Academic Unit Boards

 

Terms of reference

Approved by Academic Board - 24 September 2021

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.

The Academic Unit Board will be supported by an Executive Officer, appointed by the Executive Dean.

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.

Appointment of elected members

  1. The positions of elected staff representatives of the Academic Unit Board will be appointed in accordance with the University Elections Policy (C-30.1).

  2. Elections for the appointment of student representatives (whether coursework or HDR) of the Academic Unit Board will be held in accordance with the principles of the University Elections Policy (C-30.1) and will be managed by the University Returning Officer.

  3. Where a vacancy for a staff representative exists, and no nominations are received to fill the vacancy, the Executive Dean may nominate a staff member to be appointed to the vacant position.

  4. Where a vacancy for a student representative position exists and no nominations are received to fill the position, the Executive Dean may invite the Chief Executive, USASA (or their nominee) to nominate a student who will be offered the appointment.

  5. In the case of an elected student or elected staff representative vacating their position on the Academic Unit Board before the end of their term, the Executive Dean may:

    a. consider other nominees who were not successful in the election, if one was held for the departing representative, and make an appointment, OR
    b. nominate a staff member to be appointed, OR
    c. leave the position vacant for the remainder of the term and seek to fill the vacancy in the next annual election process.

Back to top

Back to Committees of Council