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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 commence on 27 October 2023 under Resolution CNL 23/37.

Purpose

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

(4) The Academic Senate Rules apply to the Academic Senate which is the principal academic governance 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 these 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. By-law means the Macquarie University By-law 2005; and
  3. Faculty means an administrative grouping of research, academic and professional staff and students based on the area they teach, support and study; and
Note: The Interpretation Act 1987 of New South Wales applies to these Rules.
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Section 2 - Rules

Part A - Preamble

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

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

(10) These Rules should be read in conjunction with the Academic Senate and Academic Senate Committees Procedure.

Part B - Substantive Provisions

Functions of the Academic Senate

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

  1. advise Council and the Vice-Chancellor on academic matters and related activities of the University, including the quality of teaching, learning, research, and research training;
  2. consider, and report to Council and the Vice-Chancellor on any matter referred to it by Council and the Vice-Chancellor;
  3. provide effective oversight of the quality of teaching, learning, research and research training, including by:
    1. developing, approving, monitoring, and reviewing policies on academic matters and their effectiveness;
    2. confirming the delegations of academic authority are implemented;
    3. approve the accreditation, re-accreditation, amendment, and discontinuation, of a degree, diploma, certificate or other award courses offered by the University or through a third-party provider;
    4. maintaining oversight of academic and research integrity, including monitoring of potential risks;
    5. monitoring and initiating action (if required) to improve performance against institutional benchmarks for academic quality and outcomes;
    6. critically evaluating the quality and effectiveness of educational innovations;
    7. evaluating the effectiveness of institutional monitoring, review, and improvement of academic activities, including student feedback on their educational experiences;
  4. approve academic standards for coursework and Graduate Research courses, including prerequisites for degrees, diplomas, certificates or other award courses of the University and English Language requirements;
  5. dispense with or suspend the General Coursework Rules or the Higher Degree Research Rules in any exceptional student case;
  6. monitor and respond to the University’s obligations as defined by internal and external regulatory requirements on academic and related matters; and
  7. request and review reports from Faculty Boards and the Macquarie University College Board (College Board) and non-academic units engaged in supporting academic matters and related activities of the University, and monitor any quality assurance and improvement actions arising from these reports; and
  8. approve curriculum proposals that are not designated to a specific Faculty or the Macquarie University College.

Composition

(12) The Academic Senate comprises the following members:

  1. the Vice-Chancellor;
  2. the Chair of the Academic Senate;
  3. the Deputy Chair of the Academic Senate;
  4. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic);
  5. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research);
  6. the Dean of Students, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Research and up to two Pro Vice-Chancellors nominated by the Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Chair of the Academic Senate;
  7. the Executive Deans of Faculties;
  8. the Director of the Macquarie University College;
  9. the University Librarian;
  10. the Chair of the Student Representative Committee;
  11. three academic staff members elected from each of the Faculties;
  12. one member elected from the Indigenous academic staff electorate;
  13. two members appointed from the casual academic staff;
  14. eight elected student members;
  15. up to three additional members appointed by resolution of the Academic Senate, to include the chairs of Academic Senate committees; and
  16. up to four additional members co-opted by resolution of the Academic Senate to address gaps in expertise or diversity and social inclusion.

(13) Any member identified under clause 12(a) to 12(j) is considered an ex-officio member.

(14) Any member under clause 12(k) or 12(l) 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.

(15) Any member under clause 12(m) will be appointed to membership using a process determined by the Academic Senate.

(16) Any student member under clause 12(n) 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

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

(18) 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 the following January and will expire two years from commencement.

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

(20) A member who is an ex-officio member of the Academic Senate is ineligible for election to an elected position.

(21) 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.

(22) Where an elected member of the Academic Senate is appointed to an ex-officio position, the office of that member of the Academic Senate will immediately become vacant. Should an elected member of the Academic Senate be appointed to an ex-officio position in an acting or interim capacity, the Academic Senate may co-opt to the membership an eligible member of the academic staff from the relevant electorate during the period of appointment.

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

(24) When a vacancy occurs in the office of a member of the Academic Senate due to an electorate not electing a member to the eligible position, the Academic Senate will co-opt to the membership an eligible member from the relevant electorate.

(25) Where a casual vacancy exists in the office of an elected member of the Academic Senate, the Academic Senate will proceed to fill the vacancy by co-opting to the membership an eligible member from the relevant electorate under the process outlined in the Academic Senate and Academic Senate Committees Procedure.

(26) 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. takes a 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.

(27) Where an elected member of the Academic Senate takes a leave of absence from the University for a period exceeding three months but less than nine months, the Academic Senate may:

  1. co-opt an eligible member from the relevant electorate, to fill the vacancy for the period of absence but not beyond the expiry of the term of office of the Academic Senate member 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 their term of office.

(28) The members of the Academic Senate will elect from the members of the Academic Senate for a term of two years:

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

(29) The elections of Chair and Deputy Chair of the Academic Senate will be held biennially. 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 election will commence on the first day of July following the member’s election and expire two years from commencement.

(30) The election of a new Chair or new Deputy Chair of the Academic Senate from among the elected academic staff members will create a casual vacancy, which is to be dealt with as set out in clauses 22 and 25.

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

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

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

(33) Any period served in filling a casual vacancy under clauses 25 or 32 does not preclude a person from serving a full three terms in that position if elected at a biennial election.

Proceeding

(34) The Secretary to the Academic Senate will be appointed by the Director, Governance and Compliance.

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

(36) 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 Chair or member presiding at the meeting will have a deliberative vote and, in the case of an equality of votes, a casting vote.

(37) 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.

(38) The Academic Senate Standing Committee may consider and determine any matter on behalf of the Academic Senate, or any urgent matters referred to it by the Chair of Academic Senate.

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Section 3 - Schedules and Associated Information

(39) Nil.