Senate and its procedures

General Procedures

Chair

1.1 In the absence of the Vice-Chancellor and President, the Vice-President shall preside at meetings of the Senate; if both are absent from any meeting, or any part of it, a Chair for that meeting or for that part of the meeting shall be appointed by the members present.

Quorum

1.2 One-half of the total actual membership of the Senate, or the nearest whole number less than one-half of such number if the latter is not a multiple of two, shall constitute a quorum. In the absence of a quorum no business shall be transacted other than the adjournment of the meeting. At the adjourned meeting the business for which the original meeting was called may be completed in the absence of a quorum. The adjourned meeting shall be called by the Secretary to the Senate, and members given at least ten days' notice.

Secretary

1.3 The Secretary and Registrar, (or his/her nominee) shall normally act as Secretary to the Senate.

Meetings

1.4 Meetings of the Senate shall be called by the Vice-Chancellor and President or the Secretary to the Senate, and shall be held normally not fewer than four times in an academic session. Extraordinary meetings shall be held if requested in writing by at least one third of the members of the Senate.

Agenda

1.5 The Secretary to the Senate shall publish the agenda normally at least one week in advance of meetings.

Agenda Items

1.6 Any member of Senate may propose items for the agenda, and any member of the full-time teaching staff may propose items for the agenda to members of the Senate or to the Secretary to the Senate. Provided ten days' notice is given, all such proposed items must be included in the agenda, or be reported to the next meeting of the Senate. If the latter course is followed, the author of the item shall be given immediate notice in writing of the action taken, and s/he shall be informed of the reason.

Decision Taking

1.7 When a vote has to be taken, decision shall be by simple majority; if even voting occurs, the Chair shall have the casting vote.

Minutes

1.8 The Secretary to the Senate shall keep minutes of all meetings. Copies of these minutes, together with the associated agenda papers, shall be available to Members of the University in the Library, and through the University's web pages

Confidentiality

1.9 Members of the Senate shall observe the normal degree of confidentiality pertaining to the business of the committee.

Attendance

1.10 Members of Senate are expected to attend all meetings. Non-members may be admitted to meetings with observer status only, subject to the agreement of the Chair. Such guests of Senate may be required to leave if they cause a disturbance or if Senate so determines. A request to attend a meeting of Senate should be submitted to the Secretary at least 7 days before the meeting to which the request refers.

Closed matters

1.11 Papers and minutes containing information which is subject to freedom of information exemptions may be recorded as 'closed'. Papers and minutes recorded as 'closed' will not be made available externally to the University. 

The following matters shall normally be recorded as closed:

  1. matters pertaining to the commercial interests of the University or its partners.

Reserved Matters

1.12 The following matters, which are also subject to freedom of information exemption, shall be recorded as 'reserved'.  'Reserved' matters shall normally be confidential to members of the Senate but may be restricted to circulation to staff members only by the Chair;

  1. matters affecting a named individual, such as matters affecting the appointment, promotion, dismissal and personal affairs of individual members of staff, including the composition and work of selection committees;
  2. matters affecting the admission and academic assessment (excluding disciplinary matters brought before the Disciplinary Board) including the awarding of degrees to individual students, and the withdrawal on the grounds of academic failure of individual students;
  3. matters where release of information may endanger health and safety of individual(s);
  4. matters pertaining to the commercial interests of the University or its partners (for members only);
  5. other matters determined by the Chair.

1.13 During items of reserved business and such items of closed business as the Chair shall determine, all students (whether members or attending) and any other observers present, unless they are permitted to remain by the agreement of the Senate, shall withdraw from the meeting place and shall not return until the business is concluded.

1.14 The Secretary of the Senate may from time to time issue guidance on the format and content of papers and minutes for the Senate and its committees.

Election of academic staff to the Senate

1.15 Elections shall normally take place in the appropriate academic year before 30 June. The persons elected shall take office on the following 1 September.

1.16 Senate shall determine periodically the categories of elected seats and the number to be filled. Senate has determined that from March 2012 until further notice each School shall be eligible to elect to the Senate two representatives by, with and from all the academic staff as defined under Statutes (Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers and Lecturers) of the School.

1.17 The Secretary to the Senate shall ask for nominations at least four weeks before the date fixed by him or her for the election.

1.18 Nomination forms must carry the signatures to two members of the academic staff of the School eligible to vote in the election, and the written agreement of the nominee to serve on the Senate if elected in accordance with the conditions approved by Senate. 

1.19 The Secretary to Senate shall ensure that every member of the academic staff eligible to vote is notified of the election and the names of the candidates and is given the opportunity to vote.

1.20 The election shall be by ballot and by majority vote. In the case of a tie leading to an unclear decision, another election shall be held, the only candidates being those who received an equal number of votes.

1.21 The period of office shall normally be two years. Elected representatives shall be eligible for election for a further consecutive period of up to two years. An interval of at least one year must then occur before the member of staff may stand for election again.

1.22 Where a vacancy occurs (or is expected to occur), the vacancy shall be filled by the candidate with the next highest number of votes in the election at which the member retiring was elected. The new representative shall serve until the date of the next election. Where there is no such candidate or where the vacancy or vacancies would leave no elected representative for the School, an election shall be called by the Secretary to the Senate in accordance with this Regulation.

Standing Committees

1.23 The following committees are established by the Senate and shall report from time to time to the Senate. They shall have such authority to act on behalf of the Senate as their individual terms of reference indicate. The Vice-Chancellor is ex-officio a member of each Committee of Senate.

 

 

Learning and Teaching Committee (Quality and Standards Assurance)

Membership

  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Quality Affairs) (Chair)
  • Vice-Principal
  • Vice-Principal (Education and International)
  • One member of each School
  • One member of the Institute for the Environment
  • Director of the Graduate School
  • Head of Registry
  • Director of Academic Programme Development
  • Academic Director of IPLC
  • One student member nominated by the President of the Union of Brunel Students

Officer

Deputy Head of Registry or nominee

Terms of Reference

On behalf of Senate, and in the light of the University's Strategic Plan, and within such overall objectives as Senate may decide, to:

  1. Maintain an overview of, and report annually to Senate on, the management of quality, standards and learning opportunities relating to taught provision, including collaborative provision; and thereby to fulfil the responsibilities of the University in relation to this provision;
  2. Oversee arrangements for assuring the quality and standards of the taught provision, including collaborative provision, of the University;
  3. Approve institutional policies and procedures for the regulation of taught provision, including collaborative provision;
  4. Approve institutional policies in relation to annual monitoring and regulatory audit of taught provision, including collaborative provision, and to monitor and approve annually the outcomes of these processes;
  5. Approve institutional policies in relation to periodic Academic Programme Review (APR), including of collaborative provision; to set the schedule for APR and receive and approve the reports of APR events;
  6. Approve institutional policies in relation to programme approval and review, including of collaborative provision, and to review annually the operation of this process;
  7. Make recommendations to Senate on the development of other regulations, policies and procedures for the maintenance and enhancement of quality, standards and learning opportunities and to oversee their implementation;
  8. On behalf of Senate, ensure the embedding of equality and diversity into the management of quality and standards for the taught provision of the University;
  9. Report at least annually to Senate on the external examiner process for all taught provision and to make recommendations to Senate on policies in relation to the external examiner system;
  10. Review good practice and disseminate guidance in relation to the maintenance and enhancement of quality and standards for taught provision, including provision which is offered in collaboration;
  11. Maintain an overview of the University's academic provision relating to Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies and of developments in other institutions and external bodies; including the Quality Assurance Agency and its Quality Code for Higher Education; to identify and take appropriate action in relation to any matters relating to quality and standards arising from these.

 

Learning and Teaching Committee (Enhancement of Learning and Teaching)

Membership

  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Quality Affairs) (Chair)
  • Vice-Principal (Education and International)
  • One member of each School
  • One member of the Institute for the Environment
  • Director of Library Services (including Learning Technology Team)
  • Director of the Graduate School
  • Head of the Placement and Careers Centre
  • Director of Academic Programme Development
  • One representative of Brunel International
  • Head of Staff Development
  • One student member nominated by the President of the Union of Brunel Students

Officer

Deputy Head of Registry or their nominee

Terms of Reference

On behalf of Senate and in the light of the University's Strategic Plan, and with such overall objectives as Senate may decide, to:

  1. Make recommendations to Senate in relation to the enhancement of learning, teaching and learning opportunities, and on the development of related regulations, policies and procedures; to oversee the implementation of these;
  2. With reference to the institutional Learning and Teaching Strategy, ensure that the University is effectively taking deliberate steps at institutional level to improve the quality of learning opportunities and to promote and encourage a commitment to enhancement across the University;
  3. Advise Schools on the development of local learning and teaching enhancement plans within the context of the University's Learning and Teaching Strategy;
  4. On behalf of Senate, ensure the embedding of equality and diversity into the enhancement of teaching and learning opportunities for the taught provision of the University;
  5. Advise the Staff Development Strategy Group on issues relating to staff development and the enhancement of learning and teaching;
  6. Maintain an overview of developments in other institutions and external bodies, including the Quality Assurance Agency and its Quality Code for Higher Education, and to identify and take appropriate action in relation to any matters arising from these relating to enhancement;
  7. Review good practice and disseminate guidance in relation to learning, teaching and the student experience;
  8. Make an overview report at least annually to Senate on its activities.

 

Sub-Committee for Postgraduate Research Degrees

Membership

  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) (Chair to 14 October 2013)
  • Vice-Principal (Education and International) (Chair from 15 October 2013)
  • One member (normally the Deputy Head for Research, or equivalent) from each School
  • One member of the Institute for the Environment
  • One member from each Associated Institution
  • Director of the Graduate School
  • Representative of Libary Services
  • Three student members nominated by the President of the Union of Brunel Students and the Associated Institutions

Officer

Deputy Head of Registry or their nominee

Terms of Reference

In the light of the University's strategic plan, and with such overall objectives as Senate may decide, to:

  1. Maintain an overview of, and report annually to Senate, on the management of quality, standards and learning opportunities relating to research degree provision; and thereby to fulfil the responsibilities of the University in relation to this provision;
  2. Oversee arrangements for assuring the quality and standards of research degree provision;
  3. Approve institutional policies in relation to the annual monitoring of research degree provision, including of provision offered in collaboration and to monitor and approve annually the outcome from this process;
  4. Make recommendations to Senate on the development of other regulations, policies and procedures for the maintenance and enhancement of quality and standards, for research degree provision and, as directed by Learning and Teaching Committee, to oversee their implementation;
  5. On behalf of Senate, ensure the embedding of equality and diversity into the management of quality and standards of, and into the enhancement of, research degree provision of the University;
  6. Maintain an overview of developments in other institutions and external bodies, including the Quality Assurance Agency and its Quality Code for Higher Education, and to identify and take appropriate action in relation to any matters arising from these relating to research degrees;
  7. Review good practice and disseminate guidance in relation to research degree provision and the student experience.

 

 

Graduate School Board

Membership

Ex officio

  • Director of the Graduate School (Chair)
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Vice-Principal
  • Director of Brunel International
  • Director of External Relations

Nominated

  • One member of senior academic staff from each School
  • One member nominated by the President of the Union of Brunel Students

Officer

Deputy Head ofRegistry or their nominee

Terms of Reference

In the light of the University's mission and objectives and within such overall objectives as Senate may decide, the Graduate School Board shall:

  1. Working closely with the committees responsible for core strategies, keep under review, and advise Senate on, progress towards the University's strategic goals in relation to postgraduate provision;
  2. Maintain the standard of awards and the quality of programmes within the School, and any programmes offered by the School in collaboration with other bodies;
  3. Monitor effectiveness of postgraduate marketing, recruitment and admissions policies and practices;
  4. Working closely with Learning and Teaching Committee and Sub-Committee for Postgraduate Research Degrees, monitor the outcomes of postgraduate taught and research programmes across the University;
  5. Review matters of postgraduate student welfare and support across the University.

 

Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee

Membership

Ex-officio

  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), (Chair)
    Vice-Principal
  • Director of the Graduate School, or nominee
  • Director of RSDO

Nominated

  • Up to four leading researchers from the University’s academic community, nominated by the Heads of School in consultation with the Chair
  • Up to two members external to the University, with expertise in research and in generating funding for research (e.g., directors of research in industry, research agencies, etc):

Officer

Acting Director of Planning

Terms of Reference

Within such overall objectives as Senate may decide, and in the light of the University’s mission and objectives:

  1. Develop, review and revise the University’s Research Strategic Plan, in accordance with the University’s Strategic Plan, for approval by Senate;
  2. Report to Senate annually on the implementation of the above strategies;
  3. Within the context of the Research Strategic Plan, review and provide feedback on the research and knowledge transfer activity of the University including research and knowledge transfer plans from Schools; designated Collaborative Research Networks and Research Centres; research data management activity; the development of collaborative activity including the internationalisation of our research and strategic research partnerships; research funding; research development and support activity; corporate relationship management; business development and innovation;
  4. Allocate any resources made available to it for the support of research and knowledge transfer (e.g. BRIEF, Research Leave, Research Strategy posts);
  5. Advise on new opportunities which will bring into the University new resources for research and enhance the commercial potential of research e.g. through collaboration with industry and commerce, other HE institutions, government agencies, development and sale of intellectual property rights, as well as through new collaborations within the University.

 

Disciplinary Board

Membership

  • Vice-Principal (Chair)
  • Fourteen academic staff members of Senate, not being student members, of whom at least three shall be Professors or Heads of School
  • Up to six co-opted members, who will be former members of the Disciplinary Board, renewable annually
  • President of the Union of Brunel Students
  • Two student members of Senate

Officer

Clerk to the Disciplinary Board (from April 2013 onwards)
Secretary to the Disciplinary Board 

For new cases entering the investigation stage prior to April 2013

A disciplinary case will be heard by a Disciplinary Panel of three members, of whom one shall normally be a student.

Each Disciplinary Panel, as described in Senate Regulation 6.93, shall be chaired by an academic member of the Board appointed by the Chair of the Board in consultation with the Secretary.

Terms of Reference

See Senate Regulation 6: Academic Appeals and Disciplinary Matters

For new cases entering the investigation stage in or after April 2013

See Senate Regulation 6 (April 2013 onwards): Student Misconduct and Professional Suitability for the composition of panels and terms of reference of the Disciplinary Board.

 

 

Academic Appeals Committee

For new cases entering Internal Resolution prior to June 2013

Membership

  • Chair appointed by Senate from amongst its members
  • Ten members of the academic staff appointed by Senate

Officer

Deputy Head of Registry (Quality, Enhancement and Awards) or their nominee

Terms of Reference

See Senate Regulation 6: Academic Appeals and Disciplinary Matters

 

For new cases entering Internal Resolution in or after June 2013 onwards

Membership

  • Chair appointed by Senate from amongst its members
  • Sixteen members of the academic staff appointed by Senate, of whom not less than three shall be Professors or Heads of School

Officer

Clerk to the Academic Appeals Committee

Terms of Reference

See Senate Regulation 12 (June 2013 onwards): Academic Appeals


 

 

Committee for Academic Staff Promotion

Membership

  • The Vice-Principal (Chair)
  • The Pro-Vice-Chancellors
  • 4 Members of Senate, nominated by Senate

Officer

Director of Human Resources
HUman Resources Manager

Terms of Reference

  1. to determine and review criteria for the grading, probation and promotion of academic and research staff for approval by Senate;
  2. where appropriate, to advise Senate on matters relating to the appointment, appraisal and development to staff arising from the above;
  3. to consider proposals from Schools regarding promotion to Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor and their equivalents in research, and to recommend promotions to Council;
  4. to consider criteria for the award of discretionary and accelerated increments to academic staff reporting to Senate as necessary and reviewing the criteria for their award as appropriate
  5. to receive reports on the implementation of the criteria, in (iii) and above from Schools

 

The School Board

1.24 There shall be a School Board for each School of the University. The School Board is a sub-committee of Senate and shall meet and report to Senate regularly, according to the schedule published by Senate and additionally as deemed necessary by the Head of School or Senate.

Membership of the School Board

1.25 The members of the Board of each School shall be:

  1. the Vice-Chancellor and President (ex-officio);
  2. the Head of School (ex-officio), (Chair);
  3. the Director of the Graduate School (ex-officio) or his/her nominee;
  4. the Deputy Heads of School;
  5. the School Manager;
  6. not more than four members of the academic staff elected by and from the academic staff as defined under Statutes (Professors (not Heads), Readers, Senior Lecturers and Lecturers) of the School in accordance with approved procedures (see paragraph 1.32);
  7. not more than three members of the research staff of the School elected by and from the full- and part-time contract research staff (Professorial Research Fellows, Senior Research Fellows and Research Fellows) in the School, in accordance with approved procedures;
  8. not more than four undergraduate students elected by and from the enrolled undergraduate students registered in the School in accordance with approved procedures;
  9. not more than two postgraduate taught course student members elected by and from the postgraduate taught course students registered in the School in accordance with approved procedures;
  10. not more than two research student members elected by and from the research students registered in the School in accordance with approved procedures;
  11. such other staff, administrative, clerical and technical as may be elected to the Board, provided that Senate approves in respect of each School the number of persons who may be so elected, and the manner in which and the period for which, appointments shall be made;
  12. such other academic staff as may be appointed by the Board of the School provided that Senate approves in respect of each School the number of persons who may be so appointed and the period for which appointments shall be made.
  13. a non-voting representative appointed by the Director of Library Services.
  14. a non-voting representative appointed by the Director of the Computer Centre.
  15. each Board of School is advised to seek to appoint one or more representatives from staff in other Schools where appropriate, and to make provision for the regular attendance at meetings by members of the other support services.
  16. the members of the Board of the School elected under 1.25f, 1.25g and 1.25k shall hold office for a period of two years and shall be eligible for re-election, provided that no person shall be re-elected who has completed four consecutive years in office until a further period of one year has elapsed;
  17. the members of the Board of the School elected under 1.25h, 1.25i and 1.25j shall hold office for a period of one year and shall be eligible for re-election.

1.26 The Secretary to the School Board shall be appointed by the School Manager.

Quorum for the School Board

1.27 The quorum for the School Board, which must include the Chair or one Deputy Head, shall be one-third of the total actual membership of the Board, or the nearest whole number greater than one-third of such number.

1.28 In the absence of a quorum, no business shall be transacted other than the adjournment of the meeting. An adjourned meeting shall be called by the Secretary of the School Board giving members at least ten days' notice. At the adjourned meeting the business for which the original meeting was called may be completed in the absence of a quorum.

Chair

1.29 In the absence of the Head of School from any meeting, or any part of a meeting, an alternate designated by the Head shall take the Chair; if both are absent, one of the Deputy Heads present shall be appointed by those members present, and shall take the Chair.

Power and duties of the School Board

1.30 Subject to the Charter and Statutes, the School Board shall be responsible, under the authority of Senate, within the policies agreed by Senate and with due recognition of issues of equal opportunities and ethics, for organising and regulating the academic work within that School in teaching and learning, assessment and research, and in particular the Board shall,

  1. encourage developments in research and in learning and teaching within the School, and to ensure coherence of academic development, in accordance with the strategic objectives of the University;
  2. make recommendations to Senate concerning programme specifications and the arrangements for the teaching and assessment of courses and programmes of research study within the School, in consultation with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Graduate School where appropriate;
  3. maintain the standard of awards and the quality of the programmes within the School, and any programmes offered by the School in collaboration with other bodies;
  4. transact any other academic business pertaining to the School;
  5. consider any matter referred to it by Senate and/or Council;
  6. make recommendations to, and to declare opinions on any matter to, Senate.

1.31 The School Board shall, unless otherwise agreed by Senate, establish a subcommittee for the consideration of matters relating to undergraduate programmes and a comparable sub-committee for postgraduate programmes. The Board may transact any or all of its business through committees or other appropriate bodies which will be responsible to the School Board.

Electoral Procedures for Elections to the School Board

1.32 Election of academic staff (Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers and Lecturers) of the School under 1.25f and the election of other members under 1.25g and 1.25k shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. The election shall take place every other academic year before 30 June. The persons elected shall take office on the following 1 September.
  2. The election shall be by ballot.
  3. The School Manager shall ask for nominations four weeks before the date fixed by the School Manager for the election.
  4. Each nomination must carry the signature of two members of the staff of the School eligible to vote in the election, and the written agreement of the nominee to serve on the School Board if elected, in accordance with the conditions approved by Senate.
  5. Nominations must be handed to the School Manager at least two weeks before the date of the election.
  6. Election shall be by majority vote. In the case of a tie leading to an unclear decision, another election shall be held, the only candidates being those who received an equal number of votes. If the number of the electorate is such that a tie cannot be resolved in this manner, the Head of School shall have a casting vote.
  7. In the case of a member not being able to complete his or her period of office, the casual vacancy shall be filled by the candidate with the next highest number of votes in the election at which the member retiring was elected. If there is no such candidate a by-election shall be held at a time to be determined by the School Manager after consultation with the Head of School.

 

Revised October 2013

Page last updated: Thursday 14 August 2014