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Terms of Reference (Vice-Chancellor approved) - University Collections Committee

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Section 1 - Overview

Establishment of the Committee

(1) The Committee is established as a Committee of the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer and is delegated a number of functions in relation to cultural, teaching and research collections at the University.

(2) The establishment of this Committee and the delegation of powers to it are actions authorised by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.


(3) The objectives of the Committee are:

  1. To advise the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer on significant matters relating to the development, documentation, care, access, research and interpretation of the University collections;
  2. To oversee and monitor collections management documentation (including Procedures and Guidelines); and
  3. To consider and assess applications for Collections of Significance. 
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Section 2 - Committee membership


(4) Members of the Committee are as follows:

  1. Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer;
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research (Chair)  
  3. Executive Principal Education Futures;
  4. Director Library Services and University Librarian;
  5. Associate Director University Collections;
  6. Up to two (2) members with particular expertise and advice relevant to the Committee, to assist with specific projects and deliberations. These members will be appointed to the Committee by the Chair on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, or where appropriate, Faculty Deans or Collections Custodians; and
  7. Up to four (4) members of staff (academic and professional) appointed to the Committee by the Chair, after an invitation for nomination to the Committee is extended to all UNE staff. Staff nominating for membership will be selected on the basis of their knowledge and demonstrated professional expertise in areas related to the specific objectives of the Committee (outlined in clause 3 above). Each of the selected members will also have expertise in one of the following areas:
    1. Research;
    2. Collections management;
    3. Teaching and learning; and
    4. First Nations and Indigenous culture.

(5) With the exception of any ex officio members, members will be appointed to the Committee by and for such period as is determined by the Chair (or his/her nominee).

Co-opted Members

(6) Additional members as may be co-opted from time to time for a specified period and purpose, at the discretion of the Chair.


(7) The Chair is appointed from the list of Committee members, by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer. If the appointed Chair is unavailable to act as Chair, then the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer will act as Chair. If the appointed Chair or the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer is unavailable then the Committee will elect a Chair to act during the period that both officers are unavailable.

Gender representative objectives

(8) Gender representation shall be in accordance with the Gender Representation on Decision Making and Advisory Committees Policy.

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Section 3 - Functions of the Committee

(9) Functions of the Committee are to:

  1. Develop a University collections strategy and establish University-wide collections management documentation, to ensure collections form an inseparable part of the learning, teaching, research and outreach at the University.
  2. Develop a Collections of Significance Procedure to determine the process of evaluating, endorsing or rejecting proposed collections and/or museums/storage.
  3. The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer will be responsible for approving Collections of Significance, but the University Collections Committee will exercise responsibility for assessing and recommending this approval, as appropriate.
  4. Establish a sub-structure of working groups to responsibly govern the individual needs of various collecting areas and the UNE Collections as a whole, and provide strategic, policy and operational advice to those working groups.
  5. Ensure that collection items are only acquired to enrich University programs and are sourced through ethical collecting practices, recognising relevance, provenance and legal title.
  6. Make safe significant existing collections wherever possible, ensuring adequate funding is available to physically maintain, properly document, value, insure and access items.
  7. Recognise the responsibilities associated with legacy collections and work to ensure such collections are handled appropriately and within government/legislative guidelines.
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Section 4 - Authorities

(10) This Committee is established under the authority of the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, to perform the approval, advice and monitoring functions set out in these Terms of Reference, and all matters ancillary to those functions.

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Section 5 - Conduct of Committee Business


(11) The Committee will provide any advice/reports to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer as required, or to any other University Committee at the discretion of the Chair.


(12) The Committee will meet quarterly, and is expected to use technology and ‘flying minutes’ to attend to urgent matters. [Committee members are expected to be available on short notice, however, should be given as much notice as is practicable in the circumstances of matters arising.]


(13) A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the members of the Committee at the time the meeting is held.

Business Papers

(14) Unless the Chair directs otherwise, Committee business papers, or ‘flying minutes’ and explanatory documents accompanying them, will be distributed to Committee members as required, and with as much notice as is practicable under the circumstances.


(15) The Committee may pass a resolution by ‘flying minute’ provided that the resolution has been approved by a simple majority of the Committee members at the time the resolution is made.


(16) Meeting notes will be kept to a minimum and circulated promptly following the meeting, including all action items.  These will not require formal endorsement by the Committee.

Disclosure of Information

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

Use of Technology

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


(19) Once every twelve month period, the Committee shall devote at least one part of one meeting to the review of its policies, practices and procedures over the preceding 12 months.

Secretary to the Committee

(20) The Library Executive Officer will act as Secretary and provide administrative support to the Committee.

(21) The Secretary is responsible for ensuring all Committee agendas, minutes and reports are recorded in the University’s corporate record keeping system (TRIM), in accordance with the University’s Records Management Rule.