A guide to the Senate for new members A guide to the Senate for new members

A guide to the University of East Anglia Senate for new members

Contents

1. What is it?
2. How often does it meet?
3. Who are members?
4. What are my responsibilities as a member of Senate?
5. What does it do?

Section 1 – Senate

Senate is the University's most senior academic committee. It is chaired by the Vice Chancellor and has as members, the Pro Vice Chancellors, the Pro-Vice-Chancellors of Faculty, five representatives from each Faculty plus the Director of Student Services, Director of Information Services, an external representative and three student representatives. 

Its role and purpose are set out in the University's Charter and Ordinances and key extracts are included below.

Extract from the University Charter

The Senate
7.1 There shall be a Senate of the University which shall have the composition, powers and functions conferred on it in the Ordinances and which shall have, subject to any requirements of the Council, delegated authority from the Council for:
7.1.1 the oversight of the academic performance of the University (including responsibility for the assurance of academic standards) and
7.1.2 the regulation and supervision of the education and discipline of students.
7.2 The Vice-Chancellor shall be the Chair of Senate.

http://www.uea.ac.uk/calendar (Charter - See Section 3) 

Extract from the University Ordinances


ORDINANCE 3 – THE SENATE

This Ordinance was approved by Council on 24 January 2011 and supersedes any previous provisions of the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances which relate to the composition, terms of reference and operation of the Senate. This Ordinance was made under the provisions of clauses 16 (power to make Ordinances) and 7 (powers and functions of the Senate) of the Charter:
Terms of Reference
3. The Senate shall act always in the best interests of the University as a whole and within the strategies and financial plans approved by the Council. It shall:
3.1 regulate all teaching and courses of study offered by the University; 
3.2 regulate the admission of persons to courses of study;
3.3 regulate all University examinations and appoint examiners whether internal or external;
3.4 regulate the conditions qualifying for the award of degrees and other educational awards conferred by the University;
3.5. in the name of the University or jointly or in conjunction or collaboration with another institution or institutions award degrees and other educational awards to persons who have pursued a course of study approved by the Senate and who have passed examinations and other forms of assessment under conditions laid down in regulations, or are otherwise qualified to receive them;
3.6. grant honorary degrees, the title of emeritus professor or other University distinctions;
3.7 revoke any degree, educational award or other distinction conferred by the University where the holder has been subsequently found to be in breach of the requirements for conferment of the award, or whose actions render them unfit to be a member or graduate of the University;
3.8 regulate the use of academic dress in the University;
3.9 approve regulations for the conduct of students and disciplinary procedures and penalties relating to students;
3.10 ensure appropriate provision is made to promote the welfare of students;
3.11 nominate, where required to do so, persons to serve on Council;
3.12 determine the formalities which should attach to the conferment of degrees and other distinctions (subject to Ordinance 2);
3.13 review at least annually the academic performance (in teaching, research, enterprise and engagement) of the University and the standing of the University both nationally and internationally, judged against strategies approved by Council;
3.14 identify and advise the Executive Team on such actions as may be necessary or desirable to:
a) meet the aims and objectives of strategies approved by Council and generally to:
b) further raise the quality of the student experience and the achievements and potential of students of the University; and
c) further raise the performance of the University in terms of the quality and the reputation of its research; and
d) ensure that the extent of regulation and the administrative services which support teaching, research, enterprise and engagement, promote efficiency and coherence of operation across the University, and avoid unnecessary complexity;
3.15 make, add to, amend or revoke such regulations as are considered necessary relating to Senate's exercise of its powers and functions;
3.16 where requested appoint representatives to other bodies of an academic nature;
3.17 generally, exercise such powers as may be conferred on Senate by the Charter or Statutes;
3.18 meet at least three times per year.

Delegation and Chair's Action

4. The Senate may appoint such committees and other bodies consisting either wholly or partly of members of the Senate or otherwise as it may think fit. 

5. The Senate may delegate its powers and functions to:

• any of the committees or bodies it has appointed;
• the Chair, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Faculty or other officers of the University.

Chair's Action

6. In the case of business requiring urgent attention between meetings of Senate or a committee or other body appointed by Senate, the Chair of Senate or the Chair of such committee or other body as may be the case shall, when it is his or her opinion that it is not practical or proportionate to call a special meeting, have delegated authority to exercise the powers and functions of Senate or such committee or other body.

Standing Orders

7. The Senate shall approve such additional standing orders governing the conduct of its business which are not in conflict with this Ordinance as it considers to be necessary.


http://www.uea.ac.uk/calendar (Ordinance - See Section 3)

Section 2 - Senate meetings

Senate is required to meet at least three time per year with meetings each November, February and June. In 2017/18 the dates are as follows:

• Wednesday 8 November 2017, 2pm
• Wednesday 28 February 2018, 2pm
• Wednesday 6 June 2018, 2pm

Members should make every effort to attend all meetings.

As with all formal University committee papers the agenda and accompanying papers are distributed 5 working days ahead of each meeting. 

Section 3 – Senate Membership


The membership of Senate is as set out in the Ordinances:
Membership 

1. Senate membership

• The Vice-Chancellor
• The Pro-Vice-Chancellor Academic and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise (2)
• The Pro-Vice-Chancellors of Faculty (4)
• Four Heads of School (one from each Faculty)
• 16 academic representatives (4 from each Faculty) with one of the four from the professoriate and one at lecturer grade
• Director of Information Services
• The Director of Student Students
• Principal of City College Norwich
• Three representatives of the Union of UEA Students

2. The Senate will be the appointing body for all members other than ex officio members and will determine from time to time the method for receiving nominations for appointed members.

http://www.uea.ac.uk/calendar (Ordinance - See Section 3)

The official secretary to Senate is the Registrar and Secretary, Mr Brian Summers with responsibilities delegated to the Director of Learning and Teaching Services, Dr Andrea Blanchflower.
Other staff have permission to attend Senate, participate in discussions but not in decision making and are not members:

  • Academic Director of Taught Programmes 
  • Academic Director of Learning and Teaching Enhancement 
  • Academic Director of Research Degree Programmes 
  • Academic Director of Partnerships 
  • Academic Director of Enterprise 
  • Academic Director of Research 
  • Academic Director of Employability 
  • Academic Director of Widening Participation
  • Academic Director of Admissions
  • Academic Director of Internationalisation 


Full details of the membership of Senate for 2016/17 can be found on the Committee office website 
http://www.uea.ac.uk/committeeoffice/ueacombds/sen/senmem

Section 4 - What are your responsibilities as a member of Senate?


1) To make arrangements to attend all meetings. Membership is personal with members appointed by Senate having been nominated by Faculties, the Union of students, or due to their particular University post or office held. If you cannot attend a particular meeting please let the Secretary know and due to the appointment process substitutes are not permitted. 

2) To be familiar with the Ordinances and role of Senate and in particular the role Senate plays in improving the University's performance:

3.13 review at least annually the academic performance (in teaching, research, enterprise and engagement) of the University and the standing of the University both nationally and internationally, judged against strategies approved by Council;

3.14 identify and advise the Executive Team on such actions as may be necessary or desirable to:
a) meet the aims and objectives of strategies approved by Council and generally to:
b) further raise the quality of the student experience and the achievements and potential of students of the University; and
c) further raise the performance of the University in terms of the quality and the reputation of its research; and
d) ensure that the extent of regulation and the administrative services which support teaching, research, enterprise and engagement, promote efficiency and coherence of operation across the University, and avoid unnecessary complexity;

3) School, Faculty and Student representatives are encouraged to gather views and comments on agenda papers from their colleagues ahead of meetings to enable them to express an informed view, which ensures that there is effective engagement between Senate and the wider University community. While representatives may understandably promote the interests of their own constituencies in discussions, this will need to be balanced with the overall interests of the University and the effective delivery of University strategy in decision making. 

4) To assist in the dissemination of Senate's deliberations and decisions within your School and/or Faculty or Division or, in the case of student representatives, in the student body.

Section 5 – What does Senate do?

The terms of reference, as set out above, detail the purpose and function of Senate and the Standing Orders describe how business is conducted.
Unless the Vice-Chancellor shall otherwise direct, the order of business at an ordinary meeting shall normally be:

a) Minutes
b) Matters arising from the Minutes
c) Statements by the Vice-Chancellor
d) Matters for discussion by Senate under Section A
e) Matters for report to the Senate under Section B
f) Confidential and reserved business for Senate under Section C

Matters for discussion or report may come from several sources such as Council, the committees of Senate, the University's Executive Team, the Boards of Schools, the Assembly and members of the Senate including the student representatives. Business shall be arranged on the Agenda such that items for discussion will be presented under Section A and matters for report (not requiring discussion) will be presented under Section B. Each item and any accompanying paper will be clearly presented to the Senate with details of its origin, its status in terms of confidentiality, and the action required from the Senate.

The Standing Orders can be found on the Committee Offices' website
https://www.uea.ac.uk/committeeoffice/standingorderstermsofref/senate

Past agenda papers and minutes of previous meetings can be found on the Committee Office's website.
https://www.uea.ac.uk/committeeoffice/ueacombds/sen

Over the past couple of years business has been as follows:

Senate Meeting Typical Areas of Business
November Round up of prior years' league table performances
Admissions report, tariff, variances to target, future years targets
Student number count and retention figures 
Good Honours outcome
January This scheduled meeting was cancelled in 2013 and 2014 
February Admissions outlook 
Corporate Plan progress
Annual monitoring - OFFA
National Student Survey analysis and actions arising 
June University performance 
Employability 
Admissions predictions
Student experience survey outcomes
Honorary Degrees and Appointments recommendations 
Senate and Senate sub-committees membership
Report from LTC - including regulation changes for forthcoming year 
Report from Assembly 
Items arising at any meeting The Learning and Teaching Committee will report to every meeting with items requiring approval being brought forward for consideration in Section A or Section B of the agenda. 
Suspension of student(s)