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Terms of Reference (Council approved) - Curriculum Committee

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Section 1 - Overview

Curriculum Committee

(1) The University’s Curriculum Committee is established as a University Committee to support the Academic Board.

(2) These Terms of Reference for the Curriculum Committee prescribe the following:

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

(3) The establishment of this Committee and of the Terms of Reference of the committee to carry out the business of the Academic Board are actions authorised under Section 23 of the UNE By-law 2005. The provisions of these Terms of Reference take effect as a Council Rule made under Section 29 of the UNE Act.

Objectives

(4) The role of the Curriculum Committee is to oversee and report to the Academic Board on the courses offered by the University. 

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Section 2 - Curriculum Committee Membership

Membership

(5) The members of the Curriculum Committee are as follows:

  1. Chair:
    1. A Faculty Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) appointed by the Chair of Academic Board.  The Chair of Academic Board may ask the Curriculum Committee to recommend a candidate for appointment.
  2. Members:
    1. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation);
    2. Director Academic Quality (or nominee);
    3. Director Student Success (or nominee);
    4. Chairs of the Faculty Education Committees (normally the Associate Deans Teaching and Learning);
    5. Chair of Academic Board (or nominee who is a senior academic at level C or above and an elected member of the Board);
    6. One senior member of academic staff at level C or above who is well-versed in course and curriculum design from each Faculty, appointed by the Dean (or nominee);
    7. One junior academic member of staff (level A or B) from each Faculty, appointed by the Committee after an expression of interest process;
    8. 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;
    9. One undergraduate Current Student appointed by the Chair after consultation with a relevant student representative body or bodies; and
    10. One postgraduate coursework Current Student appointed by the chair after consultation 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 Curriculum 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 non-voting observers to attend regular or individual meetings, provide appropriate expertise as necessary, and contribute to discussion.

Appointment procedure for appointed members

(7) Appointed members of the Curriculum Committee are appointed when a vacancy occurs. 

Appointments

(8) Appointment of members will be made as per these Terms of Reference and the Academic Board’s Standing Orders.

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 Curriculum 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 Curriculum 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 Curriculum 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.

Gender representation objectives

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

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Section 3 - Terms of Reference

Functions

(14) The functions of the Curriculum Committee are to oversee the Academic Governance of the following aspects of the University’s curricula:

  1. The overall composition and profile of the University’s courses;
  2. Course reviews;
  3. The establishment and disestablishment of courses at the University; and
  4. Major Course Amendments, including gradual changes over time. Major Course Amendments include changes to:
    1. Course title;
    2. Qualifications awarded;
    3. Course level learning outcomes affecting more than 30% of the course (e.g. through the introduction of a new major or a concomitant increase or reduction in overall volume of learning);
    4. Design or delivery of the course that engenders markedly different graduate attributes.
Note:  Individual units of study and Minor Course Amendments are dealt with at the Faculty level.

(15) The Curriculum Committee will consider proposals for the establishment, disestablishment, or major amendment, to a University course.  If the proposal is considered to be in order then the Curriculum Committee will recommend it to the Academic Board for endorsement. 

(16) The Curriculum Committee will consider, and if it deems fit, endorse the graduation lists of students (other than higher degree research students) as required under the University’s Graduation Rule

(17) The Curriculum Committee may exercise such other authority as may be delegated to the Curriculum Committee under a University Rule. 

General

(18) The Curriculum Committee may form working groups from time to time to undertake specific projects and tasks related to their functions.

Authority

(19) The Curriculum Committee is authorised to seek data and information from the University through the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation) to meet the Curriculum Committee's functions.

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Section 4 - Related Committees

(20) Each Faculty will have a committee that oversees its courses and units at a Faculty level.

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Section 5 - Authorities

Committee of Academic Board

(21) The Curriculum Committee is established as a committee of Academic Board to perform the functions set out in the Terms of Reference above and all matters ancillary to those functions.

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Section 6 - Conduct of Curriculum Committee Business

Reporting

(22) The Curriculum Committee reports to the Academic Board.

Meetings

(23) The Curriculum Committee will meet eight times per year or otherwise as required in order to perform its functions.

Business papers

(24) Unless the Chair directs otherwise, Curriculum Committee business papers are distributed to members and official attendees, at least seven days prior to the meeting, or such shorter period as is practicable.

(25) Public disclosure of business papers, minutes and other information received by the Committee should be made by the Curriculum Committee Chair or Secretary.

Quorum

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

Use of technology

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

Resolutions

(28) The Curriculum 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

(29) 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 Curriculum 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

(30) Once annually the Curriculum Committee shall devote part of one meeting to the review of its policies, practices and procedures over the preceding twelve months.

Secretary to Curriculum Committee

(31) The University Secretariat will provide secretarial and administrative support to the Curriculum Committee.

Standing Orders

(32) 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.

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Section 7 - Definitions and Interpretation

Definitions

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

  1. Academic Governance means the framework of policies, structures, relationships, systems and processes that collectively provide leadership to and oversight of the University’s academic activities (teaching, learning and scholarship, and research and research training) at an institutional level.
  2. Course means a syllabus, a curriculum, a training package, units of study, or structured workplace learning, the successful completion of which leads to the conferral of an award on the student by the University (including but not limited to a regulated qualification under the Australian Qualifications Framework).
  3. Current Student means a person who is at the time a Student and who is enrolled in one or more units;
  4. Senior Executive means the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer and his/her direct reports above Director level;
  5. 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;
  6. UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW); and
  7. UNE By-law means the University of New England By-law 2005 (NSW).

Interpretation

This document should be interpreted using the following principles:

(34) Where Curriculum 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.

(35) 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.

Curriculum Committee governing documents

(36) The existing Terms of Reference, constitution and any other documents governing the Curriculum Committee at the time these new Terms of Reference are approved are replaced and have no further operation.