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University Research Committee - Membership and Terms of Reference

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Section 1 - Establishment

Background

(1) Charles Sturt University (the University) is required to exercise academic governance oversight of its research and research training activities, through the Academic Senate and its sub-committees.

Purpose

(2) The University Research Committee shall undertake the duties as listed under Section 4 below, to ensure the academic governance oversight of the research and research training activities of the University.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) For the purpose of this document:

  1. Committee – means the University Research Committee
  2. Higher Degree by Research – means a masters or doctorate course of which at least 66% is research.
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Section 3 - Membership

(4) The Committee shall comprise:

  1. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) (Chair);
  2. the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global Engagement (Research and Partnerships);
  3. the Director, Research;
  4. the Associate Dean, Research of each Faculty;
  5. two Research Centre Directors, nominated by the Research Centres;
  6. three Research Active academic staff, nominated by the Academic Senate and ensuring that representation is not from a single Faculty or a single research discipline, one in each of the following categories:
    1. Level E;
    2. Level C or D; and
    3. Level A or B;
  7. two Higher Degree by Research students, nominated by the Student Senate;
  8. two Heads of Schools, nominated by the Heads of School Forum, not within the same Faculty; and
  9. one member, nominated by the Academic Senate, with experience and expertise in Indigenous-focused research.

(5) The members appointed by the Academic Senate, the Student Senate, the Heads of School Forum and Research Centre Directors shall have terms of office for two years.

(6) To ensure continuity of Committee operations, one half of the nominated members shall initially serve for a term of one year, with all nominated members subsequently serving for a term of two years.

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Section 4 - Functions and Responsibilities

Committee Responsibilities

(7) The University Research Committee will:

  1. oversee development and implementation of the framework to ensure quality in research by higher degree courses and subjects;
  2. identify and oversee risks and solutions associated with the quality of research and research training;
  3. monitor compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015, and receive and consider reports on this relevant to the Committee and ensure appropriate actions where required;
  4. receive and review annual reports of higher degree by research course performance which will include, at a minimum, attrition, progression and completion, and student feedback by cohort, including external benchmarking;
  5. oversee the schedule of course reviews for higher degree by research courses and receive and review course review reports;
  6. recommend to the Academic Senate approval of Courses and Subject Information Management System (CASIMS) course summary documents for new or major variations, deleted / suspended / phased-out and modified courses for higher degree by research courses and subjects;
  7. oversee relevant policies and procedures and make recommendations to the Academic Senate or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) in accordance with the Delegation Schedule 01 - Strategy and Policy Delegations, including but not limited to policies and procedures for:
    1. research integrity;
    2. higher degree by research admission, candidature, and examination; and
    3. higher degree by research training and supervision;
  8. oversee delegations related to admission, enrolment, leave of absence and higher degree by research courses (in the Delegation Schedule 09 - Academic and Course Delegations);
  9. receive and consider matters involving honours courses and subjects forwarded by way of extract from the University Courses Committee minutes;
  10. receive and consider reports on research integrity and research misconduct including allegations of misconduct;
  11. receive and consider minutes and reports from Faculty Boards and from the Higher Degree by Research Committee:
    1. confirming that policy / procedure requirements have been met, especially in relation to the authority to approve final grades for subjects;
    2. addressing Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HESF) responsibilities for orientation and progress, learning environment facilities and infrastructure, diversity and equity, learning resources and educational support and academic integrity; and
    3. identifying and responding to existing or emerging issues / risks and solutions; and
  12. receive and consider advice from, and inform, Faculty Boards on research and research training, policies and procedures.

Advisory Role

(8) The University Research Committee shall advise the Academic Senate on all matters relating to research performance and the academic governance of research training activities of the University.

(9) The University Research Committee may refer any item to the University Courses Committee and / or the University Learning and Teaching Committee for discussion, consideration and / or action, and may refer relevant matters for action or noting to other committees or officers as appropriate.

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Section 5 - Meetings

Quorum

(10) A quorum for a meeting of the Committee shall be a majority of the membership, i.e., half of the entire membership, plus one.

Meetings

(11) Meetings will be published by the Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs in an annual schedule of meetings, approved by the Academic Senate.  Meetings will be open-audience an staff are welcome and encouraged to attend but are expected to notify the Chair to ensure appropriate rooms are available.

Agendas and Minutes

(12) Agendas and minutes for the meetings of the Committee will be prepared by the Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs.

Conflicts of Interest

(13) Where a member has a perceived or material conflict of interest, they must declare this to the Chair and at the Committee meeting before the item of business is discussed.

Variations

(14) Variations to the terms of reference and / or membership of the Committee must be approved by the Academic Senate.