As the principal academic body of the University, Academic Senate has a broad role in academic decision making and providing advice on academic matters. Under the Ordinance of Academic Senate, it is responsible for providing advice to Council and the Vice-Chancellor on policies etc. relating to academic matters. Academic Senate also monitors and receives reports on policy implementation, academic standards and academic performance. Finally Academic Senate provides the primary collegial forum for discussion, debate and recommendations on academic matters in addition to its role in maintaining intellectual freedom, academic integrity and the general academic wellbeing of the University and its members.
The membership of Academic Senate is representative of the University's academic community and comprises members of the Vice-Chancellor's Executive, Heads of University Institutes, Deans, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Researcher Development), students (the President, Postgraduate President, Campus President North and an International Students Officer of the Tasmania University Union) and 13 elected members of academic staff. The Pro Vice-Chancellors, Head of the Tasmanian Institute of Learning & Teaching, University Librarian, Chief Operating Officer and Chair, Student Experience Committee are observers with speaking rights. As a whole of institution governance body, members of Academic Senate are encouraged to represent and consider the interests of the University as a whole when undertaking their role in the oversight and monitoring of academic policies, standards and quality assurance of teaching and learning and research in the University.
In my role as Chair of Academic Senate, I am ably and well supported by the Deputy Chair, Professor Dominic Geraghty. Dominic and I share the responsibility of ex-officio membership on all major University committees. As Chair of Academic Senate, I am also 'an ex-officio' member of Council and a number of its Committees, thus representing Senate and University colleagues on all major decision-making committees.
As Chair I am keen to work with University colleagues (whether members or not of Senate) including student representatives to enable Academic Senate to assume a strong University academic planning and priority-setting role. I am committed to regular whole-of-University soundings on academic standards and wellbeing issues and would welcome the input, suggestions and comments of colleagues. This may be through annual Academic Senate presentations or by contacting me directly. Please feel free to contact me regarding any academic matters.
Professor Dianne Nicol