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Terms of Reference (Council approved) - Honorary Degrees, Titles and Tributes Committee

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Section 1 - Overview

Establishment of Committee

(1) The Honorary Degrees Titles and Tributes Committee is established as a Committee of Council, in accordance with Council's policies for honorary appointments.

(2) The establishment of this Committee and the delegation of Council powers to it, are actions authorised under Section 17 of the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW) (UNE Act). The provisions of this document take effect as a Council Rule made under Section 29 of the UNE Act.


(3) The Committee will consider and make recommendations to Council on proposals and conferment of honorary degrees, titles and tributes.

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Section 2 - Committee membership


(4) The members of the Committee are as follows:

  1. Chancellor ex-officio;
  2. Deputy Chancellor ex-officio;
  3. Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer ex-officio;
  4. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) (or nominee) ex-officio;
  5. Chair of Academic Board (or nominee who is a member of the Academic Board) ex-officio;
  6. Two Lay Council members elected by and from Council; and
  7. A Professor appointed by the Academic Board.

In attendance

Official attendees

(5) University Secretary (or nominee).


(6) Any other person invited by the Chair.

Election procedure for elected members

(7) Elected members of the Committee will be elected by either Council or Academic Board at their respective meetings, as appropriate.

Term of office

(8) The ex-officio members (Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, VC&CEO, DVC and Chair of Academic Board) will be Committee members whilst they hold their primary office.

(9) The Lay Council members will be the Committee members for two years or such other time as determined by Council, or until they cease to be a Council member, whichever occurs first.

(10) The Professor, under 4(g) above, will be a Committee member for two years or such other time as determined by the Academic Board, or until they cease to be a member of Academic Board, whichever occurs first.


(11) The Chancellor will Chair this Committee. In the absence of the Chancellor, the Deputy Chancellor will Chair the Committee. If the Chair is unavailable to act as Chair for any period then the Committee will elect a temporary Chair to act during the period that the Chancellor and Deputy Chancellor are unavailable.

Gender representative objectives

(12) The objective will be to ensure, so far as is practicable, that the membership of the Committee includes the following gender representation:

  1. where the Committee has five or more members, at least two of each gender; and
  2. where the Committee has four or less members, at least one of each gender.

(13) Where it is necessary for the Chair to co-opt (a) member(s) to meet this objective, the member(s) so co-opted will be from the Council.

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Section 3 - Terms of reference


(14) The functions of the Committee are to:

  1. Approval functions:
    1. Not applicable.
  2. Advisory functions:
    1. To consider and make recommendations to Council on:
      1. Proposals for the award of honorary degrees, titles and tributes;
      2. The conferment of the title of Emeritus Professor on Professors who retire from the University; and
      3. The conferment of the title of Professor on appropriately qualified members of staff who do not otherwise have this title.
  3. Authority:
    1. retain independent counsel, accountants or other experts to advise the Committee in the performance of its functions; and
    2. seek information it requires from the Senior Executive, in relation to the performance of its functions.
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Section 4 - Sub-committees and working groups

(15) Not applicable.

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Section 5 - Delegations

Delegation from Council

(16) This committee has delegated authority from the Council to perform on behalf of Council the approval, advice and monitoring functions set out in the terms of reference above and all matters ancillary to those functions.

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Section 6 - Conduct of Committee business

Reporting to Council

(17) The Chair of the Committee will report to Council regularly on the business conducted by the Committee.


(18) The Committee will meet as required in order to perform its functions. Committee members should be given at least seven days notice of the meeting, or such shorter notice period as is practicable where the matter is urgent. The Committee is expected to use technology and "flying minutes" to attend to urgent matters.

Business papers

(19) Unless the Chair directs otherwise, Committee business papers will be distributed to Committee members and official attendees, at least seven days prior to the meeting, or such shorter period as is practicable in the circumstances. Business papers must be treated confidentially by recipients. Any external disclosure of business papers should be made via the University Secretary.


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

Use of technology

(21) 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 University Secretary.


(22) 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.

Confirmation of minutes

(23) 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 Committee. The minutes will be finalised and adopted when they have been approved by a majority of the members present at the relevant meeting. Alternatively, the minutes may be included in the business papers for the next Committee meeting and considered/adopted by the Committee at that meeting.


(24) 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 Committee

(25) The University Secretary and/or nominee will act as secretary and provide administrative support to the Committee.

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Section 7 - Definitions and interpretation


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

  1. Current Employee means a person who is at the time an Employee;
  2. Current Student means a person who is at the time a Student and who is enrolled in one or more units;
  3. Employee means a person who is employed by the University on a continuing, fixed term, casual, contract or other basis;
  4. Lay means a person who is not a Current Employee or Current Student;
  5. Senior Executive means the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer;
  6. Student means a person who has been accepted into a course at the University and is entitled to enroll in units for the purposes of that course; and
  7. UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW).


(27) This document should be interpreted using the following principles:

  1. Where Committee membership is defined by reference to an office held (for example "Chair of Finance Committee"), 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.
  2. This document does not override or otherwise affect:
    1. the UNE Delegations Framework Rule; or
    2. the Vice-Chancellor Functions Rule;
however it operates as a delegation of certain authorities that have been retained by Council.