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Academic Senate Rules

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Section 1 - Preliminary

Name of Rules

(1) These Rules may be cited as the Academic Senate Rules.

Commencement

(2) These Rules take effect on the day on which they are published on the Internet by means of the website of the University or in another official University publication under section 29(c) of the Macquarie University Act 1989 and section 35(4) of the Macquarie University By-law 2005.

Purpose

(3) These Rules are enacted to outline the composition, elections procedures, proceedings and functions, and connected matters of the Academic Senate at Macquarie University.

(4) The Academic Senate Rules apply to the Academic Senate which is the principal academic body in the University and is to have such powers and duties as may be delegated to it by the Council, subject to the By-law and to any resolution of the Council.

Authority

(5) The Council of Macquarie University makes the following rules under section 29 of the Macquarie University Act 1989 and Part 10 of the Macquarie University By-law 2005.

Definitions

(6) In these Rules:

  1. academic matters means matters including but not limited to, learning and teaching, research and research training, academic integrity and quality assurance, merit prizes and awards, programs of study and measures to safeguard academic freedom;
  2. Academic Senate means the Academic Senate of the University;
  3. By-law means the Macquarie University By-law 2005;
  4. Council means the Council of the University;
  5. Faculty means an administrative grouping of research, academic and professional staff and students based on the area they teach, support and study; and
  6. University means the Macquarie University established by the Macquarie University Act 1989.
Note: The Interpretation Act 1987 of New South Wales applies to these Rules.
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Section 2 - Rules

Part A - Preamble

(7) Academic Senate is established under section 15 of the Macquarie University Act 1989 and its function is prescribed by section 28 the Macquarie University By-law 2005. The Academic Senate reports to the University Council.

(8) Academic Senate provides leadership and quality assurance of academic activities such as scholarship, learning and teaching, research and research training, and it safeguards academic freedom.

(9) Academic Senate provides a forum to facilitate debate and information flow between the senior executive officers of the University and the wider academic community.

Part B - Substantive Provisions

Functions of the Academic Senate

(10) The functions of the Academic Senate are to:

  1. advise the Council and the Vice-Chancellor on academic matters and related activities of the University;
  2. consider, and report to the Council and the Vice-Chancellor on any matter referred to it by the Council and the Vice-Chancellor;
  3. initiate, approve and rescind broad policy on academic matters;
  4. assure appropriate systems are in place to monitor quality of learning, teaching, research and research training, including monitor performance against institutional benchmarks.
  5. establish academic standards for coursework and Higher Degree Research programs, including admission requirements;
  6. approve the establishment, disestablishment and re-accreditation of a degree, diploma, certificate or other award courses, offered by the University or through a third-party provider;
  7. approve changes to a degree, diploma, certificate or other award course offered by the University or through a third-party provider;
  8. dispense with or suspend the General Coursework Rules, the Higher Degree Research Rules or the Higher Doctoral Degree Rules in any exceptional student case;
  9. monitor and respond to the University’s obligations as defined by internal and external regulatory requirements on academic and related matters;
  10. request, review and action reports from Faculty Boards, and non-academic units engaged in supporting academic matters and related activities of the University; and
  11. in the absence of a Faculty Board, assume the responsibilities for all academic matters that would otherwise be performed by the Faculty Board.

Composition

(11)  The Academic Senate comprises ex-officio and elected members:

  1. the Vice-Chancellor;
  2. the Chair of the Academic Senate;
  3. the Deputy Chair of the Academic Senate;
  4. two Deputy Vice-Chancellors nominated by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Chair of the Academic Senate;
  5. the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy), the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Higher Degree Research Training and Partnerships) and up to four Pro Vice-Chancellors nominated by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Chair of the Academic Senate;
  6. the Executive Deans of Faculties;
  7. the University Librarian;
  8. three members from each of the Faculties;
  9. one member from the non-Faculty electorate;
  10. one member from the Indigenous staff electorate;
  11. eight student members;
  12. up to three additional members appointed by resolution of the Academic Senate, to include the chairs of Academic Senate Standing Committees; and
  13. up to four additional members co-opted by resolution of the Academic Senate to address gaps in expertise or diversity and social inclusion.

(12) Any member identified under clause 11(a), 11(b), 11(c), 11(d), 11(e), 11(f) and 11(g) is considered an ex-officio member.

(13) Any member under clause 11(h), 11(i) or 11(j) is elected by and from the academic staff from the respective electorates provided that:

  1. only members of the academic staff who are full-time or part-time continuing, or fixed term for three or more years and with fractional appointment of 50 per cent and above are eligible to participate in the election and to be elected; and
  2. members elected from each Faculty electorate must be from different departments.

(14) Any student member under clause 11(k) is elected by and from students from the respective electorates, these members being:

  1. one student member from each of the Faculties, enrolled in an undergraduate course;
  2. two student members enrolled in a postgraduate coursework course;
  3. one student member enrolled in a postgraduate higher degree research course; and
  4. one student member from the international student cohort.

Elections

(15) All elections will be conducted in accordance with Schedule 1 of the By-law.

(16) The election for any member under clause 13 will be held biennially and the term of office of a member elected at any such election will commence the following January and will expire two years from commencement.

(17) The election for any member under clause 14 will be held biennially and the term of office of a member elected at any such election will commence in June and will expire two years from commencement.

(18) A member who is an ex-officio member of the Academic Senate is ineligible for election and if a member elected takes up an ex-officio position, the place occupied by that member will immediately become vacant.

(19) Elected members to the Academic Senate are eligible to be elected to three consecutive terms of office.

(20) When a vacancy occurs in the office of a member of the Academic Senate due to the failure of an electorate to elect a member to the eligible positions, the Academic Senate is to co-opt to the membership an eligible member from the relevant electorate, as the case may be.

(21) Where a casual vacancy occurs in the office of an elected academic member of the Academic Senate the remaining members of the Academic Senate must proceed to fill the vacancy by co-opting to the membership an eligible member from the relevant electorate, as the case may be.

(22) Where a casual vacancy exists in the office of a student member an election will be held annually to fill the vacancy.

(23) A member of the Academic Senate will be deemed to have vacated office if that member:

  1. dies;
  2. resigns that office by notice in writing;
  3. resigns from the University;
  4. proceeds on leave of absence for a period exceeding nine months;
  5. is absent without leave of the Academic Senate from three consecutive meetings of the Academic Senate; or
  6. in the case of an elected student member, ceases to be a student.

(24) Where an elected member of the Academic Senate proceeds on leave of absence from the University for a period exceeding three months but less than nine months, the Academic Senate will:

  1. co-opt an eligible member from the relevant electorate, as the case may be, to fill the vacancy for the period of absence but not beyond the expiry of the term of office on Academic Senate of the member proceeding on leave; and
  2. at the conclusion of that period of leave, allow the member on leave to resume membership on the Academic Senate for the balance of the term of office.

(25) Where a person other than a member of the Academic Senate is appointed to act in the position of an ex-officio member of Academic Senate, that person will for the purposes of these Rules become a member of the Academic Senate during the period of such appointment.

(26) Where an elected member of the Academic Senate is appointed to an ex-officio role, the members of the Academic Senate must co-opt to the membership an eligible member of the academic staff from the relevant electorate during the period of appointment.

(27)  Where a casual vacancy occurs in the office of a member of the Academic Senate under clause 11(h) a panel comprising the Chair of the Faculty Board of the relevant Faculty, and elected members from the relevant Faculty will nominate eligible staff for co-option.

(28) The members of the Academic Senate will elect from the members of the Academic Senate:

  1. any full-time academic staff member at level D or E to be Chair of the Academic Senate; and
  2. any academic staff member to be Deputy Chair of the Academic Senate;
    to hold office for the ensuing biennium.

(29) The elections of Chair and Deputy Chair of the Academic Senate will be held biennially in March. The Chair-Elect will overlap with the final three months of the term of the incumbent. The term of office of a Chair elected at any such an election will commence on the first day of July following the member’s election and expire two years from commencement.

(30) The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Academic Senate are eligible to be elected to three consecutive terms of office.

(31) A casual vacancy in the office of either the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Academic Senate:

  1. is to be filled by members electing one of their number to be Chair or Deputy Chair as the case may be; and
  2. will result in that person holding office for the residue of the term of office of the Chair or Deputy Chair whose place that person has filled.

(32) Any period served in filling a casual vacancy under clauses 27 or 31 does not preclude a person from serving a full three terms in that position if elected at a biennial election.

Proceeding

(33) The Secretary to the Academic Senate will be appointed by the Director, Governance Services.

(34) The number of members who constitute a quorum must be half the membership plus one.

(35) All questions which come before the Academic Senate will be decided by the majority of the members present and voting at the meeting and the member presiding at the meeting will have a deliberative vote and, in the case of an equality of votes, a casting vote.

(36) The Academic Senate may:

  1. determine its own procedures;
  2. request that other persons attend meetings of the Academic Senate; and
  3. establish committees to assist it in connection with the exercise of any of its functions.
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Section 3 - Schedules and Associated Information

(37) Nil.