such that it is equal to or larger than the sum of the total number of ex officio, nominated and co-opted members;

(b) professional staff elected by and from the professional staff of the faculty;

(c) a minimum of four students elected by and from the students of the faculty, at least one of whom shall be a postgraduate student, and at least one of whom shall be an undergraduate student.

3.5 On the recommendation of the Chair, a faculty board has the power to approve the co-option of members on the basis of their skills and experience as appropriate for a period of up to two years (to align with the terms of elected members).

3.6 The term of office commences on 1 January and shall be:

(i) two years for nominated, elected and co-opted staff members appointed respectively under clauses 3.4(ii), 3.4(iii)(a–b) and 3.5; and

(ii) one year for elected student members appointed respectively under clause 3.4(iii)(c) and the Deputy Chair appointed under clause 3.3.

3.7 Elected, nominated and co-opted members shall be eligible respectively for re-election, renomination or reappointment.

3.8 Where the terms of elected academic/professional staff members of a faculty board are not staggered, the process outlined in clause 3.9 will apply to achieve staggering of terms and promote continuity on the faculty board.

3.9 In respect of clause 3.8, one-half of the elected academic/professional staff members from the faculty, (or in the instance where one-half is not a whole number, the number immediately greater than one-half will be used) shall be determined by lot (drawn by the University Secretary or nominee) and declared to hold office for three years. The remaining undrawn elected academic/professional staff members will hold office for the standard two years.

3.10 The Faculty Manager shall:

(i) be Secretary to the Board;

(ii) keep proper records of meetings of the faculty board, in accordance with requirements in the Records Management Vice-Chancellor's Directive;

(iii) notify the University Secretary on or before 1 December each year, of the names of the members of the faculty board for the next calendar year; and

(iv) make available faculty board meeting agenda(s), papers and minutes to Academic Board, as required.

4. Meetings of faculty boards

4.1 If the Chair is absent or unable to act, or if the office of the Chair is temporarily vacant, the Deputy Chair will have all the functions of the Chair for the duration of that meeting.

(i) In the absence of the Chair and Deputy Chair from a meeting of the faculty board, the faculty board is to elect one of its members to preside at the meeting.

4.2 The faculty board shall meet at least four times in each calendar year and at such other times as the faculty board determines.

4.3 The quorum for a meeting of faculty board shall be one-half of its members or the next higher whole number (excluding vacant positions and any members on recognised leave, for example, leave under Professional Experience Program (PEP); see section 5.14 of the Professional Experience Program (PEP) Vice-Chancellor's Directive);

4.4 Not less than seven calendar days' notice of an ordinary meeting shall be given by the Faculty Manager (or nominee) in writing to members of a faculty board setting out the time and place of the meeting and the agenda.

4.5 A special meeting of a faculty board may be convened on the request of the Chair or by the Faculty Manager (or nominee) on the written request of five members of the faculty board.

4.6 Not less than three calendar days' notice of a special meeting shall be given by the Faculty Manager (or nominee) in writing to members setting out the time and place of the meeting and the purpose for which the meeting is to be convened.

4.7 Before the commencement of the general business on the faculty board's agenda, the Chair invites members to declare any conflicts of interest(s) in relation to any matters listed.

4.8 The agenda for any meeting of a faculty board and any papers pursuant to matters on the agenda including minutes of the previous meeting(s) shall be available for perusal by any member of the academic staff of the faculty on request in writing to the Faculty Manager (or nominee).

4.9 The Dean shall be responsible for bringing forward to the Academic Board or its relevant committees, matters arising from meetings of the faculty board. The Dean shall also advise the faculty board of relevant items discussed at Academic Board, in order to promote two-way dialogue between the faculty board and Academic Board.

5. Out of session business: flying minute and executive action

In exceptional circumstances, items of business of a faculty board can be dealt with between formal meetings, usually for matters of particular urgency or when a scheduled meeting is cancelled, for example, due to a lack of quorum. Subject to the Chair's approval and the limitations outlined in clause 5.1(iii), decisions can be made between meetings either by circulating a flying minute, in accordance with clause 5.1(i), or by executive action on behalf of faculty board, in accordance with clause 5.1(ii).

(i) Flying minute

(a) Subject to limitations outlined in clause 5.1(iii), the Chair of faculty board may pass a resolution on behalf of faculty board, outside of a formal meeting, by circulating a flying minute to all members of faculty board, outlining the proposed action and providing full information to members at least seven calendar days before the proposed action which the resolution authorises, unless one-third of the number of members or more indicate in writing before the expiration of the seven calendar days that the decision should be made by the faculty board at a meeting.

(b) The flying minute shall include a clear and accurate statement of material facts and reasoning for the proposed action, and the urgent need to circulate the flying minute, with the advice that the Chair will take the action after the expiration of the seven calendar days, unless one-third of the number of members or more indicate in writing (including electronic means) before the expiration of the seven calendar days that the decision should be made by the faculty board at a meeting.

(c) Upon expiration of seven calendar days, the Chair and members of faculty board are to be informed about the outcome of the flying minute. Subsequently, the Chair can take the action detailed in flying minute, unless one-third of the number of members or more indicate in writing before the expiration of the seven calendar days that the decision should be made by the faculty board at a meeting.

(d) Details of action taken by Chair under this provision must be reported at the next faculty board meeting, and included in the minutes of the meeting.

(e) The Faculty Manager shall maintain all relevant records on a registered file/TRIM.

(ii) Executive action on behalf of the faculty board

(a) Subject to limitations outlined in clause 5.1(iii), the Chair is authorised to take executive action on behalf of the faculty board (in consultation with, and with the endorsement of the Faculty Manager), where exceptional circumstances require faculty board business to be conducted urgently and between meetings.

(b) Notice of the action the Chair proposes to take should be given to members of the faculty board, at least seven calendar days before the proposed action. If this requirement is not met, a record of rationale for extenuating circumstance must be maintained and reported at the next faculty board meeting; and included in the minutes of the meeting.

(c) Details of action taken by the Chair under this provision must be reported at the next faculty board meeting and included in the minutes of the meeting.

(d) The Faculty Manager shall maintain; a register of executive action recording all actions taken under this provision; and relevant records on a registered file/TRIM.

(iii) Limitations

(a) For endorsement of Award Course Accreditation material to be submitted to the Courses Accreditation Committee, a full faculty board decision must be made either at a faculty board meeting, or if timing renders an urgent decision be made, by utilising only method in clause 5.1(i).

(b) For endorsement of Course Plans to be submitted to the Courses Planning Committee, where timing renders an urgent decision be made, this can be achieved by utilising either method in clause 5.1(i) or in clause 5.1(ii).

6. Elections and filling of remaining vacancies

6.1 The elections for all elected members of a faculty board (except Deputy Chair, see clause 3.3) will be conducted in accordance with UTS General Rules G3 Part 2.

6.2 For the election of a Deputy Chair;

(i) the Dean or appointed Chair (or delegate) shall be the Returning Officer;

(ii) only members of the faculty board present at the meeting are eligible to vote;

(iii) notification of a possible election shall be by its inclusion as an item on the agenda for that meeting;

(iv) nominations shall be called for twelve working days prior to the meeting and shall close at 5pm, two working days prior to the meeting. Nominations should include the name of the nominator, the nominee and the position for which the person is being nominated. The nominee must have agreed to the nomination prior to its submission. Any nominations received after the deadline stipulated in the call for the nominations, will not be accepted, unless agreed by the majority of the Board;

(v) an election to be held at the meeting shall be deemed necessary when the number of nominations received exceeds the number of positions to be filled;

(vi) all voting shall be first-past-the-post, with each member accorded one vote;

(vii) ballot papers shall be distributed to members at the meeting;

(viii) ballot papers shall be collected at the meeting. The Returning Officer shall determine whether it is feasible to count ballot papers and declare the elections during the meeting. If the Returning Officer determines that this cannot be done, the Chair and the candidates will be informed of the result as soon as possible after the meeting and the Board shall be notified at the subsequent meeting;

(ix) votes will be counted by the Returning Officer; and

(x) the results of an election held at a meeting shall be published in the minutes of Board.

6.3 Where a remaining vacancy occurs in the office of an elected member of a faculty board the vacancy may be filled by resolution of the faculty board and in accordance with procedures for the filling of casual vacancies as set out in clause 7.

6.4 A person selected to fill a remaining vacancy shall be appointed for the period stated in the notice of election for that office, and is, unless disqualified, eligible for election to that office at the expiry of the term of office for which he or she was appointed.

7. Extended leave and casual vacancies

7.1 A casual vacancy in the office of an elected member of the faculty board occurs if the member:

(i) ceases to be qualified for election; or

(ii) resigns from office by notifying the Faculty Manager (or nominee) in writing; or

(iii) is on extended leave that would result in missing two or more scheduled faculty board meetings (for example, leave under the Professional Experience Program; see Professional Experience Program Vice-Chancellor's Directive section 5.14); or

(iv) is formally acting in a position which carries ex officio membership of the faculty board for a period exceeding 12 months; or

(v) is absent from two consecutive ordinary meetings of the faculty board unless the absence is excused by the faculty board. An absence cannot be excused retrospectively.

7.2 Where a casual vacancy of an elected member of a faculty board occurs as per clause 7.1, the vacancy may be filled as follows:

(i) the Chair of Faculty Board may, as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs, with the consent of the next eligible runner-up in the most recent election for that office, appoint that runner-up to hold that office for the remainder of the term of office. In the event that the runner-up does not consent to fill the vacancy or the candidates in the election are exhausted, the position is filled by resolution of faculty board for the remainder of the term of office; as set out below;

(a) in the case of academic staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students of the faculty, on the recommendation of the relevant Responsible Academic Officer; or

(b) in the case of professional staff of the faculty, on the recommendation of the Dean;

(c) a person selected to fill a casual vacancy shall be appointed for the remainder of the term of office, and is, if otherwise qualified, eligible for election to that office at the expiry of the term of office for which he or she was appointed.

7.3 A casual vacancy in the office of an appointed, co-opted or nominated member of the faculty board occurs if the member:

(i) resigns from office by notifying the Faculty Manager (or nominee) in writing; or

(ii) is on extended leave.

7.4 Where a casual vacancy of an appointed, co-opted or nominated member of the faculty board occurs as per clause 7.3, an appropriate alternative should be nominated by the original nominating authority and appointed by the Chair to fill the vacancy.

Approval and management

Approval authority Academic Board
Contact Executive Officer, Academic Board
Review year 2020
File number UR14/13

Change history

Resolution Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
AB/18-1/19.3 Academic Board 28/03/2018 02/05/2018 Amendments to harmonise with the changes to G3 Rules and Standing Orders of Academic Board. Deputy Chair term changed to one year. Clause added to allow for a meeting to be held in the absence of both the Chair and the Deputy Chair. Removed requirement for faculty boards to maintain a register of flying minutes. Clauses reordered and reworded for better readability and clarity. Approval and management information and change history table added.
AB/16-5/93.2 Academic Board 16/11/2016 16/11/2016 Title changed from 'Statement on the structure and function of UTS Faculty Boards' to 'Standing Orders for Faculty Boards'.
AB/16-5/93.3 Academic Board 16/11/2016 16/11/2016 Amended sections 1-6 to streamline the faculty board structure, function and processes, and align them with developments at UTS since the last significant review in June 2010.
AB/16-4/72 Academic Board 07/09/2016 07/09/2016 Minor amendments to section 3 to provide clarity in relation to elected members.
AB/16-2/32.2 Academic Board 01/06/2016 01/06/2016 Additional clause added to section 3 enabling faculty boards to co-opt members.
COU/10-4/50.2 Council 16/06/2010 16/06/2010 Rescission of past resolutions relating to the structure and functions of faculty boards.
AB 10/22.2 Academic Board 09/06/2010 09/06/2010 New statement on the structure and function of faculty boards.