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Faculty boards

Faculties

Introduction, Roles and Responsibilities of Faculty Boards

Faculty Boards were established on 1 January 2015 following approval by Council and Senate in 2014. They have been constituted to improve academic governance of the University and complement the executive role and powers of the Deans of Faculties and heads of academic departments. Faculty Boards provide oversight of academic and related matters through their broader membership which includes, inter alia, elected academic members and student representation. Although they are not formal decision-making bodies their purpose is to: 

  1. Provide a formal forum for discussing issues that run across the group of disciplines
  2. Facilitate efficient decision making by reporting issues as necessary to Teaching Committee, Research Committee, University Executive Board and Senate
  3. Improve lines of communication within and across Faculties, to and from departments and to and from University governance committees.
  4. Ensure better coordination of inter-disciplinary activities
  5. Establish more effective means of implementing University-wide strategies and initiatives
  6. Engender a stronger sense of common purpose across the discipline groups

Terms of Reference

Faculty Boards: 

  • Act as a forum for discussing University-wide strategies
  • Act as a forum for considering information and data relating to the performance of the faculty and its constituent departments
  • Discuss inter-disciplinary initiatives
  • Consider the implications of the University’s research strategy for the discipline group
  • Consider the implications of the University’s learning and teaching strategy for the discipline group
  • Raise matters with Senate, sub-committees of Senate (in particular, Teaching Committee, Research Committee and Planning Committee) and University Executive Board
  • At their own discretion, the Faculty Boards may set up sub-groups to address specific issues.

Governance

The Faculty Boards meet once a term and report to Senate. Their decision-making powers and terms of reference are reviewed periodically as part of the wider Senate Effectiveness Review.

The Faculty Boards receive minutes, extracts of minutes and/or reports from the relevant Boards of Studies and Departmental Research Committees.

The Faculty Boards may be asked to nominate representatives to serve on relevant University bodies such as Planning Committee.

Submission of Items to Faculty Boards

In all cases, issues for submission to Faculty Boards must be provided in accordance with the call for items for Faculty Board agendas and in the form of papers, and would not be accepted if submitted after dissemination of the agendas nor if submitted directly at the Faculty Board meetings.

It would remain for the Deans, along with their Support Groups, to triage all items, including those submitted by elected staff representatives, in order to determine Faculty Board business and to identify where issues may be better handled by other University committees/groups.

Faculty Board Membership

Each Faculty Board will comprise the following members:

  • Dean of Faculty
  • Heads of Departments within the Faculty
  • 1 member of academic staff as a representative of each of the other Faculty Boards, selected by those Faculty Boards.
  • Members of academic staff elected from the Academic Research and Teaching (ART) staff group within the Faculty as follows:
    • Faculty of Arts and Humanities – 4 members
    • Faculty of Sciences – 6 members
    • Faculty of Social Sciences – 4 members
  • An undergraduate student representative elected from the undergraduates within the Faculty
  • A postgraduate student representative elected from the postgraduates within the Faculty

Additionally each Faculty Board may have a number of professional support staff and students who may be in attendance at Faculty Board meetings, such as:

  • Faculty Operations Manager
  • Faculty Planning Officer(s)
  • Faculty HR Partner
  • Faculty Lead Management Accountant
  • The YUSU Academic Officer
  • Others as agreed by the Faculty Board
  • A representative of the Faculty Administrative Support Staff selected from among the Departmental Managers/Departmental Administrators of the Faculty.

There will also be representatives specific to individual Faculty Boards who may also be in attendance, such as:

  • Arts and Humanities Faculty Board: 
    • The Director of the Humanities Research Centre
  • Sciences Faculty Board: 
    • A representative of the Faculty Technical Support Staff selected from among the Departmental Technical Managers of the Faculty.
  • Social Sciences Faculty Board: 
    • The Director of the Research Centres for Social Sciences.

 

Elected Staff and Student Representatives

Elected Representatives

The purpose of elected staff and student representatives is to enable Faculty Boards to receive and disseminate information more widely from and to staff and students, in so doing broaden communication and engagement with Faculty Boards. Staff and students are encouraged to discuss issues with staff and student representatives, mindful of the appropriateness of raising issues with departmental and student committees in the first instance, in order for Faculty Boards to be aware and respond to Faculty matters.

Elected Staff Representatives – Representation

Elected staff representatives may bring forward issues to Faculty Boards in the first instance in accordance with the formal Faculty Board submission routes. As such issues should be raised and recorded in the minutes (for further consideration at Faculty Board) at formally recognised departmental committees, such as DMT, BoS and DRC.

However, there might be issues that exist which, for a variety of reasons, might not follow the formal route but which might be of such import as necessitating Faculty Board discussions. In such instances elected staff representatives could ask for due discussion at one of the formal departmental committees (noted above) but, if this was not possible, could bring such issues to Faculty Boards, preferably jointly supported by two or more representatives.

Elected Student Representatives – Representation

Elected student representatives may bring forward issues to Faculty Boards in the first instance in accordance with formal Faculty Board submission routes. As such issues should be raised and recorded in the minutes (for further consideration at Faculty Board) at formally recognised departmental committees, such as DMT, BoS and DRC. Additionally, elected student representatives may raise issues at Staff/Student Liaison Committees (or equivalent), in order for issues to be discussed and then, if supported, to be submitted to an appropriate departmental committee for due discussion and/or for onward deliberation at Faculty Boards.

It is also expected that YUSU and GSA representatives would review issues across all Staff/Student Liaison Committees, establishing and identifying if common issues were being raised, and determining if such issues had been handled within existing departmental committees or whether wider discussion through Faculty Boards, or other University committees (such as the Student Experience committee) would assist. Where such instances occur the elected student representatives would submit official YUSU/GSA forms/papers for consideration at Faculty Boards.

As with elected staff representatives there might be issues that exist which, for a variety of reasons, might not follow the formal route but which might be of such import as necessitating Faculty Board discussions. In such instances elected student representatives could ask for due discussion at one of the formal departmental committees (noted above) but, if this was not possible, could bring such issues to Faculty Boards.

Elected Staff Representatives - Period of Office

The terms of office for elected staff members will be staggered in terms of different lengths of office, to allow for some continuity of membership in later years.

The length of service will be based on the election results as follows:

Faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences: Four elected members to serve for three years each.

Faculty of Sciences: Six elected members to serve for three years each.

Elected Student Representatives – Period of Office

The terms of office for elected student representatives will normally be for one academic year.

Elections for Staff and Student Representatives

There will be annual elections of staff and student representatives to replace those whose terms of office end. Details of the elections will be publicised separately.

Other related committees

Faculty Research Committee

Terms of Reference for Faculty Research Groups (FRGs)
Approved by URC June 2017

  1. To develop a strategic approach to research for the [Arts and Humanities/ Social Sciences/ Sciences] that aligns with the University Research Strategy.
  2. To act as a mechanism whereby departments and Faculties can feed into the development of research policy, prior to final approval by University Research Committee.
  3. To communicate University research policy and provide support for its implementation into departmental procedures.
  4. To develop, as appropriate, proposals in relation to research matters, for consideration by University Research Committee.
  5. To identify resourcing issues relating to research, for referral to the Faculty Executive Group and other University bodies as appropriate.
  6. To refer, as appropriate, issues for discussion across all departments to the Research Forum.
  7. To share good practice in supporting departmental research performance.
  8. To share good practice in the development, delivery and tracking of impact.
  9. To engage with the work of the York Graduate Research School [and with the Humanities Research Centre / and with ReCSS]
  10. To support and facilitate the engagement of the Research Champions and Research Themes with the interdisciplinary aspirations and ambitions of departments.

Formally reports to:

  • University Research Committee
  • Faculty Executive Group

Minutes also sent for information to:

  • Faculty Board

Membership

  • The Associate Dean (Research) (ex officio), Chair
  • The Faculty Dean (ex officio)
  • Departmental Research Committee Chairs, Faculty of [Arts and Humanities/ Social Sciences/ Sciences] (ex officio)

In attendance

  • The Research Development Manager for the Faculty (for the Sciences, this will be the Senior RDM)
  • The Faculty Research Impact Manager
  • The Faculty Research Manager/Senior Research Co-ordinator (where this post exists)