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 Senate 

Terms of Reference

Objectives

On behalf of Council, the purpose of Senate is to hold ultimate oversight of University academic policy and regulatory matters, and in doing so to provide assurance to Council that academic governance is robust and effective for teaching and learning, the student experience, student life, research and knowledge exchange activities. Senate also advises on the academic implications of the University strategy, and champions the academic activities of the University. Senate can also express an opinion on any matter pertinent to the University.

Remit

The remit of Senate under the following core, agenda-aligned headings is:

2a) Strategic Development, Planning, Performance Monitoring and Resourcing: items for consideration and/or decision

2ai) To oversee and advise the Vice-Chancellor and President and Council on the academic implications of teaching, learning and students, research, knowledge exchange and partnerships matters, including initiatives stemming from the University Strategy.

2aii) To advise UEB and Council on, and review and monitor, the student academic experience and student life generally (eg, resources, support and engagement) through a range of internal and external evidence sources.

2b) Policy and Regulatory Matters

2bi) To approve academic and related University Ordinances and academic Regulations and Policies (which for good reason cannot be delegated to one of Senate’s committees), from student admission through to student continuation, progression, assessment and award, student discipline and misconduct.   

2bii) To receive and test assurance on the quality of the University’s academic assessment, standards and awards, the student academic experience and student life, and to onwardly provide such assurance to Council and other relevant bodies.  

2biii) To receive and test assurance on the effectiveness of academic risk management and academic governance, and to onwardly provide such assurance to Council and other relevant bodies.

2biv) To ratify the award and revocation of academic qualifications and academic honorary titles of the University. 

Authority

On behalf of Council, Senate is principally an advisory body to:

1) Council;

2) the Vice-Chancellor and President and other University leaders and

3) its own sub-committees in relation to aspects of University Strategy, policy and regulation within the scope of Senate’s terms of reference.

Senate is also the approving authority in relation to several important academic and related matters which cannot be delegated to one or more of its sub-committees, including the final ratification of awards granted and revoked, and academic honorary titles, and academic Ordinances of the University.

Further information will be set out in a Scheme of Delegated Approvals (SoDA) for Senate, its committees, and other key groups and role-holders.

Senate will establish sub-committees, as appropriate, to progress specific activities related to areas of its remit.

Senate has no direct budgetary control or financial decision-making authority.

Reporting & Frequency

Reporting to Council:

Senate reports to Council and is subject to the control and approval of Council under University Statute. It reports to Council:

  • Frequently: through summaries of the minutes of each of its termly meetings to the next Council meeting.
  • Annually: in areas of academic business subject to Senate consideration and review, which may take the form of annual report(s) or presentation(s).
  • Periodically: via other policies, reports, plans and progress updates which it reviews and/or recommends for Council approval, consideration or information within the business cycle and its terms of reference, whether required by external or internal regulation.

Reporting to the Committee:

  • The sub-committees of Senate are: Planning Committee (also reports to UEB), Academic Ethics and Compliance Committee, Research Committee, Special Cases Committee, Student Life Committee, Teaching Committee, HYMS Joint Senate Committee, International Committee, Faculty Boards. The above committees are empowered to establish their own sub-committees or boards on a standing or task-and-finish basis.

Meeting frequency: a minimum of three times per year, on a termly basis.

Meeting modes: Meetings to be held either in-person, online or via a hybrid format, subject to agreement by members.

Constitution & Membership

Senate comprises the following membership categories: ex officio, nominated Heads of Departments/Schools, elected academic staff and student representatives.  

Membership Review: membership will be periodically reviewed by Senate itself. While technically subject to approval of Council, Senate’s membership will be determined by the agreement of Senate and set out in an Ordinance of the University. Gender balance and wider EDI considerations should be factored into the Senate’s reflection on its own size and composition.

MEMBERSHIP

Ex Officio members

To be confirmed

Nominated members (Heads of Academic Departments/Schools and 3 academic members nominated by the staff equality networks)

Elected Academic Staff Membership (including 1 academic staff member from non-Faculty aligned units)

To be confirmed

Student Representatives

To be confirmed

In attendance

University Secretary, Secretary to Senate

Senior Governance and Assurance Officer, Assistant Secretary to Senate

Other academic and professional support staff presenting to and advising Senate

University Senate chair

  • Professor Charlie Jeffery
    Vice-Chancellor & President
    vc@york.ac.uk

Contacts

Meeting dates

2022/23

  • Tuesday 18 October 2022 (paper deadline 7 October 2022)
    2.15pm in Bowland Lecture Theatre, Berrick Saul Building
  • Tuesday 31 January 2023 (paper deadline 20 January 2023)
    2.15pm in Bowland Lecture Theatre, Berrick Saul Building
  • Tuesday 9 May 2023 (paper deadline 28 April 2023)
    2.15pm in Bowland Lecture Theatre, Berrick Saul Building
  • Tuesday 11 July 2023 (paper deadline 30 June 2023)
    2.15pm in Bowland Lecture Theatre, Berrick Saul Building

2023/24

  • Tuesday 17 October 2023 (paper deadline 6 October 2023)
    2.15pm in Bowland Lecture Theatre, Berrick Saul Building
  • Tuesday 25 January 2024 (paper deadline 12 January 2024)
    2.15pm in Bowland Lecture Theatre, Berrick Saul Building