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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 shall apply to all matters associated with strategic course development and academic governance issues pertaining to the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs and policy.

Purpose

(2) The University Courses Committee shall be the peak body responsible for academic oversight of the course and subject portfolio and the quality for coursework programs within the University. It will provide advice to the Academic Senate on strategies, policies, initiatives and innovation that promotes development of an innovative course portfolio for the University that is of the highest quality. In particular, the Committee shall be responsible for assuring the quality of academic courses and subjects.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) For the purpose of this document:

  1. Committee - means the University Courses Committee. 
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Section 3 - Membership

(4) The members of the Committee are:

  1. the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (Chair);
  2. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) or nominee;
  3. the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) or nominee;
  4. the three Deputy Deans, one from each Faculty;
  5. the three Associate Deans, Academic, one from each Faculty; 
  6. three additional elected Faculty members, one from each Faculty, who are also Course Directors; 
  7. three staff members nominated by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in consultation with the Executive Deans and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), with expertise in course development, course review, policy development;
  8. the Indigenous Board of Studies Chair or nominee;
  9. one Faculty professional team member nominated by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in consultation with the Executive Deans with specific expertise in course administration; and
  10. one student member nominated by the Student Senate.

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

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

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Section 4 - Functions and Responsibilities

Committee Responsibilities

(7) the University Courses Committee will take a systematic overview of quality in courses and subjects, and provide recommendations to the Academic Senate on standards and measures of quality for courses and subjects in the University.

(8) The Committee has the following responsibilities in relation the course profile:

  1. provide strategic academic oversight of the University course and subject portfolio;
  2. receive advice on the future needs, and identification of opportunities, for CSU priority professions;
  3. receive advice from the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on approvals of new and major variations to courses or course offerings and deleted/suspended/phased-out courses (award and non-award); 
  4. oversee course enrolment trends and advise the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on academic matters relevant to the course profile; 
  5. receive reports from the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on approvals of minor variations to courses and provide an annual report to the Academic Senate; and
  6. oversee the course profile and course development of partner and third party operations.

(9) The Committee has the following responsibilities in relation to internal accreditation:

  1. report to the Academic Senate new or major course variations, deleted/suspended/phased-out (including teach-out arrangements) and modified courses for undergraduate, honours and postgraduate coursework courses and subjects. (Matters involving honours courses and subjects will be reported to the University Research Committee by extracts from the minutes);
  2. oversee inclusion of graduate learning outcomes in course design;
  3. receive and consider regular reports from the Indigenous Board of Studies on subjects with Indigenous content; 
  4. oversee the schedule of course reviews and receive and consider course review reports;
  5. receive and review annual course reports; 
  6. initiate and oversee random audits of courses to ensure policies and procedures are being followed and monitor improvement plans that result from the audits.
  7. receive and consider minutes and reports from Faculty Boards:
    1. confirming that policy and procedures have been met; 
    2. relating to courses and subjects in accordance with the Delegation Schedule 09 - Academic and Course Delegations;
    3. addressing mapped Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 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; 
    4. on approvals of new and major variations to subjects or subject offerings and on  subjects removed from the Subject Availability List (SAL) or made obsolete; and
    5. identifying and responding to existing or emerging quality issues, risks and solutions.

(10) The Committee has the following responsibilities in relation to professional accreditation:

  1. receive and consider the register of professional accreditation (including: course, due date, faculty, and responsible officer);
  2. receive and consider reports from faculties on the progress of courses undergoing accreditation and annual compliance reporting;
  3. review reports and correspondence from professional bodies received by the University and ensure faculties maintain central registers of these; and
  4. receive advice and reports from faculties on conditional approvals and failures, and faculty/school plans for meeting conditions or re-applying.

(11) The Committee will 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.

(12) The Committee will recommend to the Academic Senate matters relating to courses and subjects in accordance with the Delegation Schedule 09 - Academic and Course Delegations.

(13) The Committee will identify and oversee risks and solutions associated with the course profile and course accreditation, including those associated with internal accreditation, professional accreditation and partner/third party operations.

(14) The Committee will develop and review relevant policies and procedures and make recommendations to the Academic Senate or the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in accordance with the Delegation Schedule 01 - Strategy and Policy Delegations, including but not limited to policies and procedures for course development and review, admissions, curriculum and credit.

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

(16) The Committee will monitor faculty improvement plans related to course development.

Advisory Role and Referral of Matters

(17) The Committee shall advise the Academic Senate on all matters relating to the academic course profile and quality, and the academic governance of the courses and subjects of the University

(18) The Committee may refer any item to the University Learning and Teaching 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

(19) 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

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

Agendas and Minutes

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

Related Expenses

(22) Nil.

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.