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Terms of reference

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.

In particular it shall 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. 

For further information please see the Senate Statute 2021 elsewhere on this website (refer to the University of Otago Calendar).


The composition of the Senate is set out in the Senate Statute in the University Calendar.

Contact details

Academic Committees and Services serves as the secretariat for the Senate and the Committees of the Senate.  We manage the approval process for academic proposals and the process for the external accreditation of new programmes through the NZVCC’s Committee on University Academic Programmes.  Academic Committees and Services also has supports the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee and University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (Health). This includes receiving and processing all applications for ethical approval, and advising academic staff and senior students in relation to the Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research and Teaching Involving Human Participants.

You can contact:

Gary Witte
Manager, Academic Committees and Services
Tel +64 3 479 8256

Matt Angel
Specialist, Academic Committees and Services

Senate meeting dates 2022

Meeting dates (Wednesdays, 12:15pm, Council Chamber)Deadline for receipt of agenda items (previous Monday)
23 February14 February
30 March21 March
27 April20 April (due to observance of Easter and Otago Anniversary Day)
25 May16 May
29 June20 June
27 July18 July
31 August22 August
28 September19 September
26 October17 October
30 November21 November