Academic Board Elections & Inductions
- Student Representative Election - call for nominations now open
- Academic Staff Representative Election - the election is now closed
- Professional Staff Representative Election - the election is now closed
Information for Staff
The following information relates to the new/incoming Terms of Reference for Academic Board.
The new Academic Board has 12 elected academic staff representatives, two from each Faculty at D/E level and two from each Faculty at B/C level. Academic Board has 2 elected professional staff representatives from level HEO6 to HEO10. These representatives provide the voice in debates about policy and other academic governance matters at UNE. These representatives are voting members of the board and thus influence the tone and substance of academic policies and strategy. It is important that you know who your representatives are each year, so that you can relay any comments, views or concerns you might have about academic matters to one of them.
The Chair and two Deputy Chairs are elected from the Associate Professors and Professors of Academic Board and, as such, constitute elected members in their own right. You should always feel free to communicate directly with the Chair or one of the Deputy Chairs if you have any ideas, issues or concerns you wish to raise or discuss.
Four University and Academic Board committees will report to the board and deal with important matters of academic governance and management. These committees are: the Academic Board Standing Committee, the Teaching and Learning Committee, the Curriculum Committee and the Research Committee.
Academic Board approves the University’s academic rules and policies, which have an impact on you as a staff member. You can find these policies on the UNE Policies page.
The purpose and function of Academic Boards and Senates in Australian Universities: this policy paper was originally formulated at the National Conference of Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates held at the University of New South Wales in 2005 and revised at subsequent conferences in Adelaide (2012) and Sydney (2013). It provides a sector-wide view of the important academic policy and quality assurance function that academic boards and senates are expected to play in the post-2011 higher education sector in Australia, with the advent of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 and the Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency.
Information for Students
Academic Board has two undergraduate student representatives, one postgraduate coursework student representative and one postgraduate higher degree research (HDR) student representative. These representatives provide the student voice in debates about policies and other academic governance matters at UNE. These representatives are voting members of the board and influence the tone and substance of academic policies and strategy. It is important that you know who your representatives are each year, so that you can relay any comments, views or concerns you might have about academic matters to one of them.
You can contact the Academic Board student representatives by visiting the Student Academic Representative Group (SARG) Moodle website and posting comments and questions. The student members monitor the SARG Moodle site continuously and will respond promptly.
Four University and Academic Board committees report to the board and deal with important matters of academic governance and management. These committees are: the Academic Board Standing Committee, the Teaching and Learning Committee, the Curriculum Committee and the Research Committee.
Academic Board approves the University’s academic rules and policies, which have an impact on you as a student. You can find these policies on the UNE Policies page.
Information for New Members
Chair and Deputy Chairs of Academic Board
The Executive of the Academic Board consists of the Chair and two Deputy Chairs who are elected by the board from among the elected Professors and Associate Professors. In each case, their term of office is two years with a maximum of three consecutive terms in one office. At all times, both genders are represented on the board's Executive. Once elected, the Chair and Deputy Chairs are members of the board for the duration of their terms of office.
The role of the Academic Board Executive is to ensure the board fulfils its functions and purpose as set out in the board's Terms of Reference.
What Does the Chair Do?
The Chair, in his/her role:
- chairs the Academic Board and the board's Standing Committee;
- is an ex officio member of the Curriculum Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee, and Research Committee;
- provides advice on behalf of the Academic Board to the Vice-Chancellor, and through regular reports, to the Council;
- is an ex officio member of Council and attends meetings of the Council and Council Committees;
- is an ex officio member of the Academic Promotions Committee; and
- the Chair is also a member of the Committee of Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates in NSW and the Territories, and may attend the annual national meeting of Australian Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates.
What Do the Deputy Chairs Do?
The two Deputy Chairs are both ex officio members of the Academic Board's Standing Committee. One Deputy Chair is an ex officio member of the Teaching & Learning Committee and the other Deputy Chair is an ex officio member of the Research Committee.
The Deputy Chairs assist the Chair of Academic Board as required, and may be the Chair's nominee on the Curriculum Committee, Teaching & Learning Committee and Research Committee.
What Do Board Members Do?
- Contribute as an individual member and as a collective board, to the oversight the academic quality of teaching, learning, research and research training of the University. This includes oversight of the Universities compliance obligations and its performance in relation to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act (2011). and consistent with the Academic Board's terms of reference.
- In serving on a key University governing body, Academic Board members have duties to
- act in the best interests of the University
- to exercise care and diligence
- to not improperly use their position
- to not improperly use information
- to disclose material interests
- Board members are expected to prepare for, attend and participate in the meetings of the Academic Board.
- There are typically 6 meetings per year, held at 9 am on Mondays every second month (commencing in February).
- The dates for meetings are determined the year prior and can be found on the Meeting Dates page of the Academic Board website.
- Meeting papers are typically circulated a week prior to the meeting and are taken as read.
- Minute minutes are typically circulated following a meeting for comment and then approval.
- Members of Academic Board bring to the board their individual experience and skills. Members may also liaise with staff and students, so as to understand the current academic policy, quality assurance and strategic matters and the views of the academy in relation to them.
- Members of the Academic Board are encouraged to communicate the Board's final decision and key areas of discussion with the academy.
- Academic Board members may be asked serve on the Academic Board Standing Committee and/or on working parties that might be established from time to time.
- The Academic Board is supported by the University Secretariat, and members can seek advice and support from the Secretariat in regards to Academic Board matters. The University Secretariat may organise inductions for members of Academic Board and its committees which academic board members are encouraged to attend.
How Do I Get on to the Academic Board?
- Eligible academic staff in Faculties at level D/E and level B/C may nominate for election as a board representative for their Faculty whenever the Secretariat calls an election. Each Faculty has four representatives (two at level D/E, two at level B/C), elected by secret ballot as per the Standing Orders of the Academic Board. Elections for each of the Faculties are usually staggered.
- Eligible professional staff members at level HEO6 to HEO10, may nominate for election as a board representative whenever the Secretariat calls an election. The Academic Board has two professional staff representatives, elected by secret ballot as per the Standing Orders of the Academic Board.
- Elected members of the board will typically hold office for a period of three years, with elections for the board being held in rotation by Faculty at the end of the year, to take effect from the first meeting of the Academic Board in the following year. For the first elections of the new Board, the terms may be shorter than three years for some Faculties.
- Elections of office bearers and representatives on Standing Committee, will be by secret ballot, and will be conducted by the Secretariat. Elections will be conducted in the manner determined from time to time by resolution of the board in its Standing Orders.
- Elections for two of the four student representatives are held toward the end of each year by the Secretariat. If successful, your two-year term will commence at the first meeting of the year. One undergraduate and one postgraduate (alternating between the HDR student representative and coursework student representative) are elected each year.
What Is the Role of an Elected Representative?
Please refer to the role of Academic Board member.
What Are the Rules on Attendance at Meetings?
The Academic Board usually holds six meetings of two hours per year.
The board must declare vacant an elected representative's place on the board on the grounds that she/he has been absent from three consecutive meetings of the board without leave of the board.
In some cases, and where consistent with the terms of reference for the academic board, a member whose qualification for election that she/he possessed at the time of election has changed, may be required to resign their position on the board.
A leave of absence is not granted for extended absences. Members absent on Special Studies Programs may retain their membership, and their Faculty will be contacted regarding a replacement member during their absence.
Guide for New and Potential Elected
and Ex Officio Members of the Academic Board
- For academics and professional staff considering standing for election to Academic Board: the work of the Board demands a high level of commitment from its elected members, both in terms of attendance and participation. You need to be prepared to commit an average of three hours per month to the work and meetings of the board and will be expected to facilitate regular communication about relevant documents, policies and issues between the board and your constituency.
- For most new ex officio members: the work of the board demands a high level of commitment as well as leadership from its ex officio members in terms of attendance, sharing of information and participation. You should expect to commit an average of three hours per month towards the work and meetings of the board and to facilitate communication about relevant documents, policies and issues between the board and the group where your role has qualified you for board membership.
Role of elected and ex officio members
Elected and ex officio members of the Academic Board have the following roles and responsibilities:
- attend meetings fully prepared, having read all relevant documents, on a regular basis;
- actively contribute to discussions at meetings;
- serve as a communication conduit to their Faculty or area regarding actions, policies and new developments of the board or committee, as appropriate;
- organise for feedback to be provided on actions, policies and new developments, when requested;
- clearly distinguish between views/contributions/feedback they are providing as an individual and views/contributions/feedback they are providing with the intention to represent their Faculty or area; and
- declare, at the outset of a meeting, any conflict of interest they might have with any matter on the agenda.
Duties of Academic Board members
(as described in Clause 24 of the Terms of Reference of Academic Board)
As a governance body reporting to the University Council, the duties that apply to Council members are deemed to apply to the members of the Academic Board when they are carrying out their Academic Board functions. Each member of the Academic Board must carry out his or her Academic Board functions subject to the duties as set out in Schedule 2A of the UNE Act. These duties are as follows:
- duty to act in the best interests of the University;
- duty to exercise care and diligence;
- duty not to improperly use position;
- duty not to improperly use information; and
- disclosure of material interests.
All elected and ex officio members should be fully familiar with the Terms of Reference of the Academic Board and with the Standing Orders of Academic Board (these are currently being revised). The Terms of Reference formalise the purpose, functions and structure of the Academic Board and form part of the governance by-laws for the University of New England. The Standing Orders address a range of matters relating to the conduct of meetings and business of the Academic Board.
More specific information about aspects of the work of the Academic Board can be found on this website (containing links to important information such as the current membership of the Academic Board; approved operating principles policies and procedures of Academic Board; minutes and agendas for Academic Board and University committees meetings, and documents and reports immediately relevant to the effective functioning of the board).