Meetings Protocols Policy

Document Number000229

1.      Interpretation

1.1.     Definitions

In this Policy, unless the context otherwise requires:

1.1.1 “Body” means any committee, board or similar group constituted either as a standing or ad hoc entity for the purpose of considering issues and making recommendations or decisions (as the case may be) with respect to any aspect of the University’s operations.

2.      Application

2.1.     These Protocols shall apply to all meetings conducted by bodies of the University, unless there is any inconsistency with the University of Newcastle Act 1989 or the University By-law, in which case the Act or By-law (as the case may be) shall prevail.

2.2.     The Chairperson of any meeting shall have the discretion to allow a departure from these Protocols where, in the Chairperson’s view, circumstances require it.

2.3.     Subject to the Act, the By-law, this Policy, any rule and any resolution of the Council, a University body may regulate its own proceedings and those of other bodies directly reporting to it.

3.      Notice of Meetings

3.1.     Notice of the time and place of a meeting and a copy of the business papers accompanied by supporting statements are to be posted or delivered by the secretary to each member of the body at least seven days prior to the meeting or, by agreement of the members, distributed by way of the University Web site.

3.2.     By a further notice, however, so posted or delivered not less than four days prior to the meeting, the secretary may advise of supplementary business to be put before the meeting.

3.3.     Nothing in this clause prevents the initiation of a matter for discussion or the moving of any motion, with the permission of the meeting as referred to in clause 4.1.2, notwithstanding that a provision of this clause has not been complied with.

3.4.     Proceedings of a meeting are to be taken to have been validly transacted notwithstanding the inadvertent failure by the secretary to comply with this clause in any respect or the non-receipt by any person of a notice or papers and statements.

4.      Business at Meetings

4.1.     A member of a body must not initiate any matter for discussion, or move any motion in respect of that matter, at a meeting of that body unless:

4.1.1.       notice in writing has been given to the secretary to the body, in the case of an ordinary meeting, not less than 14 days before the date of the meeting, and, in the case of a special meeting, not less than 10 days before the date of the meeting, that the matter will be so initiated or a motion moved in respect of that matter; or

4.1.2.       the meeting by resolution of a majority of the members present otherwise permits.

5.      Quorum

5.1.     Except as otherwise provided in this Policy or in the constitution of a body, at any meeting of a body, the nearest whole number above one half of the membership of the body for the time being constitutes a quorum.

6.      Conduct of Inquorate Meeting

6.1.     Subject to clause 6.2 below, if a uorum is not present within 20 minutes of the stated commencement time, the meeting shall lapse and the business on the Agenda shall be included in the Agenda for the next scheduled ordinary meeting.

6.2.     If, in the view of the Chairperson of the meeting, there is or are one or more urgent item(s) of business on the Agenda which cannot await the next scheduled ordinary meeting, the inquorate meeting shall deal only with those items and no others. The meeting shall not confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.

6.3.     The next quorate ordinary meeting of the relevant body shall confirm the minutes of the previous quorate ordinary meeting and ratify the actions of the previous inquorate meeting.

7.      Presiding Member

7.1.     The person presiding at any meeting of a body has a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, a second or casting vote.

7.2.     Where the presiding member declines to exercise a casting vote in the event of an equality of votes, the motion lapses.

8.      Meeting May be Adjourned

8.1.     A meeting of a body may be adjourned to a later time or date by decision of the meeting.

9.      Members who are Students Not to be Present or Participate during Certain Discussions

9.1.     A member of any body who is a candidate for a degree, diploma or certificate of the University:

9.1.1.       must not be present during any discussion or participate in any decision relating to such candidature; and

9.1.2.       except where the person is a member of the full-time academic staff, must not participate in any decision relating to the candidature of any other person for a degree, diploma or certificate which is either the same as or deemed by the Academic Senate to be a standing equivalent to or higher than that degree, diploma or certificate for which the member is a candidate.

9.2.     Except at meetings of the Council and its committees, a member elected by the students of the University must not be present during any discussion or participate in any decision with respect to the appointment, promotion or other matter relating to the personal position of any member of the staff of the University.

10.      Disclosure of Interests

10.1.   If at any meeting of a University body there is to be discussed any matter in which a member of that body has a direct personal or pecuniary interest or involvement then that member must immediately declare his or her interest or involvement.

10.2.   The body must thereupon determine whether or not that member may be present during any discussion or participate in any decision with respect to that matter.

11.      Acts and Proceedings

11.1.   No act or proceeding of a University body or of any person acting under the direction of such a body is invalidated or prejudiced by reason only of the fact that at the time of the act or proceeding there was a vacancy in the office of any member of that body.

11.2.   All acts and proceedings of any University body or of any person acting under the direction of such a body are, notwithstanding the subsequent discovery of any defect in the appointment or election of any member, or that any member was disqualified from acting as or incapable of being a member of the body, as valid as if the member had been duly appointed or elected and was qualified to act as or capable of being a member and has acted as a member of that body and as if that body had been properly and fully constituted.

12.      Resolution by Flying Minute

12.1.   Where in the opinion of the presiding member, a matter requires the urgent consideration of the body and no meeting is imminent, members may be consulted in writing by flying minute.

12.2.   A draft motion put before members by way of a flying minute shall become a resolution of the body as at the date set for return of responses, provided at least 70% of all members for the time being vote in favour of the motion.

12.3.   A resolution passed by way of a flying minute shall be reported to the next ordinary meeting of the body.

13.     Related documents

           Academic Senate Standing Orders

Approval AuthorityVice-Chancellor
Policy SponsorDeputy Vice-Chancellor Services
Policy OwnerAcademic Registrar
Policy ContactDeputy Academic Registrar, Governance and Academic Administration
Amendment History

Minor Amendment - addition of Academic Standing Orders to Related Documents, Governance and Policy 16 July 2010