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Boards and Committees Policy - General

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Section 1 - Right of Membership of Committees

Vice-Chancellor's Right of Membership

(1) Clause 17(3) of Part 2, Division 2 of the Charles Sturt University By-law 2005 states: "The Vice-Chancellor may, without specific appointment, exercise the right of membership of any committee of the University and may, if he or she so desires, preside at any meeting of such a committee at which the Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor is not presiding".

Presiding Officer of Academic Senate - Right of Audience and Debate

(2) The Presiding Officer of Academic Senate shall have the right of audience and debate at meetings of the Faculty Boards and their Committees (AS 96/126 on 26.6.96).

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Section 2 - Roles and Responsibilities of Members of Academic Senate and its Committees

(3) Regardless of their category of membership (that is, elected, nominated, ex officio etc.) all members of Academic Senate and its committees have the following roles and responsibilities:

  1. to understand the purpose and functions of the committee;
  2. to regularly attend and actively contribute to meetings and to the work of the committee;
  3. to read and critically review all agenda papers before each meeting;
  4. to ensure due care and diligence is taken in decision making;
  5. to act honestly and in the best interests of the committee and the University
  6. to maintain confidentiality, where required;
  7. to declare any conflict of interest that they may have with any matter on an agenda;
  8. to be the communication point between the committee and the member's School, Faculty, Division or other area in relation to discussions, decisions, policies and other developments of the committee;
  9. to comply with the law and the University Rules, policies and procedures.

(4) Elected, nominated or appointed members of Academic Senate or one of its committees are encouraged to bring to that committee their own experience and expertise and the views of the particular group or electorate (such as the student body or a School or Faculty) that they represent. However, as a member of the committee, their decisions and input into the committee must reflect the interests of the University as a whole. Once they assume membership of the Academic Senate or committee they are subject to the overriding duty to serve the interests of the Academic Senate or committee (Bennetts v Board of Fire Commissioners of New South Wales (1967) 87 W.N. (Pt1) (NSW) 307 at 311 refers). (AS 10/69 on 28.7.10 refers).

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Section 3 - Nominees on Committees

Senate Nominees on Committees

(5) While Academic Senate recognises the need for positions on University committees to be promptly filled, where those positions are nominees of the Senate, the Senate should be consulted beforehand (AS 92/76; 16.6.92).

Student Nominees on Committees

(6) Students who are nominated to be a member of University committees must be a person who is eligible to have their name included on the Roll of Students established pursuant to the University By-law (BG 95/183, 19.10.95).

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Section 4 - Record of Meetings

Role of the Secretary

(7) The University Secretary or their delegate is the Secretary to the Faculty. The Secretary prescribes to Faculties and to Schools the format of their record keeping so as to ensure that recommendations/decisions flow smoothly between Schools, Faculties and Academic Senate and its committees. The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that Schools and Faculties legislate within their authorities and that decisions are appropriately recorded in the official records and publications of the University (BG 90/167, 14.11.90 and delegation approved by the University Secretary 26.9.03).

Use of Action Sheets

(8) Action sheets are issued after each meeting of a committee to ensure that action arising from each meeting is taken by the appropriate officer. If your name appears on an action sheet then that constitutes a formal request by the secretary on behalf of the Committee for you to take that action.

(9) Action sheets are a more efficient means of advising members of the action they must take, than the issue of individual memoranda. Action sheets also let other members know who is taking action on particular matters.

(10) Memoranda requesting action will only be despatched to staff who are not members of the Committee and who will usually require some background relating to the action they are required to take (AS 92/19; 18.2.92).

Publication of Agendas and Minutes on the University Website

(11) The minutes of Faculty Boards and Committees of Academic Senate will be provided to Senate via publication on the University website. The minutes shall be published on the University website as soon as they are prepared and approved by the Presiding Officer and retained there for a period of 12 months preceding the most current meeting.