Policy

Academic Board - Policy

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0   Purpose and Scope

Senate has established and continues an Academic Board under Section 35 of the University of Queensland Act 1998 (UQ Act).

Without limiting Senate’s discretions under Section 35 of the UQ Act, this policy sets out the role, purpose and function of the Academic Board and its governance framework.  This policy is to be read in conjunction with those provisions of the UQ Governance and Management Framework which deal specifically with the Academic Board.

This policy applies to the Academic Board (the Board) and associated activities.

2.0   Principles and Key Requirements

2.1   Role, Purpose and Function of the Academic Board

  1. Under the UQ Act (s 35(3)), the Board must:
    1. advise Senate about teaching, scholarship and research matters concerning the University;
    2. formulate proposals for the academic policies of the University;
    3. monitor the academic activities of the University’s faculties; and
    4. promote and encourage scholarship and research at the University.
  2. Incorporating the over-arching principles in 2.1(a) above into the governance framework of the University, Senate confirms that:
    1. the Board is established as an independent body within the University to provide expert advice to:                                    
      1. the Senate; and
      2. the Vice-Chancellor,

        on matters relating to and affecting the University’s teaching, research and educational  programs;

    2. the Board is not a committee of Senate, does not currently receive any delegation of authority from Senate, and does not make academic decisions on behalf of Senate.

  1. More specifically, the role, purpose and function of the Board is to:
    1. encourage the maintenance and development of high standards of teaching and research and monitor and assure the quality of those standards;
    2. maintain effective oversight and monitoring of the academic activities of the University, provide advice to the Senate and Vice-Chancellor on academic matters within scope of the UQ Act and this policy, and monitor the management of academic risks.
    3. advise on the academic aspects and content of the University’s Strategic Plan;
    4. advise Senate and the Vice-Chancellor on new academic programs, changes to existing programs and the discontinuance of programs;
    5. advise Senate and the Vice-Chancellor in relation to academic and educational issues, including by reviewing and providing advice on the formulation and effectiveness of policies, guidelines and procedures;
    6. oversee the program of reviews of schools, other organisational units offering teaching and research programs within the University, and generalist degrees, whereas implementation responsibility will rest with the Vice-Chancellor and Executive;
    7. provide a forum to facilitate information flow and debate on academic matters within the University and between the senior executive officers of the University and the wider academic community; and
    8. provide advice on matters referred to it by the Senate, the Vice-Chancellor or other University officers.
  2. Through its functions and processes the Board and its committees contribute to and demonstrate the University’s commitment to academic governance, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015.

2.2   Membership of the Academic Board

Senate has determined the membership of the Board as listed in the Appendix.

2.3   Academic Board Elections

  1. Elections for elected members of the Board are conducted in accordance with the Senate and Academic Board Elections Policy. 
  2. Persons who are eligible to nominate, stand and vote in an election for an elected member of the Board are:

Class of persons eligible for election to the Academic Board

Persons eligible to vote

No of elected members

Professorial members

All Professorial staff of the University

20

Non-professorial teaching and research staff (non-professorial members)

All members of the non-professorial teaching and research staff employed under a contract with a term of employment of 12 months or more requiring at least 18 hours of work each week at level A or above

20

Postgraduate students not eligible to be an elected staff member, one of which is a research student (postgraduate students)

All postgraduate students of the University

2

Undergraduate students not eligible to be an elected staff member (undergraduate students)

All undergraduate students of the University

3

2.4   Period of office of elected and appointed members

  1. Elected staff members hold office for three years.
  2. Postgraduate and undergraduate members hold office for one year.
  3. An appointed member holds office for one year.
  4. Ex officio members hold office for the tenure of their relevant official position.

2.5   Vacation of elected members

  1. An elected member or a successful candidate at an election is deemed to have vacated office as an elected member if that person:
    1. becomes an ex officio member; or
    2. becomes an appointed member; or
    3. is absent from every meeting of the Board of which notice has been given for any period of six months without leave granted by the Board; or
    4. gives the Secretary of Academic Board written notice of resignation; or
    5. ceases to be qualified for election.
  2. An elected member or successful candidate at an election may immediately be deemed to have vacated office where the member indicates to the Board, or it comes to the notice of the Board, that the member will be, or intends to be, absent from meetings for six months without leave granted by the Board.

2.6   Casual Vacancies

Sections 2.6(a) to (e) inclusive, apply unless the Senate directs otherwise.

  1. A casual vacancy in the case of an elected staff member is filled:
    1. by the person who received the highest number of votes of all the candidates who were not elected in the most recent election and is willing to be and available to perform the functions of a Board member; or if there is no candidate that meets these criteria
    2. by a supplementary election, if the President of the Academic Board (the President) so directs; or
    3. at the next annual election;
  2. A casual vacancy in the case of a postgraduate or undergraduate member is filled:
    1. by the person who received the highest number of votes of all the candidates who were not elected in the most recent election and is willing to be and available to perform the functions of a Board member; or if there is no candidate that meets these criteria
    2. by the President, after consultation with the University of Queensland Union, nominating a postgraduate or undergraduate student as the case requires;
  3. A casual vacancy in the case of a Director of a University centre is filled by the President, after consultation with members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee, nominating another Director of a University centre.
  4. A person filling a casual vacancy holds office for the remainder of the term of office of that person’s predecessor.
  5. Where there are positions to be filled having different terms of office, the positions with the longest term shall be filled by those candidates in the relevant election that poll the next highest. In the case of equality or in the absence of a poll, terms shall be filled in an order determined by lot.

2.7   Election and term of office of President

  1. Subject to the final decision of Senate pursuant to s 35A of the UQ Act, the Board will nominate, through an election, a member for Senate’s consideration to be President of the Academic Board (the President). 
  2. The President is appointed for a two year term, which can be extended for a further year.   
  3. The President must not hold office for a term longer than 3 years.
  4. Where an extension of term is proposed in accordance with 2.7(b) above, the President will advise Senate of their intent to seek an extension by 1 March in the second year of their term. Following ratification of the nomination by the Board, Senate may approve the extension.
  5. An election to nominate the President for the ensuing term of office will be held under the following circumstances:
    1. the incumbent’s term will expire at the end of the calendar year, and
    2. the incumbent does not seek an extension of their two-year term, or
      1. Senate has not approved a request by the President for extension under 2.7(b); or
      2. the incumbent is not eligible for an extension.
  6. Where a vacancy arises in the office of the President during an incumbent’s term, Senate may direct that a supplementary election be held.

2.8   Election and term of office of Deputy President

  1. The Board will elect a Deputy President. Eligible candidates for election are ex-officio, elected professorial or elected non-professorial members of the Academic Board, or any current member of staff who has held such a role within a 3 year period prior to the call for nominations. The Deputy President must not hold office for a term longer than 3 years.
  2. The Deputy President is elected for a two year term, which can be extended for a further year.
  3. Where an extension of term is proposed in accordance with 2.8(b), the Deputy President will advise the Board of their intent to seek an extension by 1 March in the second year of their term.  The Board may approve the extension.
  4. An election for the Deputy President for the ensuing term of office will be held under the following circumstances:
    1. the incumbent’s term will expire at the end of the calendar year, and
    2. the incumbent does not seek an extension of their two-year term, or
      1. the Board has not approved a request by the Deputy President for extension under 2.8(c); or
      2. the incumbent is not eligible for an extension.
  5. Where a vacancy arises in the office of the Deputy President during the incumbent’s term, the Board may direct that a supplementary election be held. 

2.9   Meetings

2.9.1   Convening meetings

  1. The President convenes the ordinary meetings of the Board. The President may convene a special meeting and must convene a special meeting on the written request of five members stating the business for the Board to consider at the meeting.
  2. The Vice-Chancellor may summon a special meeting with the Board for the purpose of considering any business to be submitted by the Vice-Chancellor, and may preside at the meeting.

2.9.2   Chair

  1. The President chairs meetings of the Board.  In the absence of the President, the Deputy President chairs the meetings.
  2. In the absence of the President and Deputy President, the members present will elect one of themselves to be chair.
  3. The chair has a deliberative vote and, if needed, a casting vote.

2.9.3   Quorum

One quarter of the members of the Board, other than members on leave of absence, shall be a quorum.

2.9.4   Power to invite persons to attend

The Board may invite a person to attend its meetings generally or for a particular purpose.

2.10   Committees

2.10.01   Committees of the Board

  1. Committees of the Board are chaired by a qualified member of the University Senior Management Group appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, following consultation with the President. The President may deputise in the absence of the chair.
  2. The Board approves the terms of reference for a committee and a committee will conduct its business in accordance with the terms of reference and as determined by the Chair.
  3. After each of its meetings, a committee must present to the Board a report including recommendations to the Board and matters which it desires to draw to the attention of the Board.
  4. The Board may refer or authorise any committee to undertake any act or hold any enquiry in relation to any matter within the scope of the Board’s authority.

2.10.02   Standing Committee

The Standing Committee of the Academic Board consists of the President and other members of the Board appointed by the Board under the Standing Committee's terms of reference.  In addition, a member of Standing Committee who loses the qualification that entitles the person to be a Board member may be invited by the President to continue to be a member of Standing Committee for a period not longer than 3 months, or until the member ceases to be a full-time member of staff.

The Standing Committee will regularly exercise on behalf of the Board such powers as the Board may determine. In any other case where action is necessary before a meeting of the Board can be conveniently held, the Standing Committee may act on behalf of the Board, reporting its actions to the next meeting of the Board.

2.10.03   Other committees and sub-committees

  1. The Board may:
    1. appoint committees and sub-committees either for general or special purposes; and
    2. establish and approve the terms of reference, including the quorum of a committee/sub-committee.
  2. A committee/sub-committee may be appointed to enquire into or act upon any matter or class of matters which in the opinion of the Board has already arisen or may arise at a future time.
  3. In appointing its members or other persons to a committee/sub-committee, the Board will balance appropriately ex officio membership, representational membership, elected members and membership of academic staff and students drawn from the wider University community.
  4. A committee/sub-committee may co-opt those whom it considers necessary for the efficient conduct of its business.

3.0   Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

3.1   Senate 

Senate:

  1. is the governing body of the University;
  2. established and continues the Board;
  3. determines the Academic Board’s membership and the President; and
  4. reserves and retains full responsibility for performing its powers and functions as set out in the UQ Act.

3.2   Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor is the University’s chief executive officer, and is responsible to the Senate for executive decisions and the overall management and performance of the University.  The Vice-Chancellor receives advice from the Board on matters relating to the academic functions of the University.

3.3   Office of the President of the Academic Board

  1. The President fulfils the responsibilities outlined in section 3.6 and provides assurance to the Vice-Chancellor and Senate of the Board’s effectiveness.
  2. The Office of the President of the Academic Board provides administrative support to the President and ensures that secretariat services provided to the Board and its committees are adequate and effective.

3.4   Members of the Academic Board

Members of the Academic Board are responsible for promoting the development of a Board that in itself and through its committees, sub-committees and working parties:

  1. is collegial;
  2. is broadly representative of the diversity of the University’s academic staff;
  3. demonstrates integrity in its activities;
  4. supports academic freedom, open discussion and debate;
  5. serves as an effective custodian of academic integrity and standards of excellence;
  6. brings a diversity of points-of-view and forms of expertise to bear on University-wide issues;
  7. provides the principal forum for University-wide discussion and debate about the academic implications of strategic and operational approaches;
  8. provides advice to Senate and the Vice-Chancellor that is timely and authoritative; and
  9. is efficient and influential.

3.5   Committees of the Board

The committees of the Board are responsible to the Board for fulfilling their respective functions and responsibilities as outlined in their terms of reference.

3.6   President of the Academic Board

  1. The President of the Academic Board is a senior member of the academic staff of the University who is appointed by the Senate under the UQ Act.
  2. The President is selected by a ballot of members of the Board and if confirmed by the University Senate, serves for a term of office as specified in 2.7.
  3. The President:
    1. provides academic leadership;
    2. acts with integrity and professionalism;
    3. upholds the highest ethical and academic standards;
    4. promotes diversity in the interests of fairness and of good governance; and
    5. is committed to transparency, accountability, and responsible stewardship of the University’s reputation.
  4. As a member of the University Senior Management Group and a direct report of the Vice-Chancellor, the President works collaboratively with the Senior Executive and Senate to promote the aims, ethos, morale and values of the University and to ensure effective communication, cooperation and collaboration among the three principal components of institutional governance.
  5. The President reports regularly to Senate, including presenting Board reports, in order to give assurance that academic governance is effective, that academic standards are upheld, and that risks associated with the University’s academic activities have been identified and mitigated.
  6. The President represents the Board at University graduations and other University functions.
  7. The President’s duties include, but are not exhausted by, the following:
    1. managing the efficient organisation and conduct of the Board’s functions and meetings, in particular by:
      1. acting as executive officer of the Board;
      2. ensuring that the Board has the resources and support that are necessary to carry out its functions in an effective and efficient manner;
      3. developing and approving the agenda for Board meetings;
      4. convening and chairing the plenary meetings of the Board;
      5. chairing the Standing Committee of the Board;
      6. serving as an ex officio member and Deputy Chair of all other Board committees;
      7. facilitating the effective contribution of all Board members;
      8. ensuring that the Board’s members have confidence in the procedures laid down for the conduct of business;
      9. providing for succession in office;
      10. disseminating information about the Board’s activities to the wider University community; and
      11. ensuring regular appraisal of the Board’s performance by reference to recognised standards of good practice;
    2. being well informed about the University’s academic activities, especially through:
      1. participation in the periodic review of organisational units, academic programs, and relevant University policies;
      2. contributing to the identification and management of risks associated with research and teaching; and
      3. participation in developing and monitoring performance against the objectives identified in the University’s Strategic Plan;
    3. contributing to the recruitment, selection, and development of academic staff; by:
      1. chairing the Academic Confirmation and Promotion Advisory Committee;
      2. sitting as a member of the Professorial Confirmation and Promotions Committee;
      3. serving on selection committees for senior academic and executive appointments at the University; and
      4. participating in organisational staff development activities, including processes associated with annual appraisal, confirmation, and promotion;
    4. serving as a member of Senate and of the University Senior Management Group.

3.7   Deputy President of the Academic Board

  1. The Deputy President carries out on behalf of the President, or assists the President to carry out, such functions as the Board or the President may determine.
  2. Whenever the President is unable to act, or if there is a vacancy in the office of the President, the Deputy President is deemed to have been appointed to act in the office of the President and will discharge all the functions of the President as described in section 3.6 above.

4.0   Monitoring, Review and Assurance

4.1   Monitoring, review and assurance of this policy

  1. The Board President provides assurance to the Vice-Chancellor and Senate that:
    1. the Board is fulfilling its functions in accordance with this policy; and
    2. academic governance processes and controls are adequate and effective.
  2. The Office of the President of the Academic Board shall monitor compliance with this policy, advise the Board on policy issues, or recommend any changes to the policy as required.
  3. This policy will be reviewed as required and, in any event, in conjunction with scheduled Senate review of the Board.

5.0   Recording and Reporting

5.1   Reporting to Senate

The Board will regularly report to Senate on matters relevant to its functions specified in Section 2.1 of this policy. Senate will provide guidance on the form, content and frequency of reports that it expects from the Board.

5.2   Reporting to Senate Risk and Audit Committee

The Board will provide advice and assurance to the Senate Risk and Audit Committee on the management of academic and research risks.

5.3   Records management

  1. Records initiated and maintained through this policy shall be managed in accordance with PPL 1.60.04 Records Management.
  2. Records management activities will be undertaken through consultation between the Board secretariat and Records Management Services.

6.0   Appendix

6.1   Membership of the Board

The Board consists of:

  1. the following ex officio members:
    1. President of the Board;
    2. Deputy President of the Board;
    3. Vice-Chancellor;
    4. Provost;
    5. Deputy Vice-Chancellors;
    6. Chief Operating Officer;
    7. Pro Vice-Chancellors;
    8. Executive Deans of Faculties;
    9. Dean, Graduate School;
    10. Associate Deans (Academic);
    11. Associate Deans (Research);
    12. Associate Dean (Clinical);
    13. Medical Dean;
    14. Heads of Schools;
    15. Director, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology;
    16. Director, Global Change Institute;
    17. Director, Institute for Molecular Bioscience;
    18. Director, Institute for Social Science Research;
    19. Director, Mater Research Institute - UQ;
    20. Director, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation;
    21. Director, Queensland Brain Institute; 
    22. Director, Sustainable Minerals Institute;
    23. President of the University of Queensland Union;
    24. President, UQ Branch of the NTEU;
    25. University Librarian;
    26. Chief Information Officer;
    27. Director, Institute for Continuing and TESOL Education;
    28. Director, Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation;
    29. Director, Student Affairs; and
  2. the following not being ex officio members (elected members) being:
    1. 40 elected staff members (elected staff members) being:
      1. 20 professors (professorial members);
      2. 20 members of the non-professorial teaching or research staff (non-professorial members) employed under a contract with a term of employment of 12 months or more requiring at least 18 hours of work each week at level A or above;
    2. two postgraduate students not eligible to be an elected staff member, one of whom is a research student (postgraduate members);
    3. three undergraduate students not eligible to be an elected staff member (undergraduate members); and
  3. one Director of a University centre appointed by the President on the nomination of members of Vice-Chancellor’s Committee (appointed member).
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson