The recommendations relating to Academic Governance made in December 1999 largely concerned the conduct of Senate and Council business, and included the proposal that, as a second phase, a further review of governance of the Boards of the Faculties and of Collegiate Studies should be carried out. (This paper refers only to matters relating to Boards of the Faculties.) In particular, consideration needs to be given to the implications of the new Senate committee structure relating to Learning and Teaching and Research, the implications of the disbandment of the Graduate School and the creation of the posts of Directors of Learning and Teaching and Research in each Faculty.
As was the case with the review of the conduct of Senate and Council business, the proposals which follow relate to the overall structure of governance and to `best practice' in terms of procedures for the conduct of business, streamlining decision making and freeing up time for key business processes. They are also aimed at retaining sufficient flexibility at the operational level to allow different Faculties to retain their distinctive characteristics and respond to differing professional and other requirements.
Since 1996, when the opportunity for a significant rationalisation of the conduct of Faculty business arose from the creation of operational rather than discipline related administrative support, the following changes have occurred:
a) the standardisation of many procedures where differences had originated purely for historical reasons. This has allowed a concentration on `best practices' and has increased the level of consistency across the Faculties;
b) the introduction of further delegated powers for specific areas of business, such as the approval of examination results, to replace certain inefficient meetings and procedures and permit greater timeliness of action;
c) a move to more effective schedules of meetings for items of business which need to be handled by committees. Most Faculties now adopt a triple cycle of three Faculty Boards, with sub-committees feeding into these. This has reduced the overall number of meetings and has improved the flow of business and its timeliness, and
This second phase of the Academic Governance review needs to further this process and ensure that Faculty governance operates effectively alongside that of the Senate and the Council. At present there are no proposals to alter the powers or membership of the Senate itself or its statutory relationship with the Boards of the Faculties or the Council. In due course, in a second phase of the review of Corporate Governance, attention will need to be given to the current size and composition of Faculty representation on the Court.
It is proposed that such a review be carried out, initially in consultation with the Deans, with a view to Faculty Policy Committees considering the matter, making recommendations to the Boards of the Faculties in March and final approval being given by the Senate in either March or June 2000 with a view to implementation from the session 2000-01. In the meantime, it is expected that some transitional provisions will be needed in order to align the requirements of the first phase of the Academic Governance review which came into effect in January 2000 with existing practice in the Faculties.
(b) in accordance with Regulations made by the Senate review the progress of students registered in the Faculty and shall have the power in accordance with those Regulations to suspend or exclude any such student from further attendance at lectures classes and examinations in the Faculty or take such other action as may be prescribed by those Regulations.
(c) be responsible for programmes of study or research falling within the province of the Faculty and for the efficiency and quality of the teaching supervision and assessment of students registered in the Faculty.
(d) report to the Senate on Regulations as to programmes of study or research, examinations or other requirements for Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions and as to the award and tenure of Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes.
In essence, the role of the Board of the Faculty is that of a `guardian of quality' in respect of teaching and assessment. Whilst Faculty Boards do carry a statutory role in respect of research programmes of study and associated student matters, broader issues of research policy are covered by the remits of the Strategic Planning Committee, the new Senate Research Committee and the Research Strategy Group.
The current membership of the seven Boards of the Faculties, as prescribed by Regulations of the Council, is given in APPENDIX 1. Representation of the Graduate School is now otiose and it is suggested that consideration be given to including the new Directors of Learning and Teaching and of Research. The size and composition of the Boards may well be a matter for further review, in particular in respect of the number of departmental representatives and the balance between senior and less experienced staff. It is also suggested that, as is the case with the other Statutory bodies, provision be introduced for an alternate to attend in the event of a named student member being unable to be present who would be elected or nominated by the Union of Students' Co-ordinating Committee
Each Faculty appoints a Dean, a Statutory officer, whose day to day duties are, however, largely prescribed by custom and practice. The Deans and Deputy Deans also have an important non-statutory role owing to their position outwith the departmental structure, particularly through their participation in procedures for the recruitment and promotion of academic staff. In discharging those duties, each Dean is assisted by Deputy and Sub-Deans with particular areas of responsibility, with the latter normally carrying responsibility for either undergraduate affairs and postgraduate affairs. The current structure of decanal appointments is given in APPENDIX 2. The proposed structure of governance for research requires that each Faculty appoint a Sub-Dean to serve on the Graduate Research Development Sub-Committee of the Senate Research Committee and that each Faculty has a Graduate Research Committee chaired by that Sub-Dean, referred to as the "Sub-Dean for Research". Faculties which do not have a Sub-Dean whose remit would include such a task will need to give consideration to this, and it is important that the same individual serves on both these bodies. It is appreciated that Faculties may wish to retain the undergraduate/postgraduate distinction in respect of both Officers and committee structures, despite the separation of teaching (both undergraduate and postgraduate) from the research function centrally, and if so a means of ensuring that the two systems are aligned will require consideration.
The new Directors of Learning and Teaching and of Research, although mapped onto Faculties, are not Officers of the Faculty, but are appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, after consultation with the Deans, and will work closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellors with the Learning and Teaching and Research portfolios. Through their membership of the SPC and Senate Learning and Teaching Development Group and Research Strategy Group, they have an important role to play in developing institutional strategy and the means by which decisions on such matters are made through the Learning and Teaching and Research Committees and at Faculty level requires careful consideration. Consideration is needed in respect of the Directors being appointed to membership of Faculty Boards and Committees or Sub-Committees.
In order that individuals of the calibre required for all these positions is appropriate, consideration may need to be given to a mechanism of compensation to their home departments for the resource which is committed in relation to the requisite duties.
by delegating powers under Section 26.2 of the Statutes to Faculty Officers or committees, through Regulations of the Council. Action taken under these powers does not need to be reported to the Board. The powers currently delegated are listed in APPENDIX 3, and it should be noted that all but those powers under Section 15.1 (c) of the Statutes relating to the approval of new courses, have been so delegated.
Good corporate practice requires that a Faculty Board must retain some responsibility for collective decision-making, and decisions of the Board are clearly required when a committee identifies a point of principle on which a ruling is required, or submits a recommendation in an area of business for which powers have not been delegated. In practice committee recommendations are seldom overturned and the `discussions' which take place at the Board are often no more than reiterations of key points.
Since 1996 there have been a number of changes in the structure of Faculty Committees which were implemented with a view to limiting their proliferation and removing any unecessary bodies. A further analysis of Faculty business carried out by existing Committees (as constituted at Autumn 1998) and of other Faculty functions which are not handled by a committee (with the exception of Medicine) has been undertaken, the results of which are given in APPENDIX 4. Separate consideration has subsequently been given to the operation of Committees in the Faculty of Medicine, with its unique School structure.
New Academic Appeals Regulations and Procedures were approved by the Senate on 2 December 1998 with effect from 1 January 1999. These apply to undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students. Standardised Terms of Reference and membership of Academic Appeals Committees have been introduced in all Faculties as set out below.
In the case of an appeal by an undergraduate or taught postgraduate student: (i) the Dean or Deputy Dean, and (ii) Not less than two and not more than four members of the Faculty Board not from the Department/School of the appellant (in the Faculty of Law, members of the Board not responsible for the teaching of the appellant).
In the case of an appeal by a candidate for a Higher Degree by research: (i) the Dean, (ii) two other members of the Board, (iii) one member of the Board of the Faculty of Law, and (iv) one member of the Board of another Faculty.
1. To scrutinise and advise on the submission by departments of proposals for new courses and substantial amendments to existing courses leading to a University qualification, including details of any new modules/course units, and to make recommendations to the Board of the Faculty.
In some Faculties, the Faculty Officers meet as a formal Committee which is serviced by an administrator and requires agendas and minutes to be written. In other Faculties, the meetings are ad-hoc and informal, and in some, the Faculty Officers do not meet in this way, but include much of the business within the remit of larger bodies, such as the Policy Committee.
2. To review annually recommendations from Faculty Committees on changes in their membership, and nominations for Faculty representatives on University Committees, and to make recommendations to the Board of the Faculty.
that the Terms of Reference of the Faculty Officers' Groups in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and of the Executive Committee in the Faculties of Engineering and Pure Science be re-constituted as above.
To consider matters relating to postgraduate research degree programmes, recruitment of postgraduate research students and marketing of postgraduate research opportunities, research training and postgraduate research student progress, supervision and support, and to advise the Board of the Faculty and/or the Graduate Research Development Sub-Committee accordingly. Such matters may be referred by the Board of the Faculty, the Graduate Research Development Sub-Committee, the Research Councils and other sponsors of research students, or may be generated by the Committee itself.
Chairman1: The Sub-Dean with responsiblility for Postgraduate Research (ex officio) who shall also be the representative of the Faculty on the Graduate Research Development Sub-Committee
As indicated above, further consideration is needed to identification of those Officers or individuals who will fulfil the Chairman's function, given that the post of Sub-Dean for Postgraduate Research does not currently exist.
In the review of academic governance, a new overarching Information Services Committee was created, to which a Library User Group and CICS User Group would report. The existing Library, CICS and Television Committees, all of which were representative of the Faculties, have been disbanded. The new Information Services Committee, unlike its predecessor, the Information Technology Strategy Committee, will be representative of the Faculties. Representative membership of both User Groups will be broadly based on a matrix covering geographical location, academic discipline, staff category and the nature of the service being utilised. There will also be student representation. No provision was made for the continued existence of specialist Library or other information services committees at Faculty level..
However, it is recognised that the Faculties value the local fora afforded by their Library Committees for consideration of matters relating to the provision of Library services, even though in day to day terms the Library operates through a network of departmental library representatives. There may therefore be a case for a Faculty Library Committee to be retained as a formal body to deal with operational and policy matters in some Faculties. Faculty Library Committees essentially consist of departmental Library representatives, student members, and representatives of the Library staff and both staff and student members are usually also members of the Faculty Board. It is suggested that there are means of ensuring that Library matters are discussed at faculty level other than through a specialist Committee. For example, through the appointment of a library representative from each department as one of its representatives on the Board of the Faculty which would then become the forum in which any substantive debate on Library policy took place, although specialist library staff might need to be in attendance. That departmental library representative might also in practice be appointed as a person who is representative of departments within the faculty on the central Library User Group. However, it must be noted that the new Senate Information Services Committee structure and the Information Strategy which underpins its work operates on the basis of integrated information services, a policy which also underpins the proposal for the new Learning Resources Centre, and that library matters will no longer be considered separately. In this context what are effectively informal local user groups relating to computing services are already in existence in two geographic areas (see 7.1 below) and the need for a means of integrating the views of those who use the information services, whether they be library or computer-based at departmental level, and thus to mirror the new information services structure which has been introduced by the Senate in this respect, is stressed.
2. Where appropriate, to receive and comment on the reports of Committees and other bodies of the Faculty where policies are proposed, or to devise policy proposals on issues raised by those bodies, in the event that the reporting body has not so done.
4. To consider other matters as may be specifically referred to it by the Board of the Faculty or by a University Committee or Senior Officer. The Committee may also initiate studies of matters on its own account and advise the Board of the Faculty of its findings.
This is a proposed new forum for the consideration of teaching and course-related issues which do not fall within the Terms of Reference of the other sub-committees. If it is not delegated to an Officer, the remit of the Committee might include the annual review of Regulations relating to programmes of study operating in the Faculty.
To consider as necessary issues relating to improvements in teaching and course-related matters, such as assessment methods, examining procedures, and student progression, and to advise the Board of the Faculty accordingly.
that the Faculties introduce Teaching Affairs Committees with Terms of Reference as above, with consequential restructuring of the existing Teaching Affairs Committees in the Faculties of Architectural Studies and Social Sciences and of the Undergraduate and Graduate Affairs Committees in the Faculty of Engineering.
The terms of reference of these Committees are those recommended by the former Senate Teaching Committee. The main function of the Teaching Quality Committees is to conduct the annual review of teaching quality.
The responsibility for the consideration of, and response to, reports of Professional Accrediting bodies is a Departmental matter, not a Faculty function. Such reports need not, therefore, be considered any Faculty body unless they raise issues of a generic nature. The latter would often emerge from the annual Faculty review of teaching quality.
3. To consider and respond to any relevant issues arising from subject-based QAA Subject Reviews within the Faculty, in consultation with the individual Department(s) concerned and the Learning and Teaching Committee.
The St George's Computing and Information Technology Committee and the Faculty of Arts' Computer and IT Provision Committee are neither Faculty Committees nor sub-committees of the Senate Information Services Committee, but are local user groups. They receive administrative support from the Department of Corporate Information and Computing Services (see also above).
The Deans and Deputy Deans are involved with a range of operational staffing matters to provide a cross-departmental overview of academic standards, in particular through their participation in academic staff selection panels and the annual promotions exercise. However, these are specific duties involving direct liaison with the Personnel Department. The Board of the Faculty no longer has a Statutory role with respect to staffing matters, and so sub-committees of the Boards for staffing matters are now otiose and have been disbanded.
Faculty Staff-Student Committees are often poorly attended and largely rehearse discussions already held at Departmental level or in other Faculty Committees. However, it is essential to have a viable mechanism for electing student representatives to serve on Faculty Committees. These representatives also need co-ordinated advice on the effective exercising of their roles. Student representation on University Committees was considered by a Working Group of the Senate Teaching Committee and a new Code of Practice was issued in October 1999.
that Faculty Staff-Student/Student Committees be disbanded, and action taken, as agreed by the Working Group and Union of Students to establish a route for the election of student members to serve on Faculty Committees and to improve the overall effectiveness of student representation in all Faculties through the provision of focused guidance.
The procedures for the conduct of business, such as the structuring of agendas into three elements, Section A Starred items requiring discussion, Section B, unstarred items requiring approval and decisions, but on which no discussion is required unless a request is made that the item be starred, and Section C, items presented for information only, and the introduction of new methods of document delivery, including web-based methods, which were agreed by the Senate and Council in December 1999 should apply to the Boards of the Faculties and, where appropriate, their Committees.
This will address the current perceptions that a large volume of paper is printed and circulated to a large number of academic staff, most of which is approved without comment, and that attendance at Boards is often poor. Whilst no change to the current frequency of scheduled meetings is suggested, the use of a starring system whereby items are not automatically considered and the increasing use of electronic methods for the distribution of papers rather than printed versions is likely to lead to efficiency gains.
(c) Members of staff appointed by the Council from time to time as Heads or Acting Heads of the Departments of Archaeology and Prehistory, Biblical Studies, English Language and Linguistics, English Literature, French, Germanic Studies, Hispanic Studies, History, Music, Philosophy, Russian and Slavonic Studies or their nominees.
Representative Members of the Academic Staff and of the Teaching Staff in the Modern Languages Teaching Centre appointed by the Council on the nomination of the Senate and the Board of the Faculty on the recommendation of the Departments concerned.
(i) One representative from each Department in the Faculty of Arts with up to eight full-time academic staff members, two representatives from each Department with 9-15 full-time academic staff members and three representatives from each Department with more than 15 full-time academic staff members.
(h) The Director for Research or the Director for Graduate Student Affairs of the Biological Sciences, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Environment, and Medical and Health Sciences Divisions of the Graduate School*.
(f) The Chairmen of the following Faculty Committees (if not represented in (a) to (e) above): Medical and Dental Strategy Group, Higher Degrees, Library, Academic Promotions, Research, Dental School Board, Medical School Board, Nursing and Midwifery School Board, Health and Related Research School Board.
(j) Other members of the academic staff, nominated by the academic staff in the Schools of the Faculty, provided that their number shall at no time exceed two fifths of the total number of the members of the Board of the Faculty, of whom not less than two should be appointed from each of the following categories: the pre-clinical departments, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and Midwifery, the Dental School and the School of Health and Related Research.
(c) Members of staff appointed by the Council from time to time as Heads or Acting Heads of the Departments of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, Chemical and Process Engineering, Civil and Structural Engineering, Computer Science, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Engineering Materials, Mechanical Engineering, and Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering.
(d) The Professors (other than those holding Personal Chairs) in the Departments of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, Chemical and Process Engineering, Civil and Structural Engineering, Computer Science, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Engineering Materials, Mechanical Engineering, and Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering.
(c) Members of staff appointed by the Council from time to time as Heads or Acting Heads of the Division of Adult Continuing Education and the Departments of East Asian Studies, Economics, Educational Studies, Geography, History, Human Communication Sciences, Information Studies, Journalism Studies, Management, Politics, Psychology and Sociological Studies.
(c) The Professors, Readers and those members of staff appointed by the Council from time to time as Heads or Acting Heads of the School of Architecture and of the Departments of Town and Regional Planning, Landscape, and Civil and Structural Engineering.
3.The power to recommend to the Senate upon Regulations relating to programmes of study or research, examinations or other requirements for Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions and upon Regulations relating to fellowships, scholarships, prizes within the Faculty.
6.The power to recommend to the Senate upon Regulations relating to programmes of study or research, examinations or other requirements for Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions and upon Regulations relating to the award and tenure of Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes within the Faculty.
10.The power to recommend to the Senate upon Regulations relating to programmes of study or research, examinations or other requirements for Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions and upon Regulations relating to the award and tenure of Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes within the Faculty.
13.The power to recommend to the Senate upon Regulations relating to programmes of study or research, examinations or other requirements for Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions and upon Regulations relating to the award and tenure of Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes within the Faculty
16.The power to recommend to the Senate upon Regulations relating to programmes of study or research, examinations or other requirements for Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions and Regulations relating to fellowships, scholarships, prizes and other distinctions within the Faculty.
19.The power to recommend to the Senate upon Regulations relating to programmes of study or research, examinations or other requirements for Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions and upon Regulations relating to the award and tenure of Fellowships, Scholarships and Prizes within the Faculty.
20.The power, in accordance with Regulations made by the Senate, to review the progress of students registered in the Faculty and to suspend or exclude any such student from further attendance at lectures, classes and examinations in the Faculty or to take such other action as may be prescribed by those Regulations.