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Industry Advisory Boards Vice-Chancellor's Directive


This Directive sets out the requirements for the establishment and operation of UTS Industry Advisory Boards.

The Industry Advisory Boards Vice-Chancellor's Directive is also available as a PDF document.

Dates Directive approved 04/10/2012
Directive takes effect 18/10/2012
Directive is due for review (up to five years) 10/2017
Directive amendment approved 11/12/2014
Directive amendment takes effect 11/02/2015
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Latest amendment: Director, Governance Support Unit (see change history for details)
Implementation Officer Director, External Engagement
Relevant to All staff and/or all students
Related documents
File number UR12/1261
Superseded documents Academic Advisory Committees Policy 1998


1. Purpose

This Directive sets out the requirements for the creation and management of UTS Industry Advisory Boards (Boards). Boards are an important element of the University's external engagement, connecting UTS with business, industry and the professions, and informing and assisting with the achievement of the University's strategic objectives.

2. Scope

This Directive applies to all UTS activities and personnel with regard to the establishment and operation of Industry Advisory Boards in faculties.

The Vice-Chancellor may determine that specific UTS academic units outside faculties are subject to the requirements of this Directive and/or that certain Industry Advisory Boards are exempt from this Directive.

3. Definitions

Industry Advisory Board
means any UTS body that is established for the purposes set out in this Directive and has at least half of its members from business, industry and the professions.

4. Directive principles

UTS Industry Advisory Boards are established, and operate, to enable high quality and proactive engagement with individuals, organisations and corporations in business, industry and the professions.

Through UTS Industry Advisory Boards the University receives objective advice on its role in contributing to the development of the national and international economy and society and in achieving the University's strategic objectives for all facets of the University's activities.

Through UTS Industry Advisory Boards the University develops relationships with key practitioners in areas related to the University's academic disciplines and promotes the University's reputation for business, industry and professional relevance and engagement.

5. Directive statements

5.1 Faculty structure of Industry Advisory Boards

Each faculty must have an effective structure of Industry Advisory Boards (or equivalent bodies) to support its key activities, centres and strategic priorities.

The structure will include:

  • a mandatory faculty-level Industry Advisory Board to advise the Dean on the overall strategic positioning of the faculty, external engagement and other activities specified by its terms of reference.

    This mandatory faculty-level Industry Advisory Board may be combined with or operate separately from:
    • at least one mandatory Industry Advisory Board to provide business, industry, professional and other external advice on existing and new courses under the stewardship of the faculty
    • optionally, such other Industry Advisory Boards as the faculty thinks appropriate to support its key activities, centres and other strategic priorities
    • optionally, cross-faculty Industry Advisory Boards as faculties think appropriate to support cross-disciplinary activities.

For Industry Advisory Boards associated with courses/groups of courses, the substantive role of which is to provide advice on course design and renewal, an Industry Advisory Board may be constituted for specific stages of the course life cycle only; such as initial development, reaccreditation or a major review.

On request, the Dean of each faculty must provide a summary of the faculty's current and proposed Industry Advisory Boards (or equivalent bodies), including any cross-faculty Industry Advisory Boards, to the Provost for review who will submit them to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement) for approval.

Any changes to a faculty's Industry Advisory Boards structure must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement) prior to implementation.

5.2 Purpose of Industry Advisory Board

Industry Advisory Boards exist to provide strategic advice to Deans, Heads of School/Departments/other academic units, Directors of Centres and other leaders of major strategic activities and to provide an effective bridge for external engagement for the unit/activity they support.

The composition and terms of reference of an Industry Advisory Board (Board), must be relevant to its purposes and clearly delineate its role and responsibilities. It is advisable that an Industry Advisory Board has a relatively discrete focus for its activities to avoid confusion and dilution of outcomes.

Industry Advisory Boards must not have any explicit or implied governance or performance monitoring role and must not become involved in the detailed operation and management of the academic unit/activity it is supporting. UTS Industry Advisory Boards are not part of the formal governance structure of UTS and do not have authority to make strategic and/or operational decisions for the University.

5.3 Naming

Industry Advisory Board is a generic name for the advisory body described in this Directive. Such advisory bodies would generally be named to identify their primary purpose and/or area of focus, for example Faculty X Industry Advisory Board, Centre Z Industry Advisory Board, Dean's Advisory Board, Course/Discipline X Industry Advisory Board, Research Advisory Board.

5.4 Composition and membership of Industry Advisory Boards

5.4.1 Composition

Industry Advisory Boards must comprise at least 50 percent of external non-academic, non-higher education members. As a matter of good practice, former UTS senior executives and staff usually should not be members.

Industry Advisory Boards will normally have 10 to 20 members.

UTS staff membership should be kept to a minimum, acknowledging that it would be expected that appropriate internal staff would attend meetings of Industry Advisory Boards as observers.

5.4.2 Membership

Members should be recruited based on what is needed by the Board, not who is known to the faculty. Particularly for the major faculty-level Industry Advisory Board, identification of the optimal mix of skills and experience required to fulfil the Board's terms of reference should be undertaken prior to completing the membership. In continuing Boards, from time to time an assessment should be undertaken of how the membership as a whole is meeting the skills and experience profile identified for the particular Board. A mix of experience and youth, sectors, viewpoints and a good gender balance should also be considered.

When selecting members, the following factors may be useful to consider:

  • standing and seniority in business, industry or the professions
  • affiliation with faculty/UTS (alumni or have children at UTS)
  • ability to spend time with UTS
  • budget holders in their own companies/access to funding
  • understanding of / interest in higher education
  • affiliation with any other Australian university.

5.4.3 Terms of appointment

Terms of appointment to Industry Advisory Boards are to be two years with a maximum consecutive period of membership of six years.

Where possible, memberships should be staggered to allow for the managed succession of members so that an appropriate level of experience and continuity is maintained in the Board.

For Industry Advisory Boards associated with courses/groups of courses which are constituted only for specific stages of the course life cycle; the terms of reference, membership and terms of appointment should make this distinction clear.

5.4.4 Chair

All Industry Advisory Boards must have an external Chair appointed by the relevant Dean or Deans in the case of cross-faculty Boards.

When establishing a new Industry Advisory Board, normally the Chair should be appointed first and his or her advice sought on potential members.

5.4.5 Due diligence

Due diligence must be performed before approaching potential members. This can include web searches, an initial meeting for an informal discussion (not mentioning the possibility of a Board role, but for purposes of ascertaining fit and interest) and speaking to affiliates of the potential member.

5.4.6 Conflicts of interest

Members are required to disclose actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest with UTS. The Chair of the Industry Advisory Board and the Dean or relevant senior staff member engaged with the Board must ensure that a conflict of interest disclosure process is implemented, information is regularly updated and conflicts of interest are managed appropriately. General advice on managing conflicts of interest can be found in the Code of Conduct.

5.4.7 Remuneration

Industry Advisory Board members are not to be remunerated. At the discretion of the relevant Dean, expenses for attending events or undertaking projects may be considered.

5.5 Meetings

An Industry Advisory Board must convene at least twice per year and otherwise as required.

The senior staff member engaged with the Industry Advisory Board is responsible for establishing standing orders for conducting meetings and for keeping appropriate records.

5.6 Confidentiality

The senior staff member engaged with the Industry Advisory Board is responsible for ensuring that UTS confidential information is protected appropriately and only shared with Industry Advisory Board members as necessary to effectively conduct the Board's business.

5.7 Records

Appropriate records of Industry Advisory Board meetings must be kept in accordance with the Records Management Vice-Chancellor's Directive.

6. Roles and responsibilities

Accountable Officer: Provost

Implementation Officer: Director, External Engagement

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement), with the advice of the Provost, is the approval authority for a faculty's structure of Industry Advisory Boards.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement), with the advice of the Provost, may issue guidelines to accompany this Directive setting out standard terms of reference, letters of appointment and any other matter relevant to the achievement of the principles and statements of this Directive.

The Director, External Engagement is responsible for providing advice on implementing the Directive.

The Dean must ensure that all Industry Advisory Boards within his or her faculty are compliant with the faculty's approved structure of Industry Advisory Boards.

Senior staff members engaged with Industry Advisory Boards are responsible for the aspects of the operation of those Boards set out in this Directive.

7. Acknowledgments

No acknowledgments.

8. Version control and change history

Effective date Version Approved by (date) Amendment
18/10/2012 1 Vice-Chancellor (04/10/2012) New Directive
11/02/2015 1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (11/12/2014) Changes (approved under Delegation 3.17) to implement 2014 Senior Executive restructure.