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School Boards - Membership and Terms of Reference

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Section 1 - Establishment

(1) Established by the Board of Governors on 14 November 1990 (BG 90/162) and amended to be consistent with the Policy on the Academic Administration of Courses and Subjects and the Academic Regulations approved by the Academic Senate on 24 September 1991 (AS 91/140).  The Board of Governors became known as the “Council” following the proclamation of the Charles Sturt University Amendment Act 1998 117 on 1 July 1999.

Background

(2) Charles Sturt University (the University) has a responsibility to ensure good governance and management practices around the teaching, research and scholarly activities of its School Boards.

Purpose

(3) The purpose of the School Board is to be the principal academic body of the School, considering and making recommendations to the Faculty Board with respect to academic and research matters affecting the School, and to provide advice to the Head of School on the strategic direction of the School.  This shall include supporting the development of staff to achieve excellence in teaching, research and scholarly activities.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(4) For the purpose of this document:

  1. the Board – means the School Board.
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Section 3 - Membership

(5) The members of the School Board shall be:

  1. the Head of School;
  2. all academic staff of the School. Note: Academic staff includes all staff employed by the School on continuing and fixed term contracts. In accordance with the provisions of the Visiting and Adjunct Appointments Policy of the University, adjunct and visiting academic staff in the Schools of Theology, Policing Studies and Information Studies are included as members of academic staff in the membership of School Boards;
  3. up to three students enrolled in subjects taught by the School nominated by the University's Student Senate.
    1. For the School of Indigenous Australian Studies Board the student members will be nominated by the University's Student Senate, in consultation with Indigenous Student Services.

(6) Right of Audience and Debate shall be granted to:

  1. sessional academic staff, who may be invited to attend meetings of the School Board;
  2. school administrative staff;
  3. school technical staff.

Presiding Officer

(7) The Presiding Officer may be the Head of School or may be elected as an independent Chair from among the members of the Board for a period up to one year, and specified at the time of election.

Secretary

(8) The Secretary of the School Board will be appointed by the Head of School from amongst the administrative staff of the School.

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Section 4 - Functions and Responsibilities

Member Responsibilities

(9) Subject to the Charles Sturt University Act 1989 No 76, the Charles Sturt University By-law 2005 and to Resolutions of the Academic Senate and of the Faculty Board, each School Board shall:

  1. be the principal academic body of the School, with responsibility for implementation and oversight of the School’s academic governance;
  2. exercise its authorities to ensure that the School is maintaining its compliance with Academic Senate Policy and requirements, with any external requirements (such as the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015), and Faculty Policies and Procedures, including via the consideration of Higher Education Standards reports;
  3. provide oversight of processes and policies designed to ensure the quality of subjects;
  4. oversee and promote awareness of the Higher Education Standards within the School, and act an / or advise as required for any non-compliance with the Higher Education Standards.

Advisory Role

(10) Subject to the Charles Sturt University Act 1989 No 76, the Charles Sturt University By-law 2005 and to resolutions of the Academic Senate and of the Faculty Board, the Board shall:

  1. advise the Faculty Board on any matter referred to it for consideration;
  2. make recommendations to the Faculty Board on academic matters; and
  3. undertake and oversight quality assurance and risk management work within the School, in relation to academic governance.
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Section 5 - Meetings

Quorum

(11) As detailed in the Boards and Committees Policy - Conduct of Meetings of Academic Committees , the quorum for School Boards (as for other academic committees) is a majority of members unless otherwise determined by the full School Board. Decision-making and voting may be conducted synchronously in a meeting or by other means (e.g. using the 'polling' function on Yammer).

Meetings

(12) The School Board shall conduct a minimum of three ordinary meetings each calendar year.

(13) School Boards may conduct their deliberations synchronously (e.g., face-to-face or by videoconference) and / or asynchronously (e.g., by using Yammer or Forums on Interact), depending on ingenuity and preference.  Wherever geographically possible, the Board my conduct at least one face-to-face meeting each calendar year.

Agendas and Minutes

(14) Agendas are circulated to the Board one week prior to the Board meeting.

(15) Minutes of the Committee meeting are circulated to Committee members following the meeting.  Minutes of the meeting are forwarded to the Faculty Board on a quarterly basis.

Conflicts of Interest

(16) Where a member has a perceived or material conflict of interest, they must declare this to the Chair and at the meeting committee meeting prior to discussion to the item of business.

Variations

(17) Variations to the terms of reference and / or members of School Boards must be approved by the Academic Senate.