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Clocktower from the Leith

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 2011 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

The Academic Committees Office serves as the secretariat for the Senate and the Committees of the Senate. It manages the approval process for academic proposals and manages the process for the external accreditation of new programmes through the NZVCC's Committee on University Academic Programmes.  The Academic Committees office also has the responsibility for the administration of 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, advising academic staff and senior students in relation to the Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research and Teaching Involving Human Participants.

The Manager, Gary Witte, and Administrator, Jane Hinkley, are located in Rooms G22 and G26 on the ground floor of the Clocktower Building, University of Otago (Dunedin campus).

You can telephone Gary Witte on 64 3 479 8256 or email; or contact Jane Hinkley on 64 3 479 6531 or email

Senate Meeting Dates 2018

2018 Meeting dates (Wednesdays, 12.15pm, Council Chamber)Deadline for receipt of agenda items
28 February19 February
28 March19 March
18 April (earlier due to public holiday)9 April
30 May21 May
27 June18 June
25 July16 July
29 August20 August
26 September17 September
31 October23 October (Tuesday due to Labour Day)
28 November19 November

2017 Minutes

2016 Minutes