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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy sets out the Senate governance framework for the University.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Staff – all officers and employees of the University, persons acting in an honorary or voluntary capacity for or at the University, and Senators of the University Senate.

UQ Act - means the University of Queensland Act 1998 (Qld).

Vice-Chancellor – means the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all Staff and Senate Committees.

4. Policy Statement

The University is a body corporate governed by the UQ Act. Section 5 of the UQ Act specifies the functions of the University, which are to:

  • Disseminate knowledge and promote scholarship.

  • Provide education at university standard.

  • Provide facilities for and encourage study and research.

  • Encourage the advancement and development of knowledge and its application.

  • Provide courses of study or instruction to meet community needs.

  • Confer higher education awards.

  • Provide facilities and resources for the wellbeing of staff, students and others taking courses at the University.

  • Exploit commercially, for the University’s benefit, University facilities and resources such as study, research or knowledge belonging to the University (or their practical applications), whether alone or with someone else.

  • Other functions given to the University under the UQ Act or another Act.

5. Senate Governance Framework

5.1 Senate

Senate is the governing body of the University and has monitoring and oversight responsibilities. Senate reserves and retains full responsibility for being the University's governing body and for acting in a way that appears to it most likely to promote the University's interests.

The Senate also reserves and retains full responsibility for performing its functions and exercising certain powers as set out below and nothing in this policy is intended to derogate from this position:

Specific powers set out in the UQ Act, including:

  • Making of the University's statutes and rules (ss52, 54).

  • Appointment of the three additional members of the Senate and appointment of members of the Senate in the case of casual vacancy in the office of an elected member of the Senate (ss16, 20A).

  • Nomination of elected members of the Senate if there is a failure to otherwise elect members (s21).

  • Exercise of its discretion whether to notify a person that has been convicted of an indictable offence that despite the conviction:

    • if the person is an elected member or additional member of the Senate, the person may be re-elected or reappointed to the Senate, or, if they are not already a member of the Senate, may be an elected or appointed as an elected or additional member in the future (s26); or

    • if the person is the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor or President of the Academic Board, the person may be restored, re-elected or reappointed to the position of Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor or President of the Academic Board, or if they have not previously held the position, may be elected or appointed in the future (s35C),

       and for purpose of exercising this discretion, the exercise of the ability for the Senate to seek

       details of the person's criminal history in accordance with the UQ Act.

  • Removal of an elected, appointed or additional member of Senate from office (s26B).

  • Removal of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and President of the Academic Board from office in accordance with the UQ Act and the provision of notice and reasons for its decision (s35D).

  • Regulation of proceedings of the Senate (s29).

  • Election of the presiding member of the Senate, in circumstances where the Chancellor and Deputy Chancellor are absent (s27).

  • Election of the Chancellor and Deputy Chancellor (ss30, 31).

  • Appointment of the Vice-Chancellor and monitoring the performance of the Vice-Chancellor (s32).

  • Establishment of the colleges of the University (s34).

  • Management and supervision of the colleges of the University and the management and supervision of any property held on trust by the University for any of the colleges of the University (s34).

  • Establishment of the Academic Board (s35).

  • Determination of the membership of the Academic Board (s35).

  • Appointment of the President of the Academic Board (s35A).

  • Establishment, maintenance and amendment of schemes for the use of donated property, in circumstances where the donor's purpose cannot be achieved (s37).

  • Overseeing its spending as nearly as possible within the limits of the approved budget (s50).

  • Undertaking an annual review of funds available, or expected to be available by way of bequest, donation or special grant and the spending of those funds (s50).

  • Overseeing and monitoring all of the University's higher education operations and functions, including those referred to in section 4.

  • Approving and adopting the University’s mission and strategic direction, the annual budget, capital works program and business plan.

  • Approving and monitoring systems of control and accountability, including general overview of any controlled entities, as defined by the test of control in s50AA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

  • Overseeing and reviewing the management of the University and its performance.

  • Overseeing and monitoring the effectiveness of the University’s governance practices.

  • Overseeing and monitoring the assessment and management of risk across the organisation, including commercial undertakings, and approving the risk appetite within which Senate expects management to operate.

  • Overseeing and monitoring the University’s academic activities.

  • Overseeing and monitoring the approval of the creation, amendment and revocation of the academic policies of the University.

  • Overseeing and monitoring the University's compliance with university quality assurance standards, including but not limited to compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 (Cth), as amended from time to time.

  • Approving the spending of funds available to the University by way of bequest, donation or special grant other than expenditure for a scholarship or a prize funded by the bequest, donation or special grant.

5.2 Senate Committees and Advisory Boards

Senate has established the following Committees to assist in its oversight role:

  • Advancement Committee;

  • Campus Infrastructure Committee;

  • Equity, Diversity and the Status of Women Committee;

  • Finance Committee;

  • Governance Committee;

  • Honorary Awards Committee;

  • Membership and Remuneration Committee;

  • Risk and Audit Committee;

  • Senate Discipline Appeals Committee;

  • Senate Student Appeals Committee.

In addition, Senate may establish a Standing Committee to assist in its oversight role.

Subject to limitations set out in the UQ Act, Senate may delegate its powers to any of the Senate Committees, including to assist the Senate in discharging its functions. These delegations are prescribed in the terms of reference for each committee and policies approved by the Senate.

The Academic Board has been established as an advisory board providing advice to Senate and the Vice-Chancellor. The role of the Academic Board is to (s35 of the UQ Act):

  • Advise the Senate about teaching, scholarship and research matters concerning the University.

  • Formulate proposals for the academic policies of the University.

  • Monitor the academic activities of the University’s faculties.

  • Promote and encourage scholarship and research at the University.

5.3 Vice-Chancellor    

The Vice-Chancellor is the University’s chief executive officer.  The Vice-Chancellor is responsible to the Senate for the leadership, management and development of the University, the implementation of the University's policies and the achievement of its strategic goals.

By section 7 of this policy, it is the Senate's intention to effect a broad conferral of functions on, and delegation of powers to, the Vice-Chancellor. The functions and powers are those that are necessary or desirable for the Vice-Chancellor to perform the role of the University's chief executive officer.

6. Matters Reserved by Senate

6.1 Policies and Senate Rules

Senate reserves for itself the power to approve, amend and revoke the following policies:

  • PPL 1.10.01 Delegations

  • PPL 1.30.01 University Elections

  • PPL 1.30.02 Committees of Senate

  • PPL 1.30.03 Academic Board

  • PPL 1.30.06 Establishment, Approval, Administration and Review of Institutes and Centres

  • PPL 1.50.01 Code of Conduct

  • PPL 1.50.03 Intellectual Freedom, Academic Freedom

  • PPL 1.50.11 Conflict of Interest

  • PPL 1.60.03 Public Interest Disclosure

  • PPL 1.60.07 Working with Children

  • PPL 1.70.01 Equity and Diversity

  • PPL 1.80.01 Enterprise Risk Management

  • PPL 2.10.03 Occupational Health and Safety Policy

  • PPL 3.50.11 Awards

  • PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct

  • PPL 3.60.05 Appeals to Senate by Students

  • PPL 4.20.11 Responsible Care and Use of Animals in Teaching and Research

  • PPL 8.15.02 Honorary Awards

  • PPL 9.20.03 Managed Investment Portfolio

  • PPL 9.20.05 General Investments

  • PPL 9.75.01 Controlled Entities

  • Senate Rule – Faculties

  • Senate Rule – Schools

  • Senate Rule – Institutes

  • Senate Rule – Residential Colleges

The above polices are to be reviewed at least every three years from the approval date. Unless rescinded by Senate, the policies remain in force beyond the review date.

6.2 Risk Management, Internal Audit, Compliance and OH&S

The Risk Committee assists Senate in discharging its risk management and internal compliance and control oversight responsibilities. The Senate has conferred the following functions on and delegated the following powers to the Risk Committee:

  • Approval of the internal audit charter;

  • Approval of strategic internal audit plan and annual internal audit plan;

  • Consideration of the contents and action plans from internal audit reports;

  • Monitoring of potential risks and mitigating strategies;

  • Oversight functions relating to workplace health and safety.

6.3 Financial Delegations

Senate reserves for itself the following financial delegations:

  • Approving the creation, acquisition or additional investment in a:

    • controlled entity;

    • non-controlled entity over $1M;

  • Approving capital expenditure over $30M to:

    • construct a new building; or

    • undertake a major refurbishment;

  • Approving the purchase of building or land where the transaction value is over $30M;

  • Approving purchase of major capital equipment where the transaction value is over $30M;

  • Approving a joint venture between the University and an external entity or party over $1M;

  • Approving purchases, internal service charges, reimbursements and enter into contracts for the acquisition of goods and services (excluding capital expenditure) over $30M;

  • Approving borrowing of funds or taking loans;

  • Approving the writing off of debt over $1M.

7. Conferral of Functions on and Delegation of Powers to the Vice-Chancellor

Senate confers all functions on, and delegates all powers to, the Vice-Chancellor relating to the functions and operations of the University, except for the functions and powers retained by Senate as set out in sections 5 and 6 and the functions and powers conferred on the Academic Board by the UQ Act and the Senate.

This conferral of functions on, and delegation of powers to, the Vice-Chancellor includes the delegation of all powers necessary or desirable for the creation, approval, amendment, revocation, and implementation of University policies not reserved by Senate, including (without limitation) policies which deal with the subject matter dealt with in the University’s Policies and Procedures Library.

The Vice-Chancellor receives advice from the Academic Board when performing the functions conferred, and exercising the powers delegated, by Senate under this policy relating to the academic functions of the University. The Vice-Chancellor may request guidance from any Senate Committee in the performance of these functions and the exercise of these powers.

This advisory role to the Vice-Chancellor does not detract from the role of the Academic Board pursuant to the UQ Act and as recorded in section 5.2 of this policy, including to advise Senate directly about teaching, scholarship and research matters concerning the University.

It is the intention of Senate that the Vice-Chancellor shall in the performance of these functions and exercise of these powers request the guidance of Senate or an appropriate Senate Committee in circumstances where the subject matter of the exercise is of a significant strategic nature for the University or has the potential to have a significant reputational impact upon the University.

This statement of intention shall not, however, constrain the scope of the functions and powers or the effectiveness of any exercise of the powers, and shall not be relied upon to contest the validity of any action taken by the Vice-Chancellor.

8. Reporting to Senate

Twice a year the Vice-Chancellor must report to Senate on how the Vice-Chancellor exercised these delegations.

9. Annual Review

Senate must review this policy on an annual basis to ensure that it is appropriate and up to date.

Chief Operating Officer Mr Greg Pringle