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Board of Undergraduate Studies (BUGS)

Terms of Reference

  • To advise the Senate – as necessary – on policy relating to undergraduate study, including admission and re-admission of students, enrolment of students, policy governing progress of students, conferring of undergraduate awards, and other matters deemed relevant by the Board or Senate.
  • To advise the Senate on changes to undergraduate programmes, including new programmes, amendments to programme names, amendments to programme structures or regulations, and the deletion of programmes.
  • To advise the Senate on changes to undergraduate papers and micro-credentials, including new papers and micro-credentials, significant amendments to the content of papers or micro-credentials, amendments to titles, amendments to prescriptions, amendments to prerequisites and other paper or micro-credential rules, amendments to teaching delivery mode or teaching period, the re-statement of suspended papers, and the deletion of papers or micro-credentials.
  • To receive notification when the Board of one the academic Divisions approves new content for an undergraduate special topic paper, and to provide feedback as appropriate correcting administrative issues, via a nominated group of administrators.
  • To receive reports from the University’s representative on the Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) on the work of CUAP, and to receive reports as needed from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), CUAP representative, or other members of the Board as appropriate on the work of Universities New Zealand Te Pōkai Tara (UNZ).
  • To monitor recently introduced undergraduate programmes that are still in the conditional stage of CUAP approval through receiving and providing feedback on Annual Programme Reports and on Graduating Year Review reports, which must be submitted to CUAP before approval of the programme may be confirmed.
  • To advise the Senate on any academic programmes or qualifications offered by University of Otago Pathway or University of Otago English Language Centre, with referral to the Board of Graduates Studies as appropriate.
  • To refer relevant matters to the Committee for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT) as they arise and to receive reports from CALT in turn as needed.
  • To consider and report on any matter concerning undergraduate studies referred to it by the Senate or the Vice-Chancellor.
  • To consider strategic matters relating to the work of the Board, as outlined in the preceding terms.
  • To establish working groups, or to commission relevant areas or staff members, to undertake tasks or projects relating to the work of the Board, as outlined in the preceding terms.


Composition of the Board Member Expiry date (if applicable)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (Convener) Professor Helen Nicholson Ex-officio
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) of the Division of Commerce Associate Professor Richard Greatbanks Ex-officio (appointed by the PVC)
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) of the Division of Health Sciences Professor Lois Surgenor Ex-officio (appointed by the PVC)
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) of the Division of Humanities Nicola Cummins Ex-officio (appointed by the PVC)
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) of the Division of Sciences Professor Brendan McCane Ex-officio (appointed by the PVC)
Director International Jason Cushen Ex-officio
Two members appointed by Senate Jennifer Haugh December 2022
Professor Christian Hulbe December 2022
Head of Department (or nominee) of the Higher Education Development Centre Dr Julie Timmermans Ex-officio
Director, Distance Learning Dr Sarah Stein Ex-officio
Director, Quality Advancement Unit Margaret Morgan Ex-officio
University representative on the  Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) Professor Tim Cooper Ex-officio
Student member nominated by the Executive of OUSA Caitlin Hancy December 2022
Te Rōpū Māori Mātauranga Representative Maioha Ohia Ex-officio
In attendance
University Librarian Mike Wall
Specialists, Academic Committees and Services Matt Angel (Secretary)
Rebecca Connaughton
Carol Forbes
Dr Tosh Stewart
Mark Wilesmith

The Board has the power to co-opt as required.

Meeting dates for 2022

BUGS Meeting dates, Wednesdays at 2:00pm Deadline for submission
2 February 24 January
2 March 21 February
6 April 28 March
4 May 26 April (due to ANZAC Day)
1 June 23 May
6 July 27 June
3 August 25 July
7 September 29 August
5 October 26 September
2 November 25 October (due to Labour Day)

Proposal templates, resources and deadlines

Download templates for new proposals and access resources and annual proposal deadlines