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University Committees

Senate Agenda Setting Committee

  • Standing Orders (below)
  • Membership
  • Minutes (below)

Standing Orders (Business Committee of Senate)

These Standing Orders should be read in conjunction with the General Committee section of Standing Orders available on the University's website.

1 Membership

1.1 Membership of the Agenda Setting Committee reflects the composition of Senate. Each broad category of Senate membership shall be represented upon the committee. Membership of the Agenda Setting Committee shall consist of:

1.2 Ex Officio:

The Vice-Chancellor, or in his absence, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor shall ensure communication and consultation with the rest of the Executive in identifying priorities for Senate, and shall work with the University Secretary to ensure this

1.3 By Nomination or Election:

    • One Head of Department from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
    • One Head of Department from the Faculty of Science
    • One Head of Department from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health
    • One Head of College
    • One co-opted member of Senate
    • One member of the Academic Electoral Assembly Standing Committee
    • One student representative from the student representative members of Senate

1.4 Non-executive members of the Agenda Setting Committee shall be appointed via nomination – and if required – election by all members of Senate.

1.5 At least two members of the committee (other than the Vice-Chancellor) must be of professorial rank.

1.6 The members of the committee shall elect a Chair and Vice-Chair from amongst their membership. The Chair and Vice-Chair shall not be the Vice-Chancellor.

1.7 While members of SASC are considered to be representative of the whole of Senate, it must also be recognised that they represent the 'community' of Senate from which they were nominated. Members of the committee shall establish appropriate mechanisms to enhance theur ability to represent the views of their 'community' of Senate to committee business and meetings.

2 Term of Office

2.1 Each member of the committee shall serve a fixed term of office:

2.2 Members shall serve a maximum of two consecutive terms, of no more than two years each (i.e. 4 years maximum length of service)

2.3 The Chair shall serve a three year period, and shall be co-opted onto Senate, should their term as a Senate member end before their term as Agenda Setting Committee Chair.

2.4 With the exception of the Chair in circumstances outlined in 2.3, members shall cease to be members of the Agenda Setting Committee once their term of office as a member of Senate expires.

3 Nominations and Elections

3.1 The processes for nominations and elections for membership shall be convened by the University Secretary (or their nominee).

3.2 When a vacancy or vacancies occur upon the committee, the University Secretary (or their nominee) shall invite members of Senate eligible for the vacancy or vacancies to nominate themselves for election by members of Senate. Only those members within a specific constituency of Senate may nominate themselves for a vacancy within that constituency.

3.3 If more nominations are received than vacancies, then the University Secretary (or their nominee) shall schedule an election. All members of Senate shall be eligible to vote in elections to the committee.

4 Invitation to Attend Meetings

4.1 The Committee may invite such members of the University to attend its meetings either in whole or in part as it deems appropriate for the effective conduct of its business.

5 Secretariat

5.1 The secretariat for the Agenda Setting Committee shall be provided by the University Secretary’s office. The University Secretary (or their nominee) shall attend meetings of the Agenda Setting Committee and provide assurance to Senate collectively regarding the effective operation of this committee. The University Secretary will liaise closely with the Chair of Senate, and the Chair of the committee to agree an appropriate range of business which may be both called to, and put to the committee as required.

6 Meetings

6.1 The Committee shall normally meet at least five times a year to support all meetings of Senate.

7 Terms of Reference

The Committee shall:

7.1 Plan and coordinate the business of Senate by supporting the University Secretary and the Chair of Senate in the development of a schedule of business for Senate;

7.2 Plan and co-ordinate the business of Senate by supporting the University Secretary and the Chair of Senate in the preparation of the agenda and papers for each meeting of Senate. The committee shall consider any potential agenda item received from any member of Senate;

7.3 Support cultural change by considering at each of its meetings the continuing operation of Senate Principles and Values;

7.4 Provide assurance to Senate regarding the operation of its agreed delegations, and ensure reporting is full, timely and transparent;

7.5 Identify any business which the Chair of Senate may wish to choose to be reserved from student representatives at full meetings of Senate;

7.6 Report to each meeting of Senate.

8 Ways of Working

The Agenda Setting Committee shall:

8.1 Meet approximately 2 weeks before each meeting of Senate to receive and review papers submitted for the next Senate meeting, and identify potential agenda items for subsequent Senate meetings;

8.2 Work closely with the other governance committees of the University, and committees of Senate to identify agenda items for inclusion upon the agenda of a future meeting of Senate;

8.3 Work closely with the University Secretary and the Chair of Senate to agree the Senate agenda, including reports and items within top level reports for listing and starring for discussion, and consider whether items should be designated as “standing items”, “principal items”, “items for approval”, or “items for information”;

8.4 Be informed about existing reporting cycles for Senate Committees in relation to requesting reports from Committees and PSS staff;

8.5 Advise report writers and attendees at Senate on key points that Senate members would welcome further detail or discussion upon at the meeting itself;

8.6 Prepare a report for submission to each meeting of Senate identifying proposed items of business for future meetings of Senate. An annual report shall also be developed by the committee for presentation to Senate;

8.7 Regularly and proactively consider the effectiveness of Senate’s procedures and working practices and make recommendations to Senate regarding the same.

9 Relationship of SASC to Senate

9.1 SASC is a sub-committee of Senate, and its purpose shall be to support Senate in fulfilling its responsibilities under University Statute 19 relating to the academic governance of the University;

9.2 SASC shall consider the papers and reports and recommendations being presented to Senate, and give assurance to Senate that they provide clear and adequate reporting of a committee’s performance of its delegated responsibilities and where necessary adequate information for Senate to discharge its own responsibilities. Substantive discussion of the content of reports and discussion and decision-making upon recommendations shall remain the preserve of Senate.

Further Information: john.marsh@durham.ac.uk

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