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Terms of Reference (Vice-Chancellor Approved) Academic Portfolio Executive Committee

This is not a current document. It has been repealed and is no longer in force.

Section 1 - Objective

(1) The Academic Portfolio Executive Committee (APEC) is a central management advisory committee of the University, with key objectives to:

  1. support, advise and make recommendations for action to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in regards to their governance and oversight responsibilities for UNE’s academic portfolio, including monitoring and reporting to the Vice-Chancellor & CEO matters including:
    1. academic quality, academic integrity, academic programs, knowledge creation and cultural engagement;
    2. student experience and outcomes, student wellbeing and support, and auctioning of systemic issues and complaints;
    3. qualitative and quantitative performance, risks and compliance related matters within academic portfolio operations including significant contracts and commercial activities, knowledge development, built and digital facility functions, academic program delivery;
  2. support the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and broader academic portfolio to contribute constructively to institutional level planning, projects and governance through innovation and continuous improvement, promotion and review of proposals and plans which consider UNE’s object, academic freedom, strategic priorities and needs of internal and external stakeholders; and
  3. support and provide input and advice to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and through them to the Senior Executive and Vice-Chancellor and CEO to enable effective institutional decision making on significant change and resource investment matters ensuring alignment to University strategic priorities, consideration of ethics, compliance, risk and other due diligence relating to UNE’s academic portfolio.
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Section 2 -  Membership

(2) The Academic Portfolio Executive Committee (APEC) membership shall comprise:

  1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
  2. Executive Principal, Brand Partnerships and Business Development
  3. Executive Principal, Education Futures
  4. Executive Principal, Student Experience
  5. Dean Faculty Medicine and Health
  6. Dean Faculty Humanities Arts Social Sciences and Education
  7. Dean Faculty Science Agriculture Business and Law
  8. PVC Indigenous or Director Oorala

(3) In attendance:

  1. Director, Education Quality
  2. Director, International
  3. Director, Office of Strategy and Management
  4. Director, Research or Director Strategic Research Partnerships

(4) By invitation:

  1. Senior Executive members or any person invited by the Chair.
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Section 3 - Terms of Reference

(5) The functions of the Academic Portfolio Executive Committee are as follows:

Advisory functions:

(6) Academic Programs:

  1. Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in relation to all UNE award and non-award courses including consistency with Course Design Framework and quality standards and accommodation of student cohorts including international students;
  2. Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in relation to the approval of new course initiatives and academic programs considering strategic alignment, commercial viability and internal capacity support and deliver;
  3. Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in relation to the approval of change plans for significant course proposals such as withdrawals or suspensions and/or implementation of place based and digital strategies;
  4. Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in relation to the approval of proposals (consistent with delegation) regarding faculty, course, school or third party arrangement establishment, amendment or changes.
Note: Initiatives and programs supported by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and or Vice-Chancellor and CEO as appropriate (consistent with delegations) are to be referred to Academic Board and relevant governance committees for approval.

(7) Institutional benchmarks and quality standards:

  1. Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor regarding establishment and UNE’s Institutional Benchmarks for assessing Academic Performance and Quality across all academic portfolio functions and indicators.
  2. Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor regarding matters and issues of quality, compliance, key risk relating to operations of the Academic portfolio and recommendations for action, including communications, changes of practice or policy and further reporting, review or escalation.
Note: Proposed changes or issues with Institutional benchmarks and quality standards matters will be reported by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or delegate to the Academic Board and Senior Executive and Vice-Chancellor and CEO for approval or monitoring as appropriate (consistent with delegations).

(8) Partnerships, commercial activities and innovation in practice:

  1. Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor regarding recommendations for the approval of new or disestablishment of existing partnerships, commercial activities or innovation pilot programs.
  2. Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor regarding recommendations to respond to risk, issues or significant resourcing commitments for partnerships, commercial activities and innovation programs.
Note: Proposed partnerships, commercial activities and innovations will be reported by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or delegate to the Academic Board and Senior Executive and Vice-Chancellor and CEO for approval or monitoring as appropriate (consistent with delegations and commercial activities guidelines).

Monitoring functions:

(9) Monitor overall portfolio

  1. Progress and implementation of plans and critical business as usual activities;
  2. Risk profile and compliance management
  3. Budget and resource management
  4. Performance against academic and operational performance benchmarks.

(10) Monitor academic workload and performance and implementation of programs and academic teams to support academic talent development, scholarship and success;

(11) Monitor contribution, welfare, resourcing and experience/efficacy of emeritus professors, adjunct appointments and volunteers within the academic portfolio;

(12) Monitor the competitive market positioning and resource management of UNE’s overall Course Profile including:

  1. Monitor enrolment trends and forecasts for all courses each trimester;
  2. Monitor UNE’s performance against Institutional Benchmarks;
  3. Monitor UNE’s implementation of key strategies including personalized student learning journeys, place based and digital+;
  4. Monitor UNE’s implementation of contemporary, knowledge-informed, fit-for-purpose curriculum;

(13) Monitor academic portfolio partner and commercial activity establishment and performance

(14) Monitor establishment and performance of external academic partner arrangements, and commercial activities considering at outset and at least annually thereafter:

  1. Business case and value proposition / benefits realization version for UNE;
  2. priority and adequacy of resourcing;
  3. structures and of ongoing relationship management, and
  4. adherence to institutional compliance obligations including academic compliance and matters including modern slavery, foreign relations, autonomous sanctions and foreign interference as relevant;

(15) Monitor sector learnings and developments as well as academic integrity issues, trends and emerging risks;

(16) Oversee and monitor the key activities funded by the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, reporting six monthly on performance and impact.

(17) Monitor Academic Transitions, Programs and Skills Programs including UNE Retention program.


(18)  The Committee will meet monthly. Flying minutes (or circular resolutions) may be used for urgent matters.

(19) A simple majority of the membership of the Committee will constitute a quorum.

(20) Members will be required to consider and disclose potential conflicts of interest and may be required on resolution by the Committee to absent themselves from specific discussions and or business papers.


(21) The Chair of the Academic Program Executive Portfolio Committee or nominated delegate will

  1. provide advice to the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive Officer regarding matters within the Committee’s terms of reference;
  2. refer proposals and reports for approval to the Vice-Chancellor & CEO and/or Vice-Chancellor’s Committee or to the Academic Board or Committees, as appropriate; and
  3. will provide a quarterly report of key matters considered and actioned by the Committee to the VC Committee.


(22) Course Profile – Management of the overall composition and profile of the universities course offerings to ensure overall TEQSA compliance, academic integrity, and control or treatment of risk. This includes management of course rules, learning objectives and outcomes, course organisation and design (including formative learning, assessments, WIL, learning support and staff expertise).

(23) Academic matters - All matters pertaining to learning, teaching and education services, programs and courses,including course and unit profile, academic quality and integrity, academic partnerships and collaborations, student retention and enrolment figures.

(24) Academic Portfolio Matters refers to the planning, resourcing and prioritising of the University’s academic programs and offerings, consideration of academic risk and compliance obligations and of academic integrity and quality. Note that academic quality matters are subject to review and/or approval via Academic Board and Committees.

(25) Academic partner arrangements – In the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (HESF Framework), a ‘third-party arrangement’ (TPA) is referred to as ‘delivery with other parties’. A TPA means an arrangement made by a registered provider with another party (in Australia or overseas) to deliver some or all of a higher education course that leads to the award of an Australian regulated higher education qualification.

(26) Academic Quality – is defined by TEQSA as a demonstration or verification that a desired level of quality of an academic activity has or is likely to be obtained or sustained. Academic activities in this context include teaching, learning, scholarship, research and research training for higher degree research students.

(27) International Course Profile – Management of the course offerings to international students.