|Approved by||Council, 1 December 2021|
|Date Statute Took Effect||1 January 2022|
|Last approved revision|
|Sponsor||Registrar and Secretary to the Council|
1.1 This is the Senate Statute 2021.
2.1 This Statute shall come into effect on 1 January 2022.
3. Senate established
3.1 The academic board established in pursuance of Schedule 11 Section 18 of the Education and Training Act 2020 shall be known as the Senate.
4. Composition of Senate
4.1 The Senate shall consist of the following persons:
- Ex officio members
- The Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, and the Registrar and Secretary to the Council.
- Deans presiding over an academic programme, Deans of Schools comprising more than one department, and the Dean of the Graduate Research School.
- From each of the Division of Humanities, Division of Commerce, Division of Sciences, and Division of Health Sciences: the Associate Dean (Academic), Associate Dean (Research), Associate Dean (Māori), and Associate Dean (Pacific), or their equivalents.
- The University’s representative on the Committee on University Academic Programmes.
- The Chief Operating Officer.
- The Directors (or Heads) of Distance Learning; the Higher Education Development Centre; International; Māori Development; Pacific Development; Strategy, Analytics and Reporting; and Student Experience.
- The University Librarian.
- The President, Academic Representative, and Postgraduate Students’ Representative of the Otago University Students’ Association, the Te Rōpū Māori Tumuaki, and the President of the University of Otago Pacific Islands Students' Association.
- Appointed members
- Up to six Heads of Departments from within the Division of Commerce, up to ten Heads of Departments from within the Division of Health Sciences, up to four Heads of Schools and up to three Heads of Programmes from within the Division of Humanities, and up to ten Heads of Departments from within the Division of Sciences, in each case appointed by their respective Pro-Vice-Chancellors. Four of the Heads of Departments from the Division of Health Sciences shall be appointed after consultation with the Deans of the University of Otago, Christchurch and University of Otago, Wellington and not more than two may be appointed from each.
- Three members of the academic staff appointed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Commerce, three members of the academic staff appointed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences, three members of the academic staff appointed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Humanities, and three members of the academic staff appointed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Sciences. Such staff members to be selected so as to promote equity and diversity in access to academic decision-making processes, including diversity of thought, gender, culture, disability status, and any other areas outlined in relevant University Frameworks.
- Elected members: Three members of the academic staff from within the Division of Commerce, six members of the academic staff from within the Division of Health Sciences, four members of the academic staff from within the Division of Humanities, and five members of the academic staff from within the Division of Sciences, in each case elected by the members of the academic staff from within their respective Divisions. One of the members of the academic staff elected from within the Division of Health Sciences shall be elected by members of the academic staff from within the University of Otago, Wellington, and one further member of the academic staff elected from within the Division of Health Sciences shall be elected by members of the academic staff from within the University of Otago, Christchurch.
- Co-opted members: Up to five co-opted members.
5. Term lengths
5.1. Ex officio members shall remain members only so long as they hold the offices by virtue of which they became members.
5.2. Appointed members shall hold office for such period not exceeding four years as specified at the time of appointment by the relevant Pro-Vice-Chancellor and are eligible for reappointment.
5.3. Elected members shall hold office for four years and are eligible for re-election. Any elected member who ceases to be a member of the body of staff whom they were elected to represent shall be deemed to have resigned from the Senate and a by election shall be held.
5.4. Co-opted members shall hold office for such period not exceeding four years as may in each case be determined by the Senate at the time of co-option. Co-opted members are eligible for reappointment.
6. Election procedures
6.1. The Secretary to the Senate, or nominee, shall be the Returning Officer for elections to the Senate of persons representing members of the academic staff from within a specified Division and shall arrange elections as needed.
6.2. For any election to the Senate of members of the academic staff from within a specified Division, the roll of electors comprise the names of each person who at the time of the election:
- is employed at the University in a position which:
- the Vice-Chancellor has determined forms part of the academic staff of the University; and
- the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the relevant Division has determined forms part of the academic staff of that Division and, should the election be among the academic staff from within the University of Otago, Wellington or the University of Otago, Christchurch, the relevant campus; and
- who holds that position on such terms, or who has held, or who is expected to hold, that position for such period as to qualify as a permanent member of the University’s staff.
6.3. Any person whose name is on a roll of electors as provided for under this Statute may stand for election for a position which is to be filled by a vote by the persons on that roll.
6.4. Candidates shall nominate themselves by writing to the Returning Officer in a form prescribed by the Returning Officer, and may include a personal statement to a maximum of 200 words with their nomination.
6.5. Information supplied by candidates will be distributed to those entitled to vote in a standard format prescribed by the Returning Officer who may edit, or require a candidate to revise, a candidate’s statement to meet that format.
6.6. Further election procedures and arrangements shall be determined by the Returning Officer in consultation with and to the satisfaction of the Vice-Chancellor.
7. Role of Senate
7.1. The Senate shall be the principal academic authority of the University and shall, subject to the powers reserved to the Council by Act of Parliament, take such measures and act in such a manner as shall appear to it best calculated to promote the academic work of the University both in teaching and research and for the regulation and superintendence of the education of the students of the University.
7.2. The Senate shall, in particular, advise the Council on courses of study and training, awards and other academic matters and the Council shall not make any decision or statute in respect of courses of study or training, awards or other academic matters unless it has requested the advice of the Senate and considered any such advice. Academic matters shall for the purpose of this Statute be deemed to include matters of an administrative nature which have academic implications for the University as a whole.
8. Transitional arrangements
8.1. The membership of the Senate established under the Senate Statute 2011 and in place at 31 December 2021 shall remain unchanged until 1 April 2022, when membership established under the Senate Statute 2022 shall come into effect.
8.2. Notwithstanding clause 5.3, the Senate may agree to shorter term lengths for some initially elected members in order to spread elections across years.
9.1. The Senate Statute 2011 is repealed with effect from the commencement of this Statute.