Academic Electoral Assembly
Standing Orders of AEA: adopted by AEA on 23 February 2016 following approval by Senate.
1.1 The membership of the Academic Electoral Assembly shall be as follows:
- All members of the academic staff (except those members who are ex-officio members of the Senate) together with the Senior Tutor (or one Tutor of equivalent rank) from each of the Recognised Colleges or Licensed Halls of Residence.
- (Members of the academic staff shall be deemed to include all those members of the staff of the University performing academic or academic-related roles, normally taken to mean staff on Grade 7 or above.)
2.1 Notice of Ordinary meetings, together with the agenda paper, shall normally be published not later than the seventh day preceding that on which the Assembly is to meet.
2.2 Notice of Special and Extraordinary meetings, together with the agenda paper, shall normally be published not later than the fifth day preceding that on which the Assembly is to meet.
2.3 At Special meetings and Extraordinary meetings no business shall be taken which does not appear on the agenda paper.
2.4 Other meetings of the Academic Electoral Assembly shall also normally be open to all members of the academic staff. Closed meetings shall be held at the discretion of the Chair or when a simple majority of members present and voting at the meeting request that the meeting be closed. Whenever matters arise at an open meeting which require separate discussion and voting, the Chair shall direct that these take place after non-Academic Electoral Assembly members have left the meeting.
3.1 There shall be a quorum at any business meeting of the Academic Electoral Assembly if at least 25 members are present.
3.2 If a meeting of the Academic Electoral Assembly is inquorate, a ballot may be used to ascertain Academic Electoral Assembly opinion on items to which, in the opinion of the Chair, a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer can be applied.
3.3 If a meeting of the Academic Electoral Assembly is quorate at the start, the business transacted at the meeting shall be treated as if the meeting were quorate unless and until, on a challenge by a member present, the meeting is found to be inquorate.
4) Order of Business
4.1 Subject to the discretion of the Chair, the order of business at an Ordinary meeting shall be:
- Business arising out of the Minutes
- Any business required by the Statues, Regulations or Standing Orders
- Business, if any, remaining from the last meeting
- References and reports from the Senate or from any other Statutory Body
- Other items of business of which notice shall appear on the agenda paper
5) Notice of Motions
5.1 The full terms of motions to be placed upon the agenda paper must reach the University Secretary in writing not later than the eighth day before the day of the meeting.
6.1 Voting on motions shall be by a show of hands unless any member desires that a ballot be taken.
7) Amendment of Standing Orders
7.1 Any proposal for the amendment of the Standing Orders of the Assembly shall be submitted to the University Secretary, in writing, not later than the fourteenth day before the date of the meeting at which it is to be discussed. The approval of Senate is required before any change in these Standing Orders may be made.
8) Chair and Vice-Chair
8.1 Normally, a Chair and a Vice-Chair shall be elected when appropriate by members of the Standing Committee of the AEA at its first meeting in the Michaelmas Term from amongst the AEA members elected to Senate. Both the Chair and Vice-Chair shall serve for periods of three years subject to their continued membership of Senate as AEA elected members.
8.2 The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Assembly. In the absence of the Chair from any meeting of the Assembly, the Vice-Chair shall preside. In the absence of both the Chair and the Vice-Chair from any meeting of the Assembly, the members present shall elect a Chair of the meeting.
8.3 If a casual vacancy for the Chair or Vice-Chair is created during the academic year, a new Chair/Vice-Chair will be elected by members of the Standing Committee to serve for the remainder of the academic year and the full three-year period thereafter subject to their continued membership of Senate as AEA elected members.
9) Rules of Debate
9.1 Except as otherwise provided in the Standing Orders, the normally accepted rules of procedure for debate shall be accepted. In the event of any dispute the decision of the Chair shall be final.
10.1 The University Secretary, or a member of University staff nominated by him/her to act on his/her behalf, shall act as Secretary to the Academic Electoral Assembly and to any Committee or Sub-Committee which it may appoint.
11) Election of members to Senate
11.1 The method of election of members of the Academic Electoral Assembly to Senate shall be as follows:
11.2 The Academic Electoral Assembly shall elect a number of members equal to one-third of the ex-officio membership of the Senate, provided always that not more than half of the Academic Electoral Assembly members of Senate shall be professors or readers. One third of the Academic Electoral Assembly members of Senate shall be elected each year. (this Standing Order has been suspended by AEA Standing Committee and Senate October 2016, pending the outcome of the Senate Effectiveness Review recommendations on the membership of Senate)
11.3 Given Senate's responsibilities as the guardian of academic standards and a debating forum for matters of strategic academic importance, AEA members nominated for election to Senate would be expected to demonstrate the following:
- A commitment to attend and participate in meetings of Senate and the Standing Committee of the AEA normally twice a term.
- Sufficient relevant experience of teaching and/or research to be able to contribute effectively to discussions on academic policy at Senate. This experience should be derived from playing a significant and direct role in these activities at an appropriate level.
11.4 No later than the second Monday of Easter term, the AEA Secretary shall write to all members of the Academic Electoral Assembly, herein afterwards referred to as “the electors”, informing them that an election is due to take place and that nominations should be received no later than the fourth Monday of the Easter Term.
11.5 Any Academic Electoral Assembly member at the time of nomination may nominate as a candidate any person who will be a member of the Academic Electoral Assembly at the time the vacancy or vacancies in question arise. Nominations must be made with the consent of the person nominated and signed by the proposer and seconder who must, at the time of nomination, be members of the Academic Electoral Assembly. Nominations must be received by the AEA Secretary in writing (hard copy or pdf via e-mail) no later than the fourth Monday of the Easter Term.
11.6 The AEA Secretary shall send a voting paper (or electronic equivalent) to every elector before the fifth Friday of the Easter Term. A copy of the Standing Orders for the Academic Electoral Assembly shall be made available on the University website.
11.7 The voting paper (or electronic equivalent) shall contain a list of all properly nominated candidates together with the names of the proposers and seconders.
11.8 Electors shall be required to return their voting papers to the AEA Secretary or to have voted electronically not later than a date to be prescribed on the voting papers. This date shall not be less than seven days after the date of the invitation to vote.
11.9 The elections shall be conducted according to the Single Transferable Vote System.
11.10 Provided always that not more than half of the Academic Electoral Assembly members of Senate shall be professors or readers, the candidates first receiving the necessary number of votes shall be declared elected until the vacancies for members to serve for three years are filled. (this Standing Order has been suspended by AEA Standing Committee and Senate October 2016, pending the outcome of the Senate Effectiveness Review recommendations on the membership of Senate)
11.11 Provision shall be made for each candidate, or a representative appointed by him/her, to scrutinise the vote counting process if he/she so wishes.
11.12 The result of the election shall be communicated in writing to all candidates and to all proposers and seconders by the AEA Secretary and the names of the candidates elected shall be posted on the University website. Voting figures for individual candidates shall not be given but the total number of ballot papers returned shall be reported.
11.13 The full period of any election shall fall within term time.
11.14 Any casual vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the eligible candidate or candidates next receiving the necessary number of votes in in the most recently held election of Academic Electoral Assembly members of Senate. Candidates appointed as a result of a casual vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the term of the member they replace. Where there are multiple casual vacancies between elections the earlier appointed members shall always serve the longer of the remaining terms.
11.15 In the event of any circumstances arising which are not covered by the above provisions, the University Secretary shall bring the matter to the attention of the Senate.
12) The Standing Committee of the Academic Electoral Assembly
12.1 There shall be a Standing Committee of the Academic Electoral Assembly.
- The Committee shall consist of all AEA-elected members of Senate.
- Any member of the Standing Committee who ceases to be a member of the Academic Electoral Assembly shall cease to be a member of the Standing Committee from the date that his/her Academic Electoral Assembly membership terminates.
12.2 The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee of the Academic Electoral Assembly shall be the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Academic Electoral Assembly.
12.3 The functions of the Standing Committee shall be as follows:
- To consider items for inclusion on the agenda of meetings of the Academic Electoral Assembly and to prepare any documents or memoranda relating to such items.
- To consider any matters which may be drawn to the attention of the Committee by any member or members of the Academic Electoral Assembly and to decide whether such matters should be brought to the attention of the Assembly, with or without a recommendation from the Standing Committee. (This section shall in no way infringe the right of any member of the Academic Electoral Assembly to submit an item to the Secretary for inclusion on the agenda of the Academic Electoral Assembly at any time, nor shall it inhibit the right of the Chair or any member or members of the Standing Committee from taking such informal action as they may see fit in connection with any such matter.)
12.4 Normally, a meeting of the Standing Committee shall be held at least once per term.
12.5 The University Secretary, or a member of University staff nominated by him/her, shall act as Secretary to the Standing Committee.
13) Appointment of representatives to serve on outside bodies
13.1 In cases where the Academic Electoral Assembly is invited to appoint representatives to serve on outside bodies, such representatives shall be appointed by the Standing Committee.
14) Interpretation and Priority
14.1 These Standing Orders are intended to comply in all respects with any obligation falling upon the University under any Act of Parliament or any direction validly given to the University by the Higher Education Funding Council for England or its sponsor department, Business Innovation and Skills. These Standing Orders will be construed or applied insofar as they are consistent with such Act or direction.