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Constitution of the Academic Senate Rule

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Section 1 - Introduction

Purpose

(1) This Rule is known as the Interim Constitution of the Academic Senate.

(2) The Academic Senate is established by section 15 of the University of Newcastle Act 1989 (NSW), which provides that "There shall be an Academic Senate of the University".

(3) This Constitution is made by the Council as a rule in accordance with Section 29 of the University of Newcastle Act 1989 and details specific functions and responsibilities of the Academic Senate and its committees.

Interpretation

(4) In this Constitution:

  1. headings are for convenience only and do not affect meaning; and
  2. unless the contrary intention appears: 
    1. words importing the singular number include the plural number and vice versa;
    2. words importing any gender include all other genders; and
    3. a reference to a Clause is to a clause of this Constitution.

Definitions

(5) In the context of this Constitution:

  1. academic staff means an academic employee holding a substantive academic position of 0.5 full time equivalent or above where the contract length is twelve months or longer;
  2. Act means the University of Newcastle Act 1989 (NSW);
  3. award refers to the particular academic achievement – certificate, diploma, degree following the successful completion of the requirements of an underlying program;
  4. By-Law means the University of Newcastle By-law 2017 (NSW);
  5. Council means the Council of the University;
  6. enrolled student means a student enrolled in a course at the University of Newcastle at the time of their election and during their term of office;
  7. postgraduate coursework student means a student enrolled in a postgraduate coursework program of the University;
  8. professoriate means academic staff appointed to Level D or E positions in the University;
  9. program means the program of study created and approved by Academic Senate leading to an established award;
  10. research higher degree student means student enrolled in a postgraduate research higher degree program of the University;
  11. Schedule means the Schedule to this Rule, which forms part of the Rule;
  12. undergraduate student means a student enrolled in an undergraduate program of the University;
  13. University means the University of Newcastle, established by the Act.
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Section 2 - Act and By-law

(6) Section 15(1) of the Act provides that the Academic Senate is to consist of "the Vice-Chancellor and such other persons as the Council may, in accordance with the by-laws, determine”.

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Section 3 - President of the Academic Senate

(7) The functions of the President are to:

  1. chair meetings of the Academic Senate;
  2. approve agendas for and minutes of the Academic Senate meetings;
  3. provide leadership in the development of academic policy through the Academic Senate and its committees;
  4. represent the Academic Senate on University bodies;
  5. be an official member of the University Council as provided for in the Act; and
  6. undertake such other functions as the Academic Senate may determine by resolution from time to time.
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Section 4 - Deputy Presidents of the Academic Senate

Functions of the Deputy Presidents:

(8) The Deputy responsible for teaching and learning will be the deputy chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee, with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor responsible for teaching and learning to be the chair.

(9) The Deputy responsible for research will be the deputy chair of the Research Committee, with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor responsible for research to be the chair.

(10) The role of the Deputy President in relation to each of the committees in Clauses 7 and 8 above is to include setting the committee meeting agendas with the chair.

(11) The role of each Deputy President will principally be focused on issues and development of policy within the ambit of the Academic Senate, lead major projects of the Academic Senate and engage with the respective Assistant Deans.

(12) During any absence of the President, the President will appoint one Deputy President to act as President who will have all of the functions of the President.

(13) In the event that the President is unable to appoint one Deputy President, the Returning Officer will appoint one Deputy President, by lot, to act as President with all the functions of the President.

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Section 5 - Committees of the Academic Senate

(14) The Academic Senate will have the following committees:

  1. Academic Senate Executive;
  2. Teaching and Learning Committee;
  3. Research Committee;
  4. Program and Course Approval Committee;
  5. Faculty Boards; and
  6. such other committees as the Academic Senate by resolution determines.

(15) The Academic Senate will develop and approve the membership and terms of reference for each of its committees and such other matters as the Academic Senate by resolution determines.

(16) The Vice-Chancellor and the President of Academic Senate are, by virtue of office, members of all Academic Senate committees.

(17) The term of office for all elected Academic Senate representatives on Academic Senate Committees will be for the period of their Academic Senate term of office, unless otherwise stated.

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Section 6 - Approval and Variation of the Constitution of the Academic Senate

(18) This Constitution:

  1. must be approved by resolution of the Council and takes effect from the date specified by resolution of the Council;
  2. may only be varied or rescinded by resolution of the Council.