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Category Statutes
Type Statute
Approved by Approved by Council - 8 September 2015
Date Statute Took Effect 1 September 2015
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Registrar and Secretary to the Council
Responsible Officer
Review Date

Policy Content

1.   Title

1.1. This is the Council Statute 2015.

2.   Commencement

2.1. This Statute shall come into effect on 1 September 2015.

ELECTIONS TO COUNCIL

3.   Returning Officer

3.1. The Registrar and Secretary to the Council of the University of Otago shall be the Returning Officer in respect of elections to the Council of persons representing:
(a) the Academic Staff; and
(b) the General Staff;
of the University of Otago.

4.   Eligibility for Election to Council

4.1. 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.
4.2. Any elected representative of the academic or general staff 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 Council.

5.   Rolls of Electors

5.1. Academic Staff: The roll of electors for the permanent academic staff shall be comprised of the names of each person who at the time of the election:
(a) is employed at the University in a position which the Vice-Chancellor has determined forms part of the academic staff of the University; and
(b) 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.
5.2. General Staff: The roll of electors for the permanent general staff shall be comprised of the names of each person who at the time of the election:
(a) is employed at the University in a position which the Vice-Chancellor has determined forms part of the general staff of the University; and
(b) 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.   Notification of Elections

6.1. At least four weeks prior to the holding of any election, the Returning Officer shall give notice in appropriate University publications, on the University website and using such other means of communication as the Returning Officer determines, of the following matters:
(a) the date on which the election will be held and the time on that day at which the poll will be closed;
(b) the total number of candidates to be elected;
(c) the date for the closing of nominations, being at least two weeks prior to the date of the election, and at least two weeks after the notice of the election has been given, and the time on that day by which nominations must be received;

7.  Nomination of Candidates

7.1. Every candidate shall be nominated in writing by two or more electors, each of whose names are included on the relevant roll at the time the nomination is submitted.
7.2. Nominations shall be made in a form prescribed by the Returning Officer and be accompanied by adequate proof of the consent of the person nominated.
7.3. A candidate for election may send with the nomination paper a personal statement to a maximum of 200 words.
7.4. 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.

8.   Electoral Process

8.1. If the number of candidates duly nominated does not exceed the number of vacancies to be filled, the Returning Officer shall declare the candidate or candidates so nominated to be elected.
8.2. If the number of candidates duly nominated exceeds the number to be elected, an election shall be conducted.
8.3. Voting shall take place electronically.
8.4. The Returning Officer shall, following the closing of nominations, notify each elector on the relevant roll of their right to vote and advise the means by which votes are to be cast and the time by which voting must be completed.
8.5. Any system adopted for electronic voting shall be such:
(a) that the elector is presented with the names (in randomly selected order) of the duly nominated candidates for whom the elector is entitled to vote together with the standard form statement in relation to each candidate;
(b) that adequate security exists so as to ensure that only those on the relevant roll may vote and so as to prevent a person other than an elector on the relevant roll purporting to exercise the elector’s vote, and so as to prevent any elector voting more than once;
(c) that the Returning Officer can identify, following the time for the closing of the polls, the candidates (not exceeding the total number to be elected) who have received the greatest number of votes who shall then be declared by the Returning Officer to be elected.

9.   Results of an Election

9.1. Following the completion of the election the Returning Officer shall notify to the Chancellor of the University of Otago and the candidates the names of the person/s elected.
9.2. In the case of an equality of votes the election shall be determined by lot by the Returning Officer in the presence of the Chancellor or some other Member of the Council.

10.  General Provisions Applying to Elections

10.1. Subject to the provisions of this Statute, the Returning Officer may publish such rules as he or she considers appropriate to ensure the fair conduct of the election and of campaigning in connection with the election. Without limitation, such rules may include restrictions on the mode and timing of campaigning, and on the amounts that may be spent in campaigning by or on behalf of any candidate. Where a breach of any published rule has been established in respect of the candidacy of any candidate and the Returning Officer is satisfied that the breach may have, or may have had, a material effect on the outcome of the election he or she may declare that candidate’s nomination or election or the entire election to be invalid.
10.2. Any candidate affected by a declaration of the Returning Officer under Clause 10.1 may appeal the matter by giving written notice to the Vice-Chancellor within 10 days of the Returning Officer’s decision. Upon such notice being given, the Vice-Chancellor shall appoint an Appeals Board of the University Council constituted in accordance with clause 3.2 of the Appeals Statute 2011. The provisions of that statute shall not otherwise apply, with the Appeals Board being free to regulate its own procedure and determine the appeal as it thinks fit. Unless the Appeals Board otherwise directs, the decision of the Returning Officer shall continue in effect until the appeal is finally determined.
10.3. The Returning Officer shall have the general power to settle any question that may arise under this Statute and for which no provision is made.

APPOINTMENTS TO COUNCIL

11.  Nominations Committee

11.1. The Council shall from time to time appoint a committee (“the Nominations Committee”) which shall comprise the Chancellor, the Pro-Chancellor and up to two other Council members as the Council thinks fit. No member of the Nominations Committee shall be eligible to be considered for appointment to the Council and if the Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor are being considered for appointment the Council shall appoint a replacement to the Nominations Committee from among the members of the Council.
11.2. The Council shall advise the Nominations Committee of any considerations which it believes may be particularly relevant to it in filling a vacancy.

12.  Nominations Process

12.1. Before Council makes any appointment, the Registrar and Secretary to the Council shall:
(a) cause notice of the opportunity for appointment, and of the appointment process established by this Statute, to be announced through appropriate University publications, on the University website and by such other means of communication as the Registrar and Secretary to the Council determines;
(b) invite confidential nominations for, and expressions of interest in, appointment and the closing date therefor, such date to be at least 14 days after the publication of notice of the vacancy.
12.2. Nominations for and expressions of interest in appointment to Council shall be directed to the Registrar and Secretary to the Council and may be accompanied by such information relating to the candidate for appointment as the person lodging the nomination or expression of interest thinks fit.
12.3. The Nominations Committee:
(a) shall cause enquiry to be made into any of the nominations and expressions of interest received;
(b) may, if it thinks fit, interview some or all of those being considered for appointment;
(c) shall provide a confidential report to the Council on the outcome of such enquiries which shall include the names of all of those nominated or expressing interest in appointment to the Council;
(d) may make recommendations to Council on appointments.

13.  Repeal

13.1. The Election of Members of the Council Statute 2011 is repealed with effect from the commencement of this Statute.