Academic Senate and its Committees

Academic Senate

Academic Senate Elections

  • Academic Senate Electoral Rules
  • Nominations have closed for Deputy Chair of Academic Senate . A/Prof Lee Moerman has been declared the Deputy Chair of Academic Senate for the term, 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019.
  • Nominations have closed for the Chair of Academic Senate Election. Professor Wilma Vialle has been declared the Chair of Academic Senate for a term of 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018. See the Notice of Election for the Chair of Academic Senate for further information.
  • Academic Senate members to other Committees - Nominations open on 9 June 2017. Nominations close on 5 July 2017 at 5pm. Click the  committee for the relevant nomination form: SCDC, UEC, UIC, Academic Professorial Promotion Committee.
  • Academic Senate Non-Faculty Academic Election (Election closed - Next election late 2017 or as advised)
  • Academic Senate Student Member Election (Election closed - Next election late 2016 or as advised)

Academic Senate Activities

Other Links


Terms of Reference


Academic Senate (Senate) plays an important role in the governance of the University by working in collaboration with the University Council (Council), the University Executive and the academic community.

Senate is the peak body for advising the Council and the Vice-Chancellor on academic matters and broad issues which affect and promote the academic excellence of the University. Its role encompasses policies, systems, services, structures and strategies that impact upon teaching and research, students and staff. Senate is a key forum for academic staff to discuss matters of interest including those relating to the broader governmental, political or market environment. It also serves as a conduit for disseminating key information throughout the University.  Issues or policies with substantial academic implications are to be referred to Senate for comment prior to consideration by Council. Senate represents the University Community in providing a forum for discussion regarding matters relating to the academic life of the University, namely teaching and learning, academic quality assurance, student experience, research and scholarship.

Academic Senate Values

Senate is committed to the following values which act as: a reference point for academic excellence; a catalyst for discussion and awareness; an aid to accountability; and an aid to informing the awareness and expectations of those who interact with Senate and its committees: 

·  fairness

·  independence

·  respect for individuals

·  diligence and efficiency

·  academic integrity

·  transparency

Terms of Reference

That Senate is the principal academic body of the University and has responsibility for advising the Council and the Vice-Chancellor.

The Senate shall:

  1. advise the Vice-Chancellor and Council on:
    • the academic objectives of the University and the actions to sustain and develop such objectives;
    •  the University’s Strategic Plan;
    • academic planning, review and consultation processes;
    • academic goals and priorities which have resource impacts;
    • significant changes in the academic organisation; 
    • policies and practices relating to the selection, development and promotion of academic staff;
    • policy on admission of students to the University and the establishment of scholarships and prizes;
    • the administration of academic policies and regulations.
  2. consider and report on any matter referred to it by the Council or the Vice-Chancellor, exercising such functions, responsibilities or authority as may be assigned or delegated to it from time to time by Council;
  3. make determinations on proposals for introduction of new or amended courses, or the deletion of existing courses;
  4. make recommendations on proposals for new or amended, university-wide policies relating to research, education, the student experience and administration of courses;
  5. request reports or statements from members of the Senior Executive, Executive Deans, University Directors, major University Committees and other relevant committees.
  6. receive the minutes of Senate’s Committees and from the UOW College Academic Board, and considers any matters arising from those minutes;
  7. refer matters for consideration and report to a Faculty or any other academic committee or unit, as appropriate;
  8. consider academic matters raised by any member of the University through a member of Senate;
  9. establish committees and management groups to consider, advise on and/or determine matters on which Senate may deliberate in accordance with these terms of reference; and
  10. report to Council annually on the extent to which the academic objectives have been achieved.

The following committees currently support the Senate:

  • University Education Committee
  • University Internationalisation Committee
  • University Research Committee
  • Student Awards Committee
  • Strategic Course Development Committee 


The Academic Senate consists of:

Chair of Academic Senate  1

Deputy Chair of Academic Senate  1

Ex Officio Members  

Vice-Chancellor  1

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)  1

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Strategy)  1

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)  1

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health Strategy)  1

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach)  1

Chief Administrative Officer  1

Executive Deans  5

Dean of Research  1

Executive Director of AIIM  1

University Librarian  1

Director, Student Services Division   1

General Manager, UOW College   1

Senior Manager, Woolyungah Indigenous Centre  1

Student Ombudsman  1

Associate Deans - Education, International, Research x 5  = 15 

Elected members

Faculty academic representative members 9 x 5  = 45

Non-faculty academic representative members  7

Undergraduate students  4

Postgraduate students  2

TOTAL  94 

Elected Members:

  • Elections for all members to Academic Senate are governed by the Academic Senate Electoral Rules (the Rules). The Rules provide a framework for managing elections for
    • Staff members;
    • Student members; and
    • the Chair of Academic Senate and the Deputy Chair.
  • Each Faculty has nine elected academic representative members. This does not include the ex officio members, such as the Executive Dean and the Associate Deans Education, International and Research.
  • There are seven elected, non-faculty, academic positions across the University to ensure academic staff working outside the faculties are represented on Senate.
  • As per the Rules, all elected non-student members of Academic Senate serve a two year term.
  • There are four students elected by and from the undergraduate students enrolled for a degree or diploma in the University.
  • There are two students elected by and from the postgraduate students enrolled for a degree or diploma in the University.
  • As per the Rules, student member terms are for one year.  

Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson

The Senate must elect every two years a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson from among the Professors and Associate Professors of the University. 


The quorum for any meeting of the Senate shall be 30 members for the time being of the Academic Senate.


  • The Senate shall meet up to six times a year.  In addition, special meetings may be called by the Vice-Chancellor, the Chairperson or by a petition supported by not less than one-third of its members.
  • Written notice of place and agenda of meetings shall be given to members at least seven days before each such meeting of the Senate; in addition, the agendas and minutes of meetings of the Senate shall be available to all members of the University.

·  By virtue of Clause 9 of the University of Wollongong By-law 2005, which provides that the Vice-Chancellor may preside at a meeting of any board, committee or faculty of the University, the Vice-Chancellor can elect to preside over meetings of the Academic Senate.

  • Members of the University who are not members of Senate may attend meetings of the Senate and shall be given the right to speak at the Senate with the leave of the Senate.
  • The Vice-Chancellor shall bring to the Council or its Committees those items of business from the proceedings of Senate which require consideration by the Council or its Committees.
  • The Chairperson of a Senate Committee may attend meetings of the Senate with full rights of audience and debate when items within the terms of reference of that committee are discussed.
  • The minutes of the meetings of Senate shall be forwarded to Council, for information.
  • Senate is committed to review its operations periodically being mindful of changing internal and external processes.  

Role of the Chairperson

  • To represent the Senate to the Senior Executive and the University Council.
  • To enquire into and inform Senate on academic issues whether emanating from within the University or externally, through government and other institutions, including the Chairs of Senates and Academic Boards.
  • To represent the Senate on University committees.
  • To chair the Senate and other Senate committees, as appropriate.  


Version approved by University Council: 17 June 2016.

Last reviewed: 15 November, 2017

Committee Dates

2018 Schedule of Committee Meetings (Draft)

The 2018 Schedule of Committee Meetings is currently under development. All approved and tentative dates advised to Governance have been updated on this schedule.

Please send any additions or changes to Governance.

2017 Schedule of Committee Meetings

This schedule includes meeting details for University Council and Council Committees, Academic Senate and its committees, as well as Faculty and other University Committees.

The 2017 Schedule of Committee Meetings is currently up to date. Any additions or changes should be sent to Governance.