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The University Council

Council frontpage banner

The University Council is the governing body of the University of Otago.

The Council is constituted and empowered according to legislation.

Council is chaired by the Chancellor, Mr John Ward, and comprises elected, appointed and co-opted members representing key stakeholders including alumni, students and staff.

Overview

The University was established by the University of Otago Ordinance of the Provincial Council in 1869, the University of Otago Amendment Act 1961 and the Education Act of 1989.

It is governed by a Council, which appoints the Vice-Chancellor, who is the chief executive and employer of all other staff.

The Council is constituted and empowered according to legislation. Council is chaired by the Chancellor, and comprises elected, appointed and co-opted members representing key stakeholders including alumni, students and staff.

Statutory role

Defining characteristics of universities in New Zealand, specified in the Education Act 1989, include that their teaching is primarily informed by research, they are repositories of knowledge and expertise, and they accept a role as critic and conscience of society.

University autonomy and academic freedom

The Education Act 1989 provides statutory recognition of, and protection for, the institutional autonomy of the University and the academic freedom of its staff and students. In accordance with the Act, the Council and the Vice-Chancellor have a duty to act to preserve and enhance university autonomy and academic freedom.

Governance documents

The governing documents of the University of Otago.