Academic Unit Boards

In March 2020 University Council approved the establishment of an Academic Unit Board in each of the seven Academic Units.

Functions of the Academic Unit Board 
Terms of reference 
Nominations 
Nomination Process  
Nomination Form 
Ballot 
Summary of Key Dates
Further information

Functions of the Academic Unit Board

The Academic Unit Boards are sub-committees of Academic Board with responsibility for assisting the Executive Dean and Academic Unit Executive to develop, implement and review strategic initiatives in teaching, learning, research and research training of the Academic Units that align with and contribute to the achievement of the University’s strategic plan.

The Academic Unit Boards have been delegated responsibilities by Academic Board as regards specific University policies and procedures.

Terms of reference

Approved by Council - 24 March 2020

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

Purpose

The Academic Unit Board is a sub-committee of Academic Board and is responsible for assisting the Executive Dean and Academic Unit Executive to develop, implement and review strategic initiatives in teaching, learning, research and research training of the Academic Unit that align with and contribute to the achievement of the University's strategic plan.

The Academic Unit Board also has delegated responsibilities from Academic Board and specific policies and procedures of the University.

Functions

The functions of the Academic Unit Board are to:

1. Contribute to setting the teaching and research strategy and priorities of the Academic Unit that align with the University's strategic plan and which foster excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship and research in the Academic Unit.
2. Consider and provide advice to the Executive Dean regarding the academic and research activities including:

a. the quality of the Academic Unit's teaching and learning
b. innovations in teaching and learning
c. research activities in or associated with the Academic Unit
d. the quality of the Academic Unit's Higher Degree by Research programs
e. internationalisation strategies consistent with the University's strategic plan and objectives.

3. Support the University's curriculum innovation activity by:

a. monitoring the effective delivery of the Academic Unit's academic programs including the quality of the student experience, student retention and success

b. providing advice on the development of a suite of programs for the Academic Unit that is high quality, relevant, viable and meets the needs of students and stakeholders including industry and accrediting bodies.

4. Initiate and coordinate proposals for the development, approval, review, reaccreditation or withdrawal of academic programs and courses.

5. Establish staff and student forums for debate and consultation on University and Academic Unit matters as required to ensure effective staff and student consultation and input into the activities of the Academic Unit.

6. Undertake functions and responsibilities as delegated to it by Academic Board or its sub-committees, or as required under University policies and procedures, including but not limited to:

a. Oversight of the academic assessment processes for all Academic Unit programs and courses, including review and moderation of assessments and finalisation of results.

b. Review and manage student progress in Academic Unit programs.

c. Awarding of scholarships, prizes and other distinctions as appropriate.

d. Confirmation that all academic requirements for completion of an Academic Unit programs have been met.

e. Approval of program and course amendments as appropriate.

f. Approving any variations to the maximum amount of credit available in Academic Unit programs.

g. Monitoring academic integrity and risk at the Academic Unit level.

7. Consider matters referred to it by Academic Board, or its sub-committees, or other governance or management structure within the University.

Membership

  • Executive Dean (Chairperson)
  • General Manager
  • Dean of Research
  • Dean(s) of Programs
  • Representative Professorial Leads, Associate Deans and Program Directors
  • Up to 10 academic staff elected from among the continuing and fixed term contract academic staff of the Academic Unit (for a term of two years)
  • Two professional staff elected from among the continuing and fixed term contract professional staff of the Academic Unit (for a term of two years)
  • Two  student representatives elected from the Academic Unit's coursework programs (for a term of two years)
  • Two HDR students elected from the Academic Unit's HDR programs (for a term of two years)
  • Other members may be co-opted (non-voting) as required to assist the Board to fulfil its functions and responsibilities. These may include members of central units such as the Teaching Innovation Unit, Student and Academic Services and the Student Engagement Unit.

Meetings and Quorum

  1. The Board will meet at least four times per annum or more frequently as required.
  2. The quorum will be one half of the membership of the Board plus one further member.
  3. The Executive Dean will have the casting vote when required.

Delegations

The Academic Unit Board may:

  1. Establish and approve the memberships and terms of reference of Academic Unit sub-committees and working parties to advise on matters within its terms of reference.
  2. Delegate functions and responsibilities of the Academic Unit Board as required under University policies and procedures to its sub-committees or to the Executive Dean or other senior officer of the Academic Unit.

Reporting

The Academic Unit Board will:

  1. Report to the Academic Board or through its sub-committees as required through the policy, procedural and governance requirements of the University.
  2. Report annually to Academic Board through the relevant Executive Dean on the teaching and learning, research and research training activities of the Academic Unit and its contribution to the achievement of strategic targets and corporate KPIs.
  3. Receive reports from its research and program advisory sub-committees and working parties.

Review

  1. The Academic Unit Board will review the effectiveness of its and its sub-committee activities every three years. The outcomes of this review will form part of that year's report to Academic Board.
  2. The Academic Unit Board may propose change(s) to these Terms of Reference by majority decision. The Executive Dean will recommend the proposed change(s) to Academic Board for consideration and approval.

Nominations

Nominations for the following positions on each Academic Unit Board will open on Tuesday 14 April 2020:

  • Up to 10 academic staff elected from among the continuing and fixed term contract academic staff for each Academic Unit (for a term of two years)
  • Two professional staff elected from among the continuing and fixed term contract professional staff for each Academic Unit (for a term of two years)
  • Two student representatives elected from the Academic Units’ coursework programs (for a term of two years)
  • Two HDR students elected from the Academic Units’ HDR programs (for a term of two years).

Nomination process

Eligible staff are encouraged to nominate for a position on the Academic Unit Board in which they work.

Eligible students are encouraged to nominate for the Academic Unit Board which delivers the Program in which they are enrolled. Students enrolled in a double degree based across more than one Academic Unit are eligible to only apply for the Academic Unit Board that is the home Academic Unit of the program. Students who are unsure to which Academic Unit they belong, should contact Campus Central.

Eligible HDR students are encouraged to nominate for the Academic Unit Board in the Academic Unit in which they are enrolled.

Nominations can be made by completing the online nomination form. The form will be available from 14 April 2020.

Platform Statement

You may include a brief platform statement in your nomination form which will be shared if there is a need to call an election for the position. 

In the event that there is a need to call an election for any position on an Academic Unit Board (due to the number of nominees exceeding the number of available positions), the Big Pulse online voting tool will be used. The name and platform statement provided by nominees will be published to those persons eligible to vote in each election category for each Academic Unit.

Only eligible staff and students from an Academic Unit will be able to vote in the election for others in their cohort (e.g. academic staff may only vote for academic staff nominees, etc.). Those who are eligible to vote for the nominees in a particular cohort, will receive a direct email link.

Online Nomination forms must be submitted by Tuesday 5 May 2020


Confirmation of Support

A person seeking to be nominated for a position must seek written confirmation of support for their nomination from:

  1. A nominator, and
  2. A seconder.

The nominator and seconder must be from the same Academic Unit as you, and from the same cohort, e.g. an academic staff member, a professional staff member, a student, or an HDR student.

If you are a student, both your nominator and seconder must be enrolled in a program in the same Academic Unit as you.

Your nominator and seconder may be contacted by a University Deputy Returning Officer to confirm their support for your nomination. In completing the nomination form, you should include for both the nominator and the seconder:

  • their name
  • their UniSA email address

You will need to contact your nominator and seconder to seek their support for your nomination.

Evidence of support should be sought by you emailing the proposed nominator and the proposed seconder (separately) and ask them to confirm their support in a reply to your email. The reply email must also be from their UniSA email account.

After you have submitted your online nomination form, you will need to send an email from your UniSA email address to elections@unisa.edu.au, attaching the two emails from your nominator and seconder confirming their support.

This must be done by Friday 8 May 2020.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the confirmation emails from your nominator and seconder are received in the election inbox by this date.

Nominations without the confirmation as described above will not proceed.

Nomination Form

Complete the following nomination form to nominate yourself for a position on your Academic Unit Board.

Please read the information above before completing the form.

Nominations have now closed.

Important Note: 
This form is not saved when you exit the page. If you start the form and exit without clicking 'submit', you will need to start a new form when you are ready to complete all details and click 'submit'.
Once your form has been submitted, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission. 
If you do not receive this email, please email elections@unisa.edu.au.

Ballot

In the event that a ballot is necessary ballot information will be circulated.

In this case, voting will close on  Friday 5 June 2020.

Summary of Key Dates

Nomination form available on website Tuesday 14 April 2020
Closing date for nomination forms to be submitted Tuesday 5 May 2020

Closing date for nominee to email confirmation of support from nominator and seconder

Friday 8 May 2020
Elections Open Monday 25 May 2020

Elections Close

Friday 5 June 2020

Results announced

Monday 8 June 2020

Further information

You will receive a confirmation email when your online nomination form has been received.

Should you have any queries about the nomination process, please email elections@unisa.edu.au

If you have any queries about Academic Units, visit: https://www.unisa.edu.au/about-unisa/academic-units/