Academic Board Regulations 2021
Part 1 – Preliminaries
Part 2 – Academic Board
Culture and Values
Part 3 – Academic Board Functions
Part 4 – Role of the Chair, Academic Board
Part 5 – Membership
Appointment of Chair and Deputy Chair
Chair of the Academic Board
Vacancy and Removal of Office
Petitions from Student Organisations
Part 6 – Meetings
Procedure for including an item in the Academic Board Agenda
Notice of Meeting
Code of Conduct
Conduct of Meetings
Communication and Reporting
Part 7 – Charter of Responsibilities
Part 8 – Professional Development
Part 9 – Committees
Part 10 – Annual Work Plans
Part 11 – Governance Review Processes
Part 12 – Educational Regulatory Environment
Part 13 – Revocation of Regulations
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1. Under section 20 of the Victoria University Act 2010 (Vic), the University Council must establish the Academic Board.
2. The Academic Board plays a leading role in the academic governance of the University, working separately but collaboratively with Council and the University Executive.
3. The Academic Board has authority under section 9 of Governance, Academic and Student Affairs Statute 2013 (GASA) and delegated authority for approving academic policies, programs, establishing quality assurance and risk monitoring relating to academic matters, and for monitoring the implementation of academic policies.
4. The Academic Board may advise Council and the Senior Executive on any academic matter relevant to the University and works with them in achieving the strategic objectives of the University.
5. The Academic Board also plays a leading role in ensuring that the University is compliant with relevant educational regulations. It is expected to work closely with the Compliance, Audit and Risk Committee and provide advice to Council.
6. The Academic Board may, by resolution, constitute, appoint and dissolve such committee as it thinks fit, determine the composition and terms of reference of its committees, and elect a chair for each committee from amongst the members of the Academic Board.
7. The Academic Board Terms of Reference, approved by Council, (“Terms of Reference”) delegate to the Academic Board academic governance of the University. The Terms of Reference also allow the Academic Board to establish committees and working groups to assist in the performance of its role. The Terms of Reference of standing committees are approved by Academic Board.
8. The purpose of this Regulation is to make provision for:
9. These Regulations are made under the GASA and sections 28, 29 and 30 of the Victoria University Act 2010 (Vic).
10. Following Council approval, this Regulation comes into operation on its promulgation upon publication on the University website.
11. Unless otherwise defined, the following definitions apply:
1. The Academic Board has particular responsibility for academic matters. It is tasked with ensuring the University maintains quality teaching, scholarship and research and upholding the University’s academic reputation. As well as reviewing academic policy recommendations and approving and accrediting degrees and other awards, it provides a forum for debate and within the University and between the academic community and the Senior Executive.
2. The Academic Board is authorised to:
3. The Academic Board values a culture of openness and transparency in the University’s decision-making processes and promotes the following in all its activities:
4. The Academic Board values its interactions with Council and the Senior Executive and embraces its shared role in the attainment of The University’s strategic goals and mission.
1. As the peak academic governance body within the University and accountable to the University in its own right and as a delegate, the Academic Board's functions are to (but not limited to):
1. In accordance with section 11 of the Act, the Chair of the Academic Board is an official member of the Council.
2. The Chair of the Academic Board is responsible for:
1. The Academic Board is comprised of elected, ex-officio and co-opted members.
2. Elected members:
3. Ex officio members:
4. There will be a maximum of four co-opted members appointed by the Academic Board following a majority vote.
5. Elections for the Academic Board will be conducted in accordance with the Elections Regulations 2016 of the University.
6. The Academic Board must elect one person from among its members to be the Chair of the Academic Board.
7. The Deputy Chair will be elected by and from the members of the Academic Board.
8. Terms of Office:
9. The Chair of the Academic Board may exercise any powers of the Board which are:
10. The Chair must notify the next meeting of the Board of any exercise of power under this section.
11. A member of the Academic Board other than the Chair may resign by writing provided to the Chair.
12. The Chair may resign by writing provided to the Chancellor as Chair of the Council.
13. The Academic Board may remove the Chair or Deputy Chair following an unanimous decision of the Academic Board (excluding the member proposed for removal) if it is the opinion that:
14. The Academic Board Chair may recommend the removal of a member to the Academic Board should the Chair be of the opinion that the member is incapable, unwilling or unfit to be a member of the Academic Board. The Academic Board may remove that member by a majority decision.
15. The Academic Board must respond to petitions from a recognised student organisation within the University if it involves matters affecting teaching or academic matters.
16. Initial consideration of the petitions will be conducted by the Chair of Academic Board. This will include the appropriateness of the petition in the context of the Academic Board's Regulations, Terms of Reference and governed by such procedure as Academic Board may establish.
17. The Academic Boardmay refer to Council any petitions from a recognised student organisation within the University involving teaching or academic matters affecting students, where Council would benefit from awareness of the petition and or may be asked for guidance, provided the Academic Board attaches a report.
1. Academic Board meets at least five times per year. A report and minutes of each Academic Board meeting is provided to the University Council. The minutes of each meeting will be made available to the University community via the publication of the minutes (excluding confidential items) online.
2. All proposed agenda items are to be presented in the form of a briefing paper. Feedback on the decision made will be provided to the item’s proposer. Briefing papers for the proposed items must be sent to the Academic Board Secretary.
3. The Chair may call a meeting at any time.
4. The Chair must call a meeting if requested to do so by:
5. A meeting which has been requested under Part 6 clause 4c must be held within 21 days of receipt of the request unless the Chair considers that it is impracticable to do (in which case the meeting will be held as soon as is practicable).
6. The secretary to the Academic Board must give at least five days’ notice of a meeting of the Academic Board.
7. Notice of meeting may be given by email or other electronic communication method used by the University.
8. Notice of a meeting under Part 6 clause 6 must:
9. The Chair, or any five elected members, may by written notice to the Secretary, request that a special meeting be held in relation to a matter set out in the notice. The Secretary will determine the date within a fourteen day period after the notice is given.
10. A meeting is not invalidated by:
11. The Code of Conduct for Academic Board and Committees should be read in conjunction with the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy, Student Charter Policy and the University Values.
12. All members on the Academic Board and its Committees, will:
13. The Chair will maintain order of the meeting and may call upon this Regulation where necessary.
14. The Chair will conduct meetings according to the order of business as shown on the agenda and may decide to amend the order of the business should the need arise.
15. Any member of the Board or Committee may request that an un-starred item on the Agenda be starred for discussion.
16. All un-starred items will be submitted for approval in a single motion without debate during the acceptance of the Agenda.
17. Any member wishing to speak during a meeting should first advise the Chair, and when recognised by the Chair should speak briefly and to the point on the item before the meeting.
18. If more than one speaker wishes to speak, the Chair will call on the speaker in the order as determined by the Chair.
19. No member may speak twice during the discussion of a single item.
20. The Chair will endeavour to encourage an atmosphere in which all parties can contribute to the meeting.
21. All motions presented to a meeting must be in the form of writing and preferably circulated with the agenda and papers before the meeting.
22. The mover of a motion should be permitted to speak to the motion for no more than five minutes and all other speakers for and against no longer than three minutes.
23. Should the Chair wish to speak in the debate, the Chair should first pass the chairing role to the Deputy Chair for the entirety of the item.
24. A motion may be amended by the meeting after the mover has spoken and if the Chair determines that the amendment is not a direct negation of the original motion.
25. If an amendment does not receive a seconder then the amendment lapses and the original motion is put.
26. If there are several amendments to a motion, then the Chair will decide the order in which the amendments will be considered.
27. If an amendment is carried then the motion as amended becomes the substantive motion before the meeting.
28. A mover of a motion may reply to the arguments raised during debate but cannot introduce new material. Once the mover is finished their right of reply, the Chair will put the motion.
29. Procedural motions such as the speaker no longer being heard or that the meeting proceed to the next item of business take precedence over the matter before the meeting. Procedural motions need to be put by the Chair once a seconder is found. The Chair will put the procedural motion to the meeting.
30. If required, voting will normally be through a show of hands. The Chair will read out the motion prior to a vote being taken.
31. The Chair has a deliberative vote and the right to exercise a casting vote where the vote is tied.
32. In matters where some anonymity may be preferred, such as voting for an office bearer of the committee, the Executive Officer will conduct a confidential ballot.
33. Where a decision of Academic Board is required before a scheduled meeting the Chair may authorise a circular resolution.
34. A circular resolution request will set out background information and contain recommendations on which Members can vote for or against or abstain. Members will confirm their vote by online methods or any other method specified in the notice, by the date specified in the notice.
35. The number of responses either for, against or abstaining, must meet the quorum provisions in these guidelines.
36. A report on the outcome of a circular resolution will be provided to the next Board meeting and will be confirmed in the same manner as for ordinary minutes of a Board meeting.
37. A circular resolution by a majority of members of the Academic Board, or a Committee, is valid. The resolution may consist of several documents from one or more members and may be in the form of electronic mail or other messaging service provided it forms a written record.
38. The Academic Board and its Committees will communicate, as appropriate, its decisions and deliberations with all key stakeholders in a timely manner through minutes, reports and emails.
39. The Academic Board must ensure that minutes of meetings are available for inspection during business hours.
40. A report of the proceedings of each of the Academic Board meetings will be provided to the next ordinary meeting of the Council.
41. Where necessary, a member that attends meetings by virtual means will be considered in attendance for the purposes of quorum. All members must advise of virtual attendance at least three days prior to the scheduled meeting.
42. A member of the Academic Board who participates in such a meeting is deemed to be present at the meeting even if they are not physically present. The Chair must acknowledge the presence of a member participating electronically both at the beginning and end of a meeting.
43. Members not attending in person are to be supplied with the same material given to members who attend in person. If a member does not have the information, or if material is tabled at the meeting and cannot be simultaneously given to a member not attending in person, that member should refrain from voting on a motion concerning any motion relating to that material.
44. A question or resolution will not be decided or made at a meeting of the Academic Board unless there are present (either physically or virtually) at the meeting at least one half of the current members (including proxies) plus one.
45. If a question or resolution cannot be decided or made at a meeting because the quorum requirements have not been satisfied:
46. The quorum for a meeting of a Committee is:
47. The Academic Board may invite any person to attend the whole or part of a meeting to be an observer and the Chair may invite any person to attend the whole or part of an Executive Meeting.
48. Observers may speak at a meeting only at the invitation of the Chair.
49. If there is inappropriate behaviour on the part of an observer which in the opinion of the Chair may interfere with the running of a meeting, the Chair of the meeting:
1. While all members will abide by the Code of Conduct outlined above, the following provides a list of specific responsibilities.
2. Lead discussions on matters of importance and ensure that all members’ voices are heard during meetings.
3. Make sure that all meeting time is efficiently used and outcomes of the meeting are clearly understood by all members.
4. Actively contribute to the development of agenda and presentation of items of business.
5. Liaise with other Chairs to ensure alignment of governance business through convened meetings.
6. Ensure that all meetings are conducted in an orderly and agreed fashion.
7. After each meeting, clear the draft minutes presented by the Executive Officer for distribution and action within five business days.
8. In conjunction with the Executive Officer, monitor the volume of business submitted to the Academic Board or Committee.
9. Follow up outstanding actions outside scheduled meeting times.
10. Represent the Academic Board or Committee at Chairs’ meetings and other forums.
11. Attend all meetings, or where attendance is not possible provide apologies and proxies, verbally or in writing, to the Executive Officer prior to the meeting.
12. Actively contribute to the agenda and papers.
13. Read the agenda and papers prior to meetings.
14. Actively contribute to meeting discussions by addressing the item/issue under discussion.
15. Listen to and value others when they have the floor.
16. Respect the role of the Chair as leader of the meeting and abide by their rulings in relation to meeting procedure.
17. Ensure that records related to confidential items are stored and maintained in a way that protects the confidentiality.
18. Avoid using their position to gain an advantage for themselves or another person.
19. Always act in the best interests of the University as a whole.
20. Prepare and circulate agendum and papers a week before the meeting.
21. In conjunction with the Chair, develop annual work plan for committees.
22. Record the business and outcomes of the meeting and report for the parent body within a week of the meeting.
23. Maintain the distribution platforms and associated intranet sites.
24. Ensure appropriate communications with the Chair, members of the committee and other bodies.
25. Follow up and monitor actions arising from meetings and liaise with key staff and students.
26. Oversee the annual review of the Board or committee and report findings to the parent body.
27. Support the implementation of membership surveys and present reports on the outcomes of surveys.
28. Prepare appropriate briefings for the Chairs of Committees.
29. Provide advice to the Chairs and Committees on policy and regulations relevant to the committees’ Terms of Reference and general governance operations.
30. Provide information about venue, date and timing of items to all presenters in a timely manner.
1. Each year the Academic Board will conduct an Induction Session for all newly elected members to the Academic Board. In addition, new members will normally receive an induction briefing from the Chair or Deputy Chair as soon as practicable after their appointment and prior to their first meeting.
2. New members of committees and the Academic Board may be allocated a mentor to assist them with their ongoing Academic Board or committee activities and to develop their capabilities on request.
3. Each year the Academic Boardand office bearers will coordinate a refresher session covering regulatory compliance and any other matters the members require.
4. Office bearers will be encouraged to broaden their skills and knowledge about governance, its principles and processes.
1. The Academic Board may, by resolution, constitute, appoint and dissolve such Committee as it thinks fit.
2. The Academic Boardwill determine the composition and terms of reference of its Committees.
3. The Academic Boardwill elect a chair for each Committee from amongst the members of the Academic Board.
4. The term of office of each Chair is two years.
5. A Committee may elect a deputy chair from the members of the Committee.
6. The term of a person’s membership of a Committee is two years and is eligible for reappointment to the Committee.
7. A Committee of the Academic Board must report to the Academic Board on its activities at such time and in such form as the Academic Board directs.
1. At the end of each calendar year, the Executive Officer, in liaison with the Chair, will prepare an Annual Work Plan for the following year. The Work Plan will schedule business that is consistent with the Committee/Board’s functions and all relevant regulatory standards.
2. After consultation with key stakeholders, the Work Plan will be presented to the respective Board/Committee for consideration and endorsement.
3. Once endorsed, the Work Plan will be circulated to key stakeholders and proposed presenters for their information and preparation.
4. The Work Plan will be monitored throughout the year by the Executive Officer, the Chair and the Committee and with key presenters to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
5. At the first meeting of each year, the Executive Officer and the Chair will present a report on the performance of the Committee/Board in the previous year utilising the Annual Work Plan.
1. Annual Reviews of the Academic Board and its committees will be supported by a biennial membership survey which will consider the following items:
2. The Executive Officer and the Chair of the Board/Committee will present a report on outcome of the Membership Survey as soon as practicable after the results are known.
3. Periodically, as determined by the University Council (and at least every seven years) independent reviews of the effectiveness of academic governance processes will be conducted in accordance with Threshold Standard 6.1.3d. These reviews will be commissioned by Council independent of the Academic Board.
1. Schedule 1 to this Regulation contains an overview of the regulatory framework within which the University operates.
1. The Academic Board Regulations 2017 which came into operation on 19 December 2019 are revoked and re-made by this regulation.