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Inter-Faculty Teaching Policy

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Section 1 - Principles

(1) The Faculty (Faculty) structure adopted by the University creates the potential to provide benefits to students in terms of an increased range of subject choice and to staff in the saving of time that course and subject consolidation are able to provide. The development of comprehensive and effective inter-Faculty teaching arrangements enables these benefits to be maximised.

(2) A policy of inter-Faculty teaching arrangements is based on the premise that particular discipline and professional studies specialists will be concentrated in a single Faculty. It is acknowledged that a Faculty may need to employ academics in fields peripheral to the mainstream of its academic and professional directions, however, such arrangements must be regarded as unusual.

(3) While the development of new knowledge is often the focus of disciplines, the responsible application of such knowledge is more often a matter of multi-disciplinary concern and therefore is often a multi-Faculty concern. It is important that the boundaries of Faculties, established to facilitate disciplinary and professional interaction within Faculties and to assist administration, remain permeable and transparent in order not to impede creative interaction.

(4) Consistent with clause 2 above, Faculties will normally negotiate inter-Faculty teaching arrangements for subjects in disciplines and professional studies not covered in their subject profile, rather than employing their own specialist staff (see clause 8 below). Where an inter-Faculty teaching arrangement exists within a specific course, authority over that course lies completely with the Faculty that owns and administers the course.

(5) Disciplines have responsibility for discipline content and the teaching of that content, in University degrees. Where discipline content requires contextualisation for particular professions, team teaching should be employed, drawing upon both discipline and professional staff.

(6) Inter-Faculty teaching arrangements should, except in unusual circumstances, arise from voluntary collaboration between the providing Faculty and the receiving Faculty that results in mutual benefits. Depending on the specific arrangements, benefits could include, for a receiving Faculty:

  1. quality staff committed to the particular area of servicing; and
  2. quality content which draws strength both from the discipline and, where appropriate, from the area of professional study;

(7) and for a providing Faculty:

  1. equitable funding to justify involvement; and
  2. security and stability for staff and resource allocation in whatever servicing arrangements are determined.
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Section 2 - Definition and Types of inter-Faculty Teaching Arrangements

(8) Inter-Faculty teaching is defined as any arrangement for the provision of a specified subject, subjects or components of subjects to identified cohorts of students (either in a course or as a group within a course or courses) that involves more than one Faculty.

(9) In general, an inter-Faculty teaching arrangement will be negotiated when:

  1. the substantive content of an existing subject or subjects in one Faculty is coincident with that of a proposed subject or subjects of another Faculty
  2. the substantive content of a proposed subject or subjects of one Faculty is coincident with the subject matter of the disciplines or professional areas of another Faculty. The other Faculty may need to revise or create a subject to meet the needs of the proposing Faculty
  3. the substantive content of a proposed subject is coincident with the subject matter of a discipline or professional area of each of the proposing and another Faculty, i.e., it includes material that falls within more than one discipline area;
  4. any Faculty seeks access for students enrolled in one or more of its courses to undertake subjects offered through another Faculty. This could be because the Faculty seeking access wishes to include a subject or subjects in one or more of its courses as:
    1. compulsory subjects;
    2. restricted electives; or
    3. all or part of a minor, major or specialisation;
  5. students enrolled in the courses of one Faculty seek access to subjects offered by another. This does not include unrestricted electives; and
  6. a member of staff of one Faculty teaches all or part of a subject owned by another Faculty.

(10) The collaboration of Faculties in a shared course or a double degree program means that subjects from each collaborating Faculty will be included in the course or program and this constitutes a mutual inter-Faculty teaching arrangement (see also below).

(11) Where, for a course that becomes a constituent course in a double degree program and an inter-Faculty teaching arrangement already exists with a third Faculty for a subject or subjects in the constituent course in question, that inter-Faculty teaching arrangement will need to be renegotiated to include the double degree program.

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Section 3 - Factors Involved in inter-Faculty Teaching Arrangements

(12) In any inter-Faculty teaching arrangement, the following should be clearly determined, to the satisfaction of both Faculties, for the subject(s) in question:

  1. ownership;
  2. responsibility for:
    1. curriculum design (content and format); and
    2. teaching - that is, in each of these, whether responsibility is assigned to one Faculty or is shared;
  3. responsibility for appointment of specialist staff in the discipline in question;
  4. the terms of provision of staff, where appropriate. For example, where a subject has been specially developed to service another Faculty, in return for an inter-Faculty teaching arrangement of a specified period, the providing Faculty would undertake to staff the subject so as to meet the receiving Faculty's needs in the relevant course(s);
  5. the course(s) the subject(s) are to service and the role of each service subject in each course (i.e. compulsory subject, restricted elective, part of minor or major or specialisation);
  6. where a staff member of one Faculty teaches all or part of a subject of another Faculty, the arrangements required to ensure that appropriate student load is assigned to the former Faculty
  7. identification of each element of the inter-Faculty teaching arrangement in which both the providing and the receiving Faculty expect to have involvement when any change is considered. This could include, for example, course planning, changes to a subject or subjects (content, code, title, etc.), revision of the structure of a course that contains inter-Faculty subjects (and in particular, the wish to remove a inter-Faculty taught subject from a course), changes to the availability pattern of a subject or subjects, changes to teaching staff or to delivery of a subject or subjects;
  8. for each element identified in (g) above, a period mutually agreed between the providing and receiving Faculty for notification of any change being considered and the implementation of that change. This requirement is equally applicable to the providing or receiving Faculty. The period specified may vary from one element to another, depending upon the magnitude and effects of proposed change, but for a change that would result in any significant increase or decrease in load in the inter-Faculty subject(s), it would be expected that at least a year's notice would be the minimum;
  9. identification of the staff member(s) in each of the Faculties involved responsible for liaison on each aspect of the inter-Faculty teaching arrangement; and
  10. the methods by which the following will be conducted:
    1. notification of possible change where consultation is required;
    2. consultation on change;
    3. notification of change for which consultation is not required; and
    4. resolution of disputes concerning the carrying out of the terms of the service teaching arrangement;
  11. a mechanism and timeframe for review of the inter-Faculty teaching arrangement.
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Section 4 - Documentation of inter-Faculty Teaching Arrangements

(13) For an inter-Faculty teaching arrangement that Faculties deem as significant or high risk, the specific arrangements made for each of the factors identified in section 3 may be documented in an inter-Faculty teaching agreement, with a copy held by both Faculties.

(14) When a Faculty puts forward course documentation in CASIMS, it is required to include in the document a statement identifying those subjects that will be inter-Faculty taught and the providing Faculty or Faculties.

(15) For double degree programs and shared courses, generally the course documents for such proposals will serve as the record of mutual inter-Faculty teaching arrangements, since both Faculties are required to approve the course documents and be included in any revisions to the course or subjects. However, where all relevant issues are not covered by the normal requirements of the course documentation, the Faculties shall also draw up a service teaching agreement where one of the Faculties requests such additional documentation.

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Section 5 - An Equitable Funding Base

(16) The current funding model employed by the University can accommodate the majority of inter-Faculty teaching arrangements. Situations that cannot be facilitated by the funding model will require separate agreements between Faculties.

(17) Faculties negotiating inter-Faculty teaching arrangements need to take particular care that agreements reached under 11f) are appropriately documented and enacted.

(18) University systems can assign fractions of subject load to Schools and Faculties, where required.

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Section 6 - Quality Assurance

(19) In the provision of inter-Faculty teaching subjects which are compulsory subjects in another Faculty's course(s), the Course Coordinator(s) and/or Course Director(s) of the receiving Faculty shall have access to a copy of the subject outline and/or online learning package and written details of staffing arrangements including the name of the Subject Coordinator/Subject Convenor, prior to the commencement of the teaching session.

(20) Faculties involved in ongoing inter-Faculty teaching arrangements will undertake regular reviews of these arrangements as part of their quality assurance program. Faculties must be able, if requested, to demonstrate to the Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee the mechanisms they have in place for such reviews and/or the outcome of the review of a particular arrangement.

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Section 7 - Disputes

(21) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) shall arbitrate inter-Faculty teaching disputes. Normally this will only occur where s/he is satisfied that all other avenues of resolution have been pursued by the Faculties concerned.