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'University Courses 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 courses and subjects, through the Academic Senate and its sub-committees. The duties of the University Courses Committee will apply to all matters associated with strategic course development and academic governance issues pertaining to the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs and higher degree in research programs and policy.

Purpose

(2) The University Courses Committee will be responsible for critical academic scrutiny relating to the course profile within the University. It will provide advice to the Academic Senate on strategies, policies, initiatives and innovation that promotes development of an innovative course profile for the University that is of the highest quality.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) For the purpose of this document:

  1. Committee - means the University Courses Committee. 
  2. Courses – means all award courses.
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Section 3 - Membership

(4) The membership of the committee is set out below:

  1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (Chair).
  2. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) or nominee.
  3. Dean, Learning and Teaching Innovation.
  4. Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) or nominee.
  5. Executive Director, Student Experience or nominee.
  6. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Student Success or nominee.
  7. Executive Director, Customer Experience
  8. Deputy Deans.
  9. Three Associate Deans, Academic, one from each faculty. 
  10. Three elected academic staff members, one from each faculty, who are also Course Directors and are elected by the academic staff of the relevant faculty.
  11. Three staff members nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in consultation with the Executive Deans and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), with expertise in course development, course review and policy development.
  12. Chair, Indigenous Board of Studies or nominee.
  13. One faculty professional/general team member nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in consultation with the Executive Deans with specific expertise in course administration.
  14. One student member nominated by the Student Senate.
  15. Three Associate Deans, Research, one from each faculty – as required.

(5) Nominated and elected members of the committee will have terms of office of two years.

(6) Casual vacancies will be filled in the following manner:

  1. For nominated or appointed positions, the relevant position or body will nominate or appoint a replacement member.
  2. For elected positions:
    1. where less than six months remain in the term of the predecessor in office, the Executive Dean from the relevant faculty will appoint a replacement,
    2. where more than six months remain in the term of the predecessor in office and there is an eligible runner-up from the most recent election for the vacated position, the runner-up will fill the casual vacancy, or
    3. where more than six months remain in the term of the predecessor in office and there is no eligible runner-up from the most recent election for the vacated position, an election will be held.
    4. If no nominations for an elected position are received following a call for nominations, the chair of the committee can appoint a member to that vacancy. The appointed member must meet the requirements for the category of membership that was vacated.

(7) A person who fills a casual vacancy holds office as a member for the rest of the term of the person’s predecessor in office.

(8) The Chair may grant to any staff member of the University, the right of audience and debate for a specified period of time.

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Section 4 - Functions and responsibilities

Committee responsibilities

(9) The University Courses Committee will undertake a systematic overview of the course profile and internal and external course accreditation and provide recommendations to the Academic Senate on standards and measures of quality in relation to the course profile.

(10) The committee has the following responsibilities in relation to the course profile:

  1. provide strategic academic oversight,
  2. receive advice from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on approved authorities to proceed and business cases, including for new courses, new offerings of a course or decisions to suspend or phase out a course (delegation E2 – authority to approve business case etc.),
  3. monitor admissions and course enrolment trends, and 
  4. oversee the course profile and course development of partner and Educational Delivery (Award) Partners. 

(11) The committee has the following responsibilities in relation to internal accreditation:

  1. undertake critical scrutiny of course proposals, as defined in the Course and Subject Policy, and make recommendations to the Academic Senate for approval as appropriate,
  2. receive reports on approved minor changes to courses (delegation E5 – authority to approve minor changes to a course of study),
  3. oversee inclusion of graduate learning outcomes in course design,
  4. receive and consider minutes and reports from the Indigenous Board of Studies on achievements against institutional targets for Indigenous Australian content,
  5. oversee the schedule of comprehensive course reviews,
  6. receive and review summary reports on annual course reviews, and
  7. receive reports from Faculty Boards:
    1. confirming that relevant policy and procedures have been met,
    2. relating to courses in accordance with the Delegation Schedule E - Academic and Research, and
    3. addressing mapped Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 responsibilities including those relating to admissions, credit and recognition of prior learning; orientation and progress; learning outcomes and experience; qualifications and certification; diversity and equity; course design, approval and accreditation; monitoring, review and improvement; and course and subject representation, information and information management.

(12) The committee has the following responsibilities in relation to external (professional) accreditation:

  1. receive and consider the register of professional accreditation,
  2. receive and consider reports from faculties on the progress of courses undergoing accreditation, and
  3. receive advice from faculties on conditional approvals and failures, and faculty plans for meeting conditions or re-applying.

(13) The committee will monitor compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 and receive and consider reports on this relevant to the Committee and ensure appropriate actions where required.

(14) The committee will identify and oversee risks and solutions associated with the course profile and course accreditation, including those associated with internal accreditation, external (professional) accreditation and partner or Educational Delivery (Award) Partner.

(15) The committee will review relevant policies and procedures and make recommendations to the Academic Senate or the policy owner in accordance with the Delegation Schedule A - Governance and Legal, including but not limited to policies and procedures for course development and review, admissions, curriculum and credit where required.

(16) The committee will receive and consider advice from Faculty Boards on relevant policies and procedures.

Advisory role and referral of matters

(17) The committee will advise the Academic Senate on all matters relating to the academic course profile and the academic governance of the courses of the University. 

(18)  The committee may refer matters involving honours degrees and students in a coursework degree with a research component to the University Research Committee for consideration.

(19) The committee may refer any item to the Academic Senate or to the Academic Quality and Standards Committee (previously Academic Quality and Standards Committee), the University Research Committee or Faculty Boards 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

(20) A quorum for a meeting of the committee is a majority of the membership excluding the three Associate Deans (Research).

Meetings

(21) Meetings will be published by the Office of Governance and Corporate Administration in an annual schedule of meetings, approved by the Academic Senate. Meetings are open to all members of the University.

Agendas and minutes

(22) Agendas and minutes for the meetings of the University Courses Committee will be prepared by the Office of Governance and Corporate Administration. 

Conflicts of interest 

(23) 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

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