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Terms of Reference (Council approved) - University Teaching and Learning Committee

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Section 1 - Overview

University Teaching and Learning Committee

(1) The University Teaching and Learning Committee is established as a University Committee and is authorised to discharge some of the functions of Council.

(2) These Terms of Reference for the University Teaching and Learning Committee prescribe the following:

  1. the members of the University Teaching and Learning Committee, and the members' method and term of appointment;
  2. the functions of the University Teaching and Learning Committee, and
  3. other matters in connection with the University Teaching and Learning Committee and its operation.

(3) The establishment of this committee and the delegation of powers to it are actions authorised under Section 17 of the UNE Act. The provisions of these Terms of Reference take effect as a Council Rule made under Section 29 of the UNE Act.

Objectives

(4) The University Teaching and Learning Committee functions as an academic governance and management advisory body to:

  1. oversee and report on the academic governance, quality and integrity of the University's coursework teaching and learning activities, and
  2. develop rules, policy, procedures and guidelines to manage the University's teaching, learning and student activities, including student prizes, medals and scholarships.

Section 2 - University Teaching and Learning Committee Membership

Membership

(5) The members of the University Teaching and Learning Committee are as follows:

  1. Chair
    1. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or nominee.
  2. Members
    1. Chair of Academic Board or nominee who is a senior academic (level D or E) and an elected member of the board;
    2. One member of Academic Board, nominated by the Chair of Academic Board;
    3. Chairs of Teaching and Learning committees from each School (or academic nominees);
    4. Executive Director, Teaching and Learning Support;
    5. University Librarian (or nominee);
    6. One member of academic staff who identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, appointed by the Chair after an expression of interest process for academic staff members;
    7. One undergraduate Current Student, appointed by the Chair after consultation by the Chair with a relevant student representative body or bodies;
    8. One postgraduate coursework Current Student, appointed by the Chair after consultation by the Chair with a relevant student representative body or bodies.
  3. Current Student members
    1. The Current Student members may be student representatives elected to Academic Board, but it is not a requirement.

In attendance

(6) The University Teaching and Learning Committee can co-opt members in order to achieve or maintain gender balance, where the membership does not include at least two women and two men. At the discretion of the Chair, the committee can also invite individuals as observers to attend regular or individual meetings, provide appropriate expertise as necessary and contribute to discussion but not to vote.

Appointment procedure for appointed members

(7) Appointed members of the University Teaching and Learning Committee are appointed when a vacancy occurs. The term of an appointed member's tenure on the committee is two years.

Appointments

(8) Appointment of members will be conducted as per these Terms of Reference and the Standing Orders made by the University Teaching and Learning Committee.

Automatic vacancy by an appointed representative

(9) An appointed position becomes vacant automatically if:

  1. the appointed member is absent without prior leave from three consecutive University Teaching and Learning Committee meetings, or
  2. the appointed member loses his/her original qualification for appointment.

Acting ex officio members

(10) An ex officio member of the University Teaching and Learning Committee includes a person who has been appointed on an 'acting' basis to the role.

Term of office

Ex officio members

(11) The ex officio members will be University Teaching and Learning Committee members while they hold their primary office.

Appointed members

(12) The term of office of an appointed member is two years. Appointed members may stand for re-appointment.

Chair

(13) The University Teaching and Learning Committee will be chaired by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or their nominee.

Gender representation objectives

(14) Gender representation shall accord with the Gender Representation on Decision-Making and Advisory Committees Policy.

Section 3 - Terms of Reference

Functions

(15) The functions of the University Teaching and Learning Committee are to advise and make recommendations about the University's coursework teaching, learning and student activities, related to the following:

Approval functions

(16) Approval of academic procedures and guidelines relating to coursework teaching, learning and student matters, subject to final approval by the Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor's delegate.

(17) Approval of the conditions of award of new academic coursework prizes and medals, and of amendments to existing prizes and medals.

Monitoring functions

(18) Monitoring of the University's teaching and learning standards (threshold, admissions, discipline, assessment, qualifications), quality assurance and compliance, including:

  1. Assessment policy and regimes, grade distributions, student progress and appeals.
  2. Student performance, retention and progress.
  3. Surveys including student feedback and University and national surveys of student completions and graduate outcomes.
Advisory functions

(19) Development of rules, policy, procedures and guidelines to manage the University's coursework teaching, learning and student activities.

(20) Teaching quality and currency, including policies about unit design and structure.

(21) The University's teaching and learning environment, including IT and spaces.

Communication functions

(22) Effective consultation and exchange of ideas between the Schools, the administrative units reporting to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), senior management and academic governance.

Authority

(23) The University Teaching and Learning Committee is authorised to seek data and information from the University through the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to meet the University Teaching and Learning Committee's duties and functions.

Section 4 - Delegations

Delegation from the Council

(24) The University Teaching and Learning Committee has delegated authority from the UNE Council to perform the approval, advisory, monitoring and communication functions set out in the terms of reference above and all matters ancillary to those functions.

Section 5 - Conduct of University Teaching and Learning Committee Business

Reporting

(25) The Chair of the University Teaching and Learning Committee reports to the Vice-Chancellor on operational and management matters.

(26) The Chair of the University Teaching and Learning Committee reports to the Academic Board on matters that fall within the Academic Board's functions.

Meetings

(27) The University Teaching and Learning Committee will meet at least eight times per year or otherwise as required, in order to perform its functions.

Business papers

(28) Unless the Chair directs otherwise, University Teaching and Learning Committee business papers will be distributed to members and official attendees, at least seven days prior to the meeting, or such shorter period as is practicable in the circumstances.

(29) Public disclosure of business papers, minutes and other information received by the University Teaching and Learning Committee should be made via the Chair or Secretary to the committee.

Quorum

(30) At any meeting of the committee, one half of the voting membership plus one constitutes a quorum.

Use of technology

(31) For its business papers, meetings and otherwise to conduct its business, the University Teaching and Learning Committee and its members may use technology including telephone, video-conferencing, telepresence, email and internet as arranged by the Chair and/or University Secretary.

Resolutions

(32) The University Teaching and Learning Committee may pass a resolution by 'flying minute' provided that the resolution has been approved by a simple majority of committee members at the time the resolution is made.

Confirmation of minutes

(33) Draft minutes will normally be circulated to members for comment promptly after each meeting. Next the minutes (with any necessary changes) will be circulated for adoption by the University Teaching and Learning Committee. The minutes will be finalised and adopted when they have been approved by a majority of the members that were present at the relevant meeting. Alternatively, the minutes may be included in the business papers for the next committee meeting and considered and adopted by the committee at that meeting.

Self-review

(34) Once in every twelve-month period, the University Teaching and Learning Committee shall devote at least a part of one meeting to the review of its policies, practices and procedures over the preceding twelve months.

Secretary to University Teaching and Learning Committee

(35) The University Secretariat will provide secretarial and administrative support to the University Teaching and Learning Committee.

Standing Orders

(36) The committee may make Standing Orders relating to the way it conducts its meetings and business generally. To the extent of any inconsistencies between these Terms of Reference and the Standing Orders, these Terms of Reference prevail.

Section 6 - Definitions and Interpretation

Definitions

(37) Words and phrases used in this document have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:

  1. Current Student means a person who is at the time a Student and who is enrolled in one or more units.
  2. Senior Executive means the Vice-Chancellor and his/her direct reports above Director level.
  3. Student means a person who has been accepted into a course at the University and is entitled to enrol in units for the purposes of that course.
  4. UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW).
  5. UNE By-law means the University of New England By-law 2005 (NSW).

Interpretation

This document should be interpreted using the following principles.

(38) Where University Teaching and Learning Committee membership is defined by reference to an office held (e.g. 'Chair of Academic Board'), that office-bearer is a member ex officio and has all of the same rights and responsibilities (including voting) as other committee members whilst holding the office specified.

(39) This document does not override or otherwise affect:

  1. the Authorities Retained by Council Rule; or
  2. the Functions of the Vice-Chancellor Rule.
  3. however, it operates as a delegation of certain authorities that have been retained by Council.

Academic Board Teaching and Learning Committee governing documents

(40) The existing terms of reference, constitution and any other documents governing the Academic Board Teaching and Learning Committee at the time these new Terms of Reference are approved, are replaced and have no further operation.