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Establishment, Amendment and Review of University Prizes and Scholarships Procedures

Category Administration and Management
Type Procedure
Approved by Council, 8 April 2014
Date Procedure Took Effect 9 April 2014
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise)
Responsible Officer Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards
Review Date 8 April 2016

Purpose

To make clear and consistent the processes for approving, amending, reviewing and disestablishing University prizes and scholarships.

The proposed procedures replace the existing “Guidelines for the Establishment of University Prizes”.

Organisational Scope

This procedure applies to all University-approved prizes and scholarships.

Definitions

Prize: An award made in recognition of previous performance, usually not based on future conditions such as enrolment in a particular qualification or paper.

Scholarship: An award made for the purpose of supporting future or current study.

Hosting Department: The department with which a particular prize or scholarship is associated.  This may not necessarily be an academic department, but will usually be the area that initiates the establishment of the prize or scholarship and/or the area that relates to the students who are eligible for the prize or scholarship.

Policy Content

  1. Responsibilities

    a)    The Doctoral and Scholarships Office is responsible for ensuring standardisation of prize and scholarship regulations, that such regulations comply with relevant University policies and statutes, and for the ongoing administration of established scholarships and prizes including general advertising as appropriate.

    b)    The Development and Alumni Relations Office is responsible for liaison with prize and scholarship donors, including during discussions on the establishment of a new prize or scholarship, the setting up of any associated trust funds and through ongoing stewardship once a prize or scholarship is established.  The Development and Alumni Relations Office is also responsible for ensuring that prize and scholarship donations are consistent with the University’s broader development and alumni relations strategies.

    c)    The hosting department is responsible for the initial drafting of regulations for new scholarships and prizes, ensuring regulations are updated in light of relevant changes to qualifications, papers or course structures, and specific advertising as appropriate.

    d)    Other responsibilities shall be as laid down in specific prize or scholarship regulations.

  2. Establishment of a New Prize or Scholarship

    It is expected that University prizes or scholarships will be offered in perpetuity.  Minimum values for new prizes and scholarships are stated in “Prize and Scholarship Minimum Values” below.  If perpetuity or minimum value requirements are not met, a special case will need to be made for the establishment of the prize or scholarship.

    The procedure for establishment of a new prize or scholarship is as follows. 

    a)    In considering establishment of a new prize or scholarship, the hosting department should first contact the Doctoral and Scholarships Office for initial advice and assistance.  If an external donor is involved, the Development and Alumni Relations Office must also be contacted.

    b)    The prize or scholarship regulations must be drafted to the satisfaction of the hosting department, the Doctoral and Scholarships Office and the donor.

    c)    The details for the prize or scholarship must be recorded on the appropriate proposal form, available from the Doctoral and Scholarships Office.

    d)    The completed proposal form must be signed by the appropriate Head of Department, Dean, or the equivalent head of the hosting department.

    e)    For scholarships or prizes associated with an Academic Division, the proposal form and associated documentation must then be submitted to the relevant Pro-Vice-Chancellor or Divisional Administrator for endorsement by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor or appropriate Divisional Board (approval practice may vary across Divisions).
     
    f)    For University-wide scholarships or prizes, the proposal form must be endorsed by the appropriate Deputy-Vice-Chancellor or the Vice-Chancellor. 

    g)    The completed documentation must be returned to the Doctoral and Scholarships Office, which will then arrange for final consideration and/or approval by Senate and Council.

    Proposals for new prizes or scholarships can be submitted at any time throughout the year.  It is noted however, that due to the timing of Council and Senate meetings, approval for proposals submitted late in the year may be delayed.

  3. Naming of a New Prize or Scholarship

    a)    The University allows prizes and scholarships to be named after sponsoring organisations and for the regulations of prizes and scholarships to acknowledge the donor, with the following provisos:

    i.    The University does not accept sponsorship from companies that produce or distribute alcohol, tobacco or munitions.

    ii.    The Senate and Council of the University may require amendments to, or reject, a proposal for a new prize or scholarship, where the naming or acknowledgement of a sponsor is deemed to be against the values or strategic interests of the University.

    iii.    The Senate and Council of the University may require amendments to, or disestablish, an existing prize or scholarship, where the naming or acknowledgement of a sponsor is deemed to be against the values or strategic interests of the University.

    b)    Prizes shall not be named after current members of staff or current students.

    c)    Departments, Schools/Faculties and Divisions may choose to implement their own restrictions on prize naming and acknowledgement of donors within regulations, as is deemed appropriate to their discipline areas.
  4. Amendment of an Existing Prize or Scholarship

    Amendments to approved University Prizes or Scholarship regulations fall into three categories as follow:

    a)    Minor editorial corrections such as formatting changes or minor wording changes that do not alter the substantive meaning of the regulations.  These must be approved by the Manager of the Doctoral and Scholarships Office.

    b)    Substantive changes to the regulations which do not alter the general intent of the prize or scholarship.  If applicable, these require consultation with the donor and/or the University’s Treasury Accountant for trust-funded scholarships and prizes. Changes require the endorsement of the appropriate Head of Department (or equivalent) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or equivalent) and final approval by the Scholarships Committee, through the delegated authority of Senate and Council.  Such changes may include amendments:

    i.      to prize or scholarship titles
    ii.     to information relating to the circumstances of the prize or scholarship (e.g. donor information)
    iii.    to selection criteria which do not alter the general intent of the prize or scholarship
    iv.    to application processes
    v.     to selection panels
    vi.    to award values
    vii.   relating to changes to papers, course structures or qualifications referred to in the regulations.

    c)    Substantive changes to the regulations which alter the general intent of the prize or scholarship.  These require direct Senate and Council approval.  The process followed should be as detailed above under “Establishment of a New Prize or Scholarship”.

  5. Disestablishment or Suspension of an Existing Prize or Scholarship

    Prizes or Scholarships may be permanently disestablished or suspended due to lack of available funds or for strategic reasons.

    a)    Where a prize or scholarship is funded by a trust, by an external donor, or by a department or other University unit, and temporarily there are insufficient funds to offer the award, the Doctoral and Scholarships Office may suspend the prize or scholarship until such time as funding is again available or sufficient.

    b)    Where a prize or scholarship is funded by a trust, by an external donor, or by a department or other University unit, and there are permanently insufficient funds to offer the award (either at its current value or under the guidelines laid out in “Prize and Scholarship Minimum Values” below), Council may disestablish the prize or scholarship.

    c)    Requests for prizes or scholarships to be disestablished on strategic grounds should be made in writing to the Doctoral and Scholarships Office, and endorsed by the head of the hosting department and relevant Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or equivalent).  This request shall be forwarded to Senate and Council who may disestablish the prize or scholarship.
  6. Review of Existing Prizes and Scholarships

    The Scholarships Committee shall conduct a formal review of the values of all University prizes and scholarships every four years.  From this review the Committee shall:

    a)    Approve increases of value in prizes and scholarships where funds permit.

    b)    Recommend to Senate and Council the continuation of selected prizes and scholarships which fall below the usual minimum values outlined below, where there are strategic reasons for doing so.

    c)    Recommend to hosting departments the re-purposing of prizes and scholarships where an excess of available funds allow this (for example recommend a prize be amended to, or supplemented by, a higher-value scholarship where funding permits).

    d)    Report to Senate and Council on currently suspended prizes or scholarships which have been suspended for more than one year.

    e)    Recommend to Senate and Council the disestablishment of prizes and scholarships where there is insufficient continuing funding available.

    f)    Review minimum values as outlined in “Prize and Scholarship Minimum Values” below.

    g)    Make available a list of all University prizes and scholarships that is available on request to University staff and students.

  7. Prize and Scholarship Minimum Values

    a)    It is expected that, notwithstanding section (f) below, all University prizes and scholarships will provide a monetary award, or an award in the form of other goods, to the recipient(s).

    b)    The minimum monetary value for a new prize is normally $500.

    c)    The minimum monetary value for a new scholarship is normally $3000.

    d)    The minimum monetary value for an existing prize or scholarship is normally half the minimum value for a new prize or scholarship (i.e. $250 and $1500 respectively).

    e)    Non-monetary goods awarded as prizes and scholarships (e.g. books) should have the approximate monetary values as specified above.

    f)    Exceptions to minimum values for prizes and scholarships will only be approved in exceptional circumstances, and shall be considered by Senate and Council either, for new prizes or scholarships, on the basis of a case provided by the hosting department, or for existing prizes or scholarships, on the recommendation of the Scholarships Committee following review (see Section 6 (b) above).

    g)    Where, in any one year, a prize is shared across recipients, the value of the prize shall normally be split between the recipients.  The amount awarded to each recipient must be no less than half the stated value of the prize.  In cases where the prize is shared across more than twice the number of usual recipients, it is the responsibility of the host department to provide additional funds to meet this condition.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of these procedures or need further clarification, contact the Manager, Postgraduate Scholarships, Prizes and Awards, phone 03 479 9779 or email scholarships@otago.ac.nz