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Establishment and Change of School Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This guideline provides details of the processes to be followed when changes are made to schools, including name changes, establishing, merging and disestablishing schools. This guideline ensures that the changes are properly authorised and consistently applied.


(2) This guideline applies to:

  1. schools and centres that are academic units within faculties of the University (for research centres and institutes refer to the Research Institute and Centres Policy (in progress)).
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Section 2 - Policy

(3) Refer to Faculties - Membership and Terms of Reference.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(4) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(5) The Vice-Chancellor has the authority to make changes to schools and will report any action taken to the University Council (Council).

(6) A change to a school may include any or all of the following:

  1. establishing a school
  2. merging a school with another school
  3. disestablishing a school
  4. changing the function or purpose of a school
  5. moving a school from one faculty to another
  6. changing the disciplines in a school, including moving disciplines to another school and/or faculty, or
  7. changing the name of a school.
Note: Clause 39 of the Delegations and Authorisations Policy applied to delegation schedule 1 GOV17 confirmed as ‘disestablish’ and ‘alter the status of’ with the holder of the authority, confirmed as the Vice-Chancellor.

(7) Where the change involves minor modification to the name of a school, for instance, the rearrangement of words or correction of a spelling error with no change to the function of the school, then approvals outlined in this guideline will not be required.

Approval process

(8) Advice from key University stakeholders, including the research portfolio, all faculties, each relevant division, and other portfolios, should be sought in advance of seeking approval to establish or change schools. This is to ensure that all University corporate systems and functional areas are aligned to achieve common goals.

(9) Where a major organisational change is planned, it will be managed under the provisions of the Enterprise Agreement.

(10) After consultation with the relevant Executive Dean(s), the final recommendation on a school change is to be made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to the Vice-Chancellor.

(11) Notice of approved discipline changes should be communicated promptly by the relevant faculty to all portfolios and divisions to ensure corporate systems and reporting are updated appropriately.


(12) A ‘school’ is an academic organisational unit responsible for the academic functions of teaching and research, and sits within a faculty. Staff belonging to schools are generally located on campuses where the school has subject offerings or may be located off-campus.

(13) Schools enable the delivery of the strategic objectives of the University and the faculties where they reside, including teaching, research, community, professional and industry engagement.

(14) Schools aim to foster a culture of collaboration and interdisciplinary exploration.

(15) Schools must ensure that all school operations maintain strict adherence to rules, policies, procedures and quality assurance and accreditation processes, both from within the University, and from external regulatory entities.

(16) Faculties will establish school structures that assure the operational delivery and governance of teaching and research.

(17) In order for an organisational unit to be recognised as a school:

  1. it will typically consist of cognate academic disciplines or, where sufficiently large, a single discipline
  2. the cognate disciplines will align to professions, industry or key stakeholders and the naming of the school should be meaningfully recognisable to these groups
  3. the academic workforce profile will support teaching and research aligned to the cognate disciplines of the school
  4. it will enrol undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree by research (HDR) students (or have an agreement to work towards postgraduate and HDR students)
  5. it will have one Head of School (or equivalent senior leader) responsible for operations, the operational budget, and the strategic direction of the school, and
  6. The Head of School may delegate authorit to others who support the Head of School to deliver quality leadership and management practice. Tasks may vary, but typically include supervising academic staff and supporting the operations of the school, including assigning workload to academic staff.
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Section 5 - Glossary

(18) For the purpose of this guideline, the following terms have the definitions stated:

  1. School - means a school or other academic organisational unit belonging to a faculty. This includes, but is not limited to schools, partner schools and partner centres which are academic units within faculties of the University.
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Section 6 - Document Context

Compliance drivers
Review requirements
Document class