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

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Section 1 - Overview

Teaching and Learning Committee

(1) The Teaching and Learning Committee is established as a University Committee to support the Academic Board.

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

  1. the members of the Teaching and Learning Committee, and the members' method and term of appointment;
  2. the functions of the Teaching and Learning Committee, and
  3. other matters in connection with the Teaching and Learning 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 Teaching and Learning Committee is to oversee and report to the Academic Board on the Academic Board of teaching and learning at the University.

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Section 2 - Teaching and Learning Committee Membership

Membership

(5) The members of the Teaching and Learning 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 Teaching and Learning Committee to recommend a candidate for appointment.
  2. Members
    1. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation)
    2. Director Teaching and Learning
    3. Director Academic Quality(or nominee)
    4. Director Student Success (or nominee)
    5. University Librarian (or nominee)
    6. Chairs of the Faculty Education Committees (normally the Associate Deans Teaching and Learning)
    7. Chair of Academic Board (or nominee who is a senior academic at Level C or above and an elected member of the board);
    8. A Deputy Chair of Academic Board who is not a member of the Research Committee
    9. One senior member of academic staff at level C or above who is well-informed about T&L and coursework student matters from each Faculty, appointed by the Dean (or nominee)
    10. One junior academic member of staff (level A or B) from each Faculty, appointed by the committee after an expression of interest process
    11. 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
    12. One undergraduate Current Student, appointed by the chair after consultation with a relevant student representative body or bodies, and
    13. 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 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 non-voting individuals as 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 Teaching and Learning Committee are appointed when a vacancy occurs. 

Appointments

(8) Appointment of members will be conducted as per these Terms of Reference and 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 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 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 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.

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 Teaching and Learning Committee are as follows:

  1. To oversee the Academic Governance of teaching and learning at the University and report to the Academic Board on these matters, so as to enable the Academic Board to provide assurance (or otherwise) to the Council.
  2. To the extent they relate to teaching and learning, the Teaching and Learning Committee will provide assurance (or otherwise) to the Academic Board that processes and structures are established and responsibilities are assigned that collectively:
    1. achieve effective academic oversight of the quality of teaching and learning
    2. set and monitor institutional benchmarks for academic quality and outcomes
    3. establish and maintain academic leadership at an institutional level, consistent with the types and levels of higher education offered, and
    4. provide competent advice to the corporate governing body and management on academic matters, including advice on academic outcomes, policies and practices.
  3. To the extent they relate to teaching and learning, the Teaching and Learning Committee will provide assurance (or otherwise) to the Academic Board that academic oversight assures the quality of teaching and learning effectively, including by:
    1. developing, monitoring and reviewing academic policies and their effectiveness
    2. confirming that delegations of academic authority are implemented
    3. critically scrutinising, approving and accrediting or advising on approving and accrediting, courses of study and their associated qualifications
    4. maintaining oversight of academic and research integrity, including monitoring of potential risks
    5. monitoring and initiating action to improve performance against institutional benchmarks for academic quality and outcomes
    6. critically evaluating the quality and effectiveness of educational innovations or proposals for innovations
    7. evaluating the effectiveness of institutional monitoring, review and improvement of academic activities, and
    8. monitoring and reporting to the corporate governing body on the quality of teaching and learning.
  4. To the extent it relates to teaching and learning, the Teaching and Learning Committee will provide assurance (or otherwise) to the Academic Board that Students have opportunities to participate in Academic Governance.
  5. The Teaching and Learning Committee will consider new University rules and policies that are developed in relation to teaching and learning, and any replacement or major changes to them.  If the rule or policy is considered to be in order then the Teaching and Learning Committee will recommend it to the Academic Boardfor endorsement.
  6. The Teaching and Learning Committee may exercise such other authority as may be delegated to the Teaching and Learning Committee in a University Rule.

General

(15) The Teaching and Learning Committee may form working groups from time to time to undertake specific projects and tasks related to their functions

Authority

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

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Section 4 - Related Committees

(17) Each Faculty will have a Committee that oversees teaching and learning matters at a Faculty level.

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Section 5 - Authorities

Committee of Academic Board

(18) The Teaching and Learning  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 Teaching and Learning Committee Business

Reporting

(19) The Teaching and Learning Committee reports to the Academic Board.

Meetings

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

Business papers

(21) Unless the Chair directs otherwise, 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.

(22) Public disclosure of business papers, minutes and other information received by the Teaching and Learning Committee should be made via the chair or secretary to the committee.

Quorum

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

Use of technology

(24) For its business papers, meetings and otherwise to conduct its business, the 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 secretary.

Resolutions

(25) The 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

(26) 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 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

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

Secretary to Teaching and Learning Committee

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

Standing Orders

(29) 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

(30) 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. Current Student means a person who is at the time a Student and who is enrolled in one or more units.
  3. Senior Executive means the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer and his/her direct reports above Director level.
  4. 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.
  5. UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW).
  6. UNE By-law means the University of New England By-law 2005 (NSW).

Interpretation

This document should be interpreted using the following principles.

(31) Where 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.

(32) 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.

Teaching and Learning Committee governing documents

(33) The existing terms of reference governing the Teaching and Learning Committee at the time these new Terms of Reference are approved, are replaced and have no further operation.

(34) .