Governance

Standing orders of the Senate

Further information

Senate

Acts

Schedule of meetings

1. In accordance with the provisions of Statute 1;

  1. the Senate must schedule at least six ordinary meetings each year, the dates for which must be determined in the previous year.
  2. the Senate has power to adjourn a meeting to a date that is before the next scheduled meeting date.
  3. if the Chancellor is satisfied that there is insufficient business for an ordinary meeting of the Senate, the meeting may be cancelled.
  4. at least five days' notice of cancellation of the meeting must be given.

2. At its final meeting each year, the Senate must appoint an Executive Committee to deal with urgent and emergent matters prior to the first meeting of the Senate of the following year.

Receipt of correspondence/notice of motion

3. (1) Correspondence for consideration at a Senate meeting must be received ten days before the meeting.

(2) Correspondence received after this date may only be considered at the meeting concerned if, in the opinion of the Vice-Chancellor, it is urgent.

4. (1) All notices of motion must be in writing and duly signed, and must reach the Registrar ten days before the day of the meeting.

(2) A notice of motion may be given by one member on behalf of another member providing that it is signed and submitted within the time period specified above.

Back to top

Distribution of agendas

5. (1) The Registrar must provide each member of the Senate with a notice of all matters to be considered at a meeting.

(2) The notice must be delivered or transmitted at least five days before the day of the meeting, except in a case of special urgency, when two days' notice is sufficient.

Back to top

Format of agendas

6. The agendas for ordinary meetings of Senate must be divided into:

  1. Items for communication to be taken en bloc;
  2. Items for decision to be taken en bloc, provided that any recommendation from the Chancellor is accepted and no item is transferred to Part 3; and
  3. Items for discussion and decision.

7. (1) Any member may ask, either before or at the beginning of the meeting, that a Part 1 or 2 item be transferred to Part 3 of the agenda, and any such items are considered after the business in Part 3 has been completed unless the Chancellor determines that they may be dealt with earlier.

(2) The agendas for ordinary meetings include any or all the following, allocated appropriately to Part 1, 2 and 3, in an order to be determined by the Chancellor:

  1. amendment, confirmation and signature by the Chair of the minutes of the last meeting;
  2. matters arising out of the minutes;
  3. conferring of degrees, diplomas and certificates;
  4. report of the Vice-Chancellor and President;
  5. items from the Academic Board and Academic Council;
  6. reports of the Legislative Committee;
  7. reports of the Senate's Standing Committees;
  8. reports of ad hoc committees;
  9. business brought forward by officers of the University;
  10. notices of motion, adjourned business and other business raised by members.

8. (1) All reports of the Senate Standing Committees must separate items into 'Items for the Information of Senate' and 'Items for the Consideration by the Senate' (including items which contain recommendations to the Senate and items which are likely to require immediate discussion by the Senate).

(2) 'Items for the Information of Senate' from each Standing Committee's Report must be attached to Part 1 of the Senate agenda for Senate members' information, and 'Items for the Consideration by the Senate' must appear in Part 2 or Part 3 of the agenda.

(3) For items in Part 3 of the agenda, the Chair of the committee concerned, or in the absence of the Chair, the Deputy Chair or another member of the committee appointed by the Chancellor, must introduce each of the items for consideration by the Senate, and move any motions arising from formal recommendations to the Senate made by the Committee.

Back to top

Quorum

9. At any meeting of the Senate, eight members constitute a quorum.

10. In accordance with the provisions of Statute 1, if a quorum is not present within 15 minutes after the time appointed for a meeting, whether ordinary or special, all business which should have been transacted at the meeting must be either deferred until the next ordinary meeting, at which it must take precedence, or be dealt with by circulation in accordance with 45.

Back to top

Attendance

11. (1) Members are expected to attend as many meeting of the Senate as possible.

(2) Members must submit a formal apology to the Executive Officer if they will be unable to attend a meeting.

(3) Members must seek leave of absence from the Senate if they will be absent for more than three consecutive meetings.

(4) The Executive Officer must report formally to Senate if a member is absent for more than three consecutive meetings without Senate's approval of leave of absence, or if a member is absent for more than 50 per cent of the meetings held in any year.

12. Any interested person may attend Senate meetings for items of business taken in Open Senate, provided that they have notified the Executive Officer at least two University working days before the meeting and provided that there is seating capacity for them to do so.

Back to top

Electronic attendance

13. (1) Members are normally expected to be in physical attendance at meetings but in exceptional circumstances, when a member is not able to attend physically, and at the discretion of the Chancellor, members may participate in the meeting for specific items by electronic means.

(2) The Chancellor must acknowledge the arrival and departure of electronic attendees.

(3) Electronic attendance must be recorded as such in the minutes.

(4) The means of electronic communication to be used is at the discretion of the Chancellor.

(5) Except in exceptional circumstances, a member wishing to participate electronically at a meeting must submit their request to the Executive Officer at least two University working days before the meeting.

(6) Electronic attendees are expected to have read the agenda papers and to have access to suitable electronic means for receiving tabled documents.

Back to top

Chair

14. (1) In accordance with the provisions of Section 24 of the University of Western Australia Act, the Chancellor chairs all meetings of the Senate.

(2) During the Chancellor's absence, all the powers which are conferred on the Chancellor in these Standing Orders vest in the Pro-Chancellor.

(3) Should both the Chancellor and the Pro-Chancellor be absent from a meeting, such powers vest in the Chair elected by the members of the Senate present at the meeting.

Back to top

Conduct of business

15.Senate business is conducted in the following modes:

  1. Open Senate which may be attended by Senate members, the Registrar and/or University Secretary as Executive Officer, the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, other interested persons, subject to the provisions of 12;
  2. Closed Senate which may be attended only by Senate members, the Registrar and/or University Secretary as Executive Officer, the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and other officers of the University, by invitation of the Chancellor for particular items, whom Senate may need to consult for information.

16. If a decision is taken before or at the start of a meeting that some items of business will be dealt with in closed Senate, the Chair must ensure that the agenda is ordered accordingly.

17. At the discretion of the Chair, the Senate may move into closed session at any stage of a meeting.

18. If the Vice-Chancellor indicates that it is not possible to reply adequately at short notice to any incidental question raised by a member, the Vice-Chancellor may take such question on notice.

19. A member is not permitted to introduce for discussion at a meeting a subject which is not on the agenda for the meeting unless two-thirds of the members present agree to permit this.

20. At a special meeting (that is a meeting additional to those on the annual schedule) only the business specified in the agenda may be considered.

Back to top

Voting

21. (1) A question must be decided on the voices or by a show of hands, unless a ballot is requested by at least five members.

(2) If a question is to be decided by ballot, any member permitted to attend by electronic means in accordance with 13 may only vote if they have at their disposal a suitable mechanism, approved by the Chancellor, for casting their vote.

22. The Chair has a vote, and in the case of an equality of votes, a second or casting vote.

23. (1) Members may require the votes on any question to be recorded in detail in the minutes.

(2) Members may require also that their opposition to a motion which is carried, be recorded by name in the minutes.

Back to top

Rules of debate

24. (1) The business of Senate is normally conducted through informal discussion based on the principles set out in the Senate Code and at the discretion of the Chancellor.

(2) When Senate determines to apply formal rules of debate to an item of business, the rules set out in Clauses 25 to 38 must apply.

25. If the Chair wishes to take part in a debate, he or she may vacate the chair and ask any member to act as Chair.

26. Any member wishing to speak must signify this wish to the Chair.

27. When two or more members indicate that they wish to speak, the Chair must invite them to do so in the order in which, in his or her opinion, they first indicated their wish to speak.

28. A reply must be allowed to a member who has made a substantive motion, but not to any member who has moved an amendment.

29. No member may speak to any question after it has been put by the Chair and the show of hands or ballot has been taken on the matter.

30. In the absence of a member who has given notice of motion any member present may move such motion, provided he or she has the authority of the member who gave such notice.

31. A motion may be amended or withdrawn by the mover with the leave of the Senate.

32. A motion which has been brought forward as part of a committee report has precedence over any other motion on the issue under consideration and must be dealt with first.

33. A motion or amendment which is not seconded must not be discussed further, and must not be entered in the minutes.

34. When amendments have been proposed and defeated or withdrawn, the motion must be put as originally proposed.

35. A motion may be superseded either:

  1. by a motion 'that the Senate proceed to the next business'; or
  2. by the motion 'that the Senate now adjourn', either of which, if seconded, must be put immediately.

36. A debate may be closed by the motion 'that the question be now put', being proposed, seconded, and carried, which question must be put immediately without amendment or debate.

37. Unless previous notice has been given, a motion to rescind any decision of the Senate cannot be carried except by an absolute majority of the Senate.

38. (1) A member may at any time move that the strict order of debate be followed.

(2) The motion must be put to the vote without debate and if carried, no member without the permission of the Chair may speak more than once during a debate, except that–

  1. the mover of the original motion may reply; or
  2. if an amendment is defeated, a member may second a further amendment.

(3) A member who may have been misrepresented or misunderstood must be allowed to explain immediately before the mover replies.

(4) When an amendment becomes the question it must be open to discussion as though it were an original motion.

Back to top

Minutes

39. The proceedings of all Senate meetings must be minuted and the minutes retained.

40. The minutes of each meeting of the Senate must be circulated to members within a reasonable period following the meeting and confirmed or amended by resolution of the Senate at the following meeting.

Ad hoc committees

41. The Senate may refer any matter to an ad hoc committee set up for a specific purpose.

42 (1) Unless it is otherwise determined by the Senate, ad hoc committees must consist of five members, three of whom constitute a quorum.

(2) The Chancellor is an ex-officio member of all committees, and has the right, if he or she wishes, to act as Chair.

(3) If the Chancellor does not choose to act as Chair, the committee must elect a Chair.

43. The Chair has a vote, and in the case of an equality of votes, a second or casting vote.

Back to top

Operation of electronic equipment during meetings

44. (1) Except with the prior permission of the Chancellor, no member may operate electronic equipment, such as laptop computers or mobile phones or pagers, during a meeting of the Senate.

(2) The Chancellor must advise the Senate of any approvals which have been given under the statement above.

Electronic circulation of material between meetings

45. (1) The Chancellor may authorise the electronic circulation of materials for Senate decision between meetings, provided that:

  1. the Chancellor is satisfied that there is a clear reason for dealing with the materials before the next meeting;
  2. the materials contain a clear recommendation from the Chancellor on what decision should be taken; and
  3. members are given the option of requiring that the matter(s) concerned be deferred for discussion and decision at the next meeting; and other than in exceptional circumstances, members are given at least five clear University working days to lodge a request that the matter(s) concerned be deferred for discussion and decision at the next meeting.

(2) The electronic circulation of materials set out above must be in accordance with the Protocol for Electronic Circulation of Material to Senate approved by Senate Resolution 13/04.

Back to top

Issues not dealt with by standing orders

46. Should issues which are not dealt with in these Standing Orders arise, at any meeting of the Senate the decision of the Chair is final; but in all cases specifically provided for in the Standing Orders the then existing standing orders of the Legislative Council of Western Australia must be applied, as far as this is possible in relation to the proceeds of the Senate.

Suspension of standing orders

47. Any of these Standing Orders may be suspended for the time being, on motion made with or without notice provided that such motion has the concurrence of an absolute majority of all members of the Senate present at the time.

Back to top

Part A

Method of election: the Chancellor

Nomination process and review

1. (1) At least four months before the appointment of the current Chancellor expires, the Senate must appoint a Nominating Committee.

2. In the event that the current Chancellor does not complete his or her term of office for any reason, the Senate shall appoint a Nominating Committee as soon as possible after the office is vacated.

2. The Nominating Committee must comprise:

  1. (i) the current Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor as Chair, as appropriate depending on their availability and possible interest in the position; or
    (ii) if it is neither possible or appropriate to appoint the Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor to chair the committee, a Chair appointed by the Senate from its appointed or elected members, other than staff and student numbers.
  2. the Vice-Chancellor;
  3. the member elected by the Academic Board;
  4. one person elected by the Senate from the persons elected by Convocation to Senate;
  5. one of the members elected by the Guild of Undergraduates; and
  6. three external members elected by and from the Senate.

3. (1) The Nominating Committee must recommend to Senate whether to re-appoint the current Chancellor, if eligible and willing to be re-appointed, or to call for nominations as set out above.

(2) Subject to the outcome of (1), the Nominating Committee must–

  1. make a general call for nominations from the University community, allowing at least 15 University working days for response;
  2. identify potential nominee(s) for election;
  3. present its recommended nomination(s) to Senate; and
  4. provide the Senate with such other information as the Senate may request.

Decision process

4. The election of the Chancellor must be conducted by secret ballot at a meeting of the Senate but members who cannot be physically present at the meeting may attend and vote electronically in accordance with the electronic attendance policy set out in 13.

5. (1) (a)If there are one or two nominees, the decision must be made by a majority vote.

(b) If there are three or more nominees, the decision will be made by a preferential vote carried out in the manner prescribed in the appendix to the Regulations governing staff elections to Senate.

(2) In the event of a tie, the decision must be determined by lot.

Back to top

Part B

Method of election: the Pro-Chancellor

Nomination process

1. (1)At least four months before the term of office of the current Pro-Chancellor expires, the Senate must set a date for the election, at a Senate meeting, of one of its members as the Pro-Chancellor.

(2) In the event that the current Pro-Chancellor does not complete his or her term of office for any reason, the Senate must set a date for election, at a Senate meeting, as soon as possible after the office is vacated.

2. No later than 15 University working days before the election, the Secretary must call for nominations of current Senate members, proposed and seconded by Senate members, to be submitted no later than three University working days before the meeting at which the election is to be held, on the prescribed nomination form.

Decision process

3. The decision of the Senate must be made by secret ballot at a meeting of the Senate, but where possible arrangements must be made for members who cannot be present at the meeting to lodge a vote with the Secretary of Senate before the meeting.

4. (1)(a) If there are one or two nominees, the decision must be made by a majority vote.

(b) If there are three or more nominees, the decision must be made by a preferential vote carried out in the manner prescribed in the appendix to the Regulations governing staff elections to Senate.

(c) In the event of a tie, the election must be determined by lot.

Back to top

Part C

Method of election: co-opted members

Nomination process

1. At least four months before the term of office of the current co-opted member expires, the Chancellor's Committee must recommend to Senate whether to re-appoint the current co-optee, if eligible and willing to be re-appointed, or to initiate the election of a new co-optee through the process set out in 2 to 11.

2. A member wishing to nominate a person for co-option to the Senate in terms of Section 8.(1)(i) and 9.(1) of the University Act must notify the Registrar in writing by the closing date specified by the Registrar.

3. A nomination must be accompanied by biographical details of the nominee except in the case where the nominee has served previously on the Senate, together with the signed consent of the nominee.

4. Nominations received by the Registrar by the specified closing date must be submitted to the Chancellor's Committee for review.

Review process

5. The Chancellor's Committee must review the nominations received, develop further nominations as it thinks desirable, and submit to the Senate appropriate nominations.

6. In order to maintain the confidentiality of nominees, the Chancellor's Committee usually submits only one nomination to Senate.

Decision process

7. At the Senate meeting when this nomination is considered, Senate members must have the option to make alternative nominations from among those nominated by the closing date.

8. A decision must be made by ballot.

9. If there are one or two nominees, the decision must be made by a majority vote.

10. If there are three or more nominees, the decision will be made by preferential vote carried out in the manner prescribed in the Regulations governing staff elections to Senate.

11. In the events of a tie, the decision must be determined by lot.

Back to top