Academic Board

Terms of Reference

Approved by Council - 12 December 2023

These Terms of Reference establish the responsibilities of Academic Board within the governance structure of the University of South Australia.

1. Purpose

1.1    Academic Board is a Committee of the University Council and is responsible for advising the Council in relation to the development, implementation and review of University strategies in teaching, learning, research and research training.

1.2    Academic Board also has delegated responsibilities from the Council and arising from specific policies and procedures of the University.

2. Decision Making Principles 

In discharging its responsibilities, Academic Board applies the following principles to guide its proceedings and decision making:

a) Commitment to excellence

b) Integrity

c) Fairness

d) Consistency with the University’s values and autonomy

e) Accountability

f) Evidence based

g) Student centric

h) Collegiality and respect for diversity.

3. Primary Role and Functions 

3.1 To act as a forum for the debate of University-wide academic issues.

3.2 To foster excellence in the University’s academic activities.

Advisory Functions

3.3 To provide advice to Council regarding the University’s teaching, learning and research strategies.

3.4 To provide advice to Council concerning the establishment or disestablishment of key discipline areas or Academic Units.

3.5 To provide advice to the Vice Chancellor regarding the terms of reference of the Vice Chancellor’s Nominated Reviews and their outcomes.

3.6 To receive advice on academically related matters from University advisory bodies such as Yaitya Warra-itya.

3.7 To provide advice to Council, the Vice Chancellor and other committees as required.

Delegated Functions

3.8 To undertake functions and responsibilities as delegated to it by the University Council, or as required under University Policies and procedures, including those matters set out at 3.9 – 3.16 below.

3.9 To provide academic oversight of the quality of the University’s teaching, learning, research and research training by monitoring and benchmarking academic standards via the following mechanisms:

a) Annual monitoring and benchmarking of student recruitment, achievement and retention including by equity group and cohort;

b) Annual monitoring and benchmarking of student experience data;

c) Annual monitoring of the teaching and learning portfolio;

d) Annual monitoring of research training;

e) Annual monitoring and benchmarking of research quality and performance;

f) Annual monitoring of University academic initiatives.

3.10 To provide oversight of academic and research integrity, including monitoring of potential risks on an institution wide basis.

3.11 To receive and approve reports from the Academic Strategy Standards and Quality Committee in relation to course, program and teaching quality assurance and improvement processes and any recommendations that may arise from professional accreditation.

3.12 On recommendation from Academic Strategy Standards and Quality Committee to approve new programs, the phasing out of programs, major amendments to existing programs, program accreditation and program reaccreditation.

3.13 On recommendation from Academic Strategy Standards and Quality Committee and the Research Leadership Committee, to approve new academic policies and regulations or changes to existing ones.

3.14 To evaluate the efficacy of the University’s monitoring, review and improvement of academic activities.

3.15 To approve new prizes, awards and scholarships.

3.16 To establish sub-committees, working parties and Academic Unit Boards, and approve changes to their Terms of Reference and membership.

4. Academic Board Structure

Academic Board will comprise the following members:

4.1 Chairperson (elected by and from academic staff from the University)

4.2 Deputy Chairperson (elected by and from academic staff from the University)

4.3 The Vice Chancellor & President (ex officio)

4.4 The Provost & Chief Academic Officer (ex officio)

4.5 Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise (ex officio)

4.6 Chief Academic Services Officer (ex officio)

4.7 Pro Vice Chancellor: Aboriginal Leadership and Strategy (ex officio)

4.8 Pro Vice Chancellor: International (ex officio)

4.9 All Executive Deans (ex officio)

4.10 Chief Information Officer (ex officio)

4.11 Director: Teaching Innovation Unit (ex officio)

4.12 Director: Student and Academic Services (ex officio)

4.13 Director: Student Engagement Unit (ex officio)

4.14 Director: Research and Innovation Services (ex officio)

4.15 Chief of Staff: Office of the Vice Chancellor (ex officio)

4.16 Dean: Graduate Studies (ex officio)

4.17 Academic Director: UniSA Online (ex officio)

4.18 Fourteen academic staff members (two elected by and from the academic staff of each Academic Unit)

4.19 Five students (elected by and from the UniSA Student Association)

4.20 One professional staff member (elected by and from professional staff from the University at large)

4.21 One Academic Unit General Manager (elected by and from persons employed as Academic Unit General Managers)

4.22 One Director (elected by and from persons employed as Directors of University-recognised Research Institutes and Centres)

4.23 One Professor (elected by and from the Professoriate).

All Academic Board members will have one vote each.

Academic Board includes a non-voting Executive Officer.

5. Standing Arrangements 

5.1 A quorum is half the membership eligible to vote plus one.

5.2 The term of office for elected members is two years.

5.3 Each of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson will hold office for no more than three consecutive terms.

5.4 There will be a Standing Committee of Academic Board consisting of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and the Chairpersons of the Board’s major subcommittees (Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise), the Dean of Graduate Studies plus one other member appointed by and from the Board. The Board delegates to the Standing Committee the power to make decisions on urgent matters which require decision before the next scheduled meeting of the Board.

5.4.1 In cases where a decision is necessary before the next scheduled meeting of the Board, the Chairperson, may, at their discretion:

a. refer the matter to the Standing Committee for consideration (and subject to the agreement of all members of the Standing Committee) approval; or

b. refer the matter to the members of Academic Board, out of session, for consideration and (subject to agreement of a majority of the members) approval; or

c. determine that the matter is a minor matter, in which case the decision will be made by the Chairperson.

5.4.2 All decisions made in accordance with paragraph 5.4.1 must be reported by the Chairperson to the next meeting of the Board.

5.5 The Chairperson may in relation to relatively minor matters (as determined by the Chairperson) give executive approval to them and seek ratification of his or her decision at the following Academic Board meeting.

6. Reporting Relationships

6.1 Academic Board must report to University Council on each of its meetings through its Chairperson who is an ex officio member of Council.

6.2 The Board has the power to require reports from its sub-committees, Academic Units or any other committee of the Academic Board on academic matters.

7. Delegations

7.1 Academic Board may delegate as it thinks necessary certain of its functions to its sub-committees or working parties in accordance with section 3.16 of these Terms of Reference.

7.2 The Standing sub-committees under Academic Board are: Academic Strategy Standards and Quality Committee, Research Leadership Committee, Academic Unit Boards (although the nomenclature may change).

Approved by Council - 12 December 2023


Members of Academic Board - March 2024 (pdf)

Committees of Academic Board 

Academic Board Meeting Schedule , Agendas & Minutes 2024

Close of Papers Meeting Date Agenda Minutes
11 March 2024 22 March 2024    
13 May 2024 24 May 2024    
17 June 2024 28 June 2024    
15 July 2024 26 July 2024    
16 September 2024 27 September 2024    
14 October 2024 25 October 2024    
11 November 2024 22 November 2024    

Academic Board Meeting Schedule, Agendas & Minutes 2023

Close of Papers Meeting Date Agenda Minutes
13 February 2023 24 February 2023 Agenda 1/23 (pdf) Minutes 1/23 (pdf)
13 March 2023 24 March 2023 Agenda 2/23 (pdf) Minutes 2/23 (pdf)
15 May 2023 26 May 2023 Agenda 3/23 (pdf) Minutes 3/23 (pdf)
12 June 2023 23 June 2023 Agenda 4/23 (pdf) Minutes 4/23 (pdf)
17 July 2023 28 July 2023

Agenda 5/23 (pdf)

Minutes 5/23 (pdf)
11 September 2023 22 September 2023 Agenda 6/23 (pdf) Minutes 6/23 (pdf)
16 October 2023 27 October 2023 meeting cancelled  
13 November 2023 24 November 2023 Agenda 7/23 (pdf)  


Archive Academic Board Schedule, Agendas & Minutes

Close of Papers Meeting Date Agenda Minutes
14 February 2022 25 February 2022 Agenda 1/22 (pdf) Minutes 1/22 (pdf)
14 March 2022 25 March 2022 Agenda 2/22 (pdf) Minutes 2/22 (pdf)
16 May 2022 27 May 2022 Agenda 3/22 (pdf) Minutes 3/22 (pdf)
13 June 2022 24 June 2022 Agenda 4/22 (pdf) Minutes 4/22 (pdf)
11 July 2022 22 July 2022 Agenda 5/22 (pdf) Minutes 5/22 (pdf)
12 September 2022 23 September 2022 meeting cancelled  
17 October 2022 28 October 2022 Agenda 6/22 (pdf) Minutes 6/22 (pdf)
15 November 2022 25 November 2022 Agenda 7/22 (pdf) Minutes 7/22 (pdf)
Close of Papers Meeting Date Agenda Minutes
15 February 2021 26 February 2021 Agenda 1/21 (pdf) Minutes 1/21 (pdf)
15 March 2021 26 March 2021 Agenda 2/21 (pdf) Minutes 2/21 (pdf)
17 May 2021 28 May 2021 Agenda 3/21 (pdf) Minutes 3/21 (pdf)
14 June 2021 25 June 2021 Agenda 4/21 (pdf) Minutes 4/21 (pdf)
12 July 2021 23 July 2021 Agenda 5/21 (pdf) Minutes 5/21 (pdf)
13 September 2021 24 September 2021 Agenda 6/21 (pdf) Minutes 6/21 (pdf)
11 October 2021 22 October 2021 Agenda 7/21 (pdf) Minutes 7/21 (pdf)
15 November 2021 26 November 2021 Agenda 8/21 (pdf) Minutes 8/21 (pdf)

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