University Council

Meeting Procedures


Made under Clause 5 of Schedule 1 to the University of Tasmania Act 1992)


1. Ordinary Council meetings

Council is to set dates and venues of its ordinary meetings for each year before the end of the preceding year.

Council is to meet on those dates and at those venues (unless the Council otherwise determines, or unless the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor otherwise determines in a case of urgency.


2. Special Council meetings

The Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor in a case of emergency may convene a special meeting of Council.

The Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor, or in their absence, the Secretary, is to convene a special meeting of Council on a written request from at least 5 members, setting out the reasons for the meeting.

A special meeting is to deal only with those items of business that the meeting was convened to consider.


3. Meeting procedure

At every meeting of Council the Chancellor, or in his or her absence the Deputy Chancellor, is to preside, and in the absence of both, the members of Council present are to elect the chair.

A quorum of Council is half the existing members plus 1.

If at any meeting it appears, on notice being taken, that a quorum is not present, the Chair is to conclude or adjourn the meeting.


4. Declaration of interest

Any member of Council who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter being considered or about to be considered by Council or a Council Committee must, as soon as possible after the relevant facts come to the member’s knowledge, disclose the nature of that interest at a meeting of Council or that Committee.

The Secretary is to indicate in the agenda papers if there are any items in which it appears likely that any member of Council may have a pecuniary interest.

The Secretary is to record any disclosure of interest by a member in the minutes of the meeting of the Council or the Committee.

Unless Council determines otherwise in a particular case, a member who has declared an interest must not -

  • be present during any deliberation of the Council in relation to that matter; or
  • take part in any decision of the Council in relation to that matter.

This clause does not prevent participation by a member of Council who is also a member of University staff, unless that member’s interest in the matter is different in nature or extent from the interest in that matter common to staff members generally, or to a significant number of staff members.


5. Minutes

The Secretary is to send a copy of the minutes of each meeting to each member of Council before the next meeting.

Council is to confirm the minutes, subject to any necessary correction, at the next meeting, after which the Chair is to sign the minutes.

The Secretary may also send the Council minutes to non-members in consultation with the Chancellor and in accordance with any confidentiality restrictions placed on them by the Council.


6. Notice and agenda

The Secretary must send to every member of Council notice of the date, time, place and business for every meeting of Council, whether ordinary or special, at least 5 business days before the meeting. However, the requirement of 5 business days' notice may be dispensed with in the case of an emergency.

The Secretary is to place on the agenda all notices of motion received from members, and all other business to be considered.

Business shall be called on, unless Council otherwise determines, in the order in which it stands on the agenda.

Matters not on the agenda may be discussed only with the approval of Council.


7. Motions and questions

In order to facilitate open and free discussion on motions and questions, the Chair will invite discussion on any proposed motion, and on any amendment if the issue of amendment arises during discussion of the motion.

A motion or amendment that is not seconded is not to be discussed or minuted.

The Chair may at any time direct that a motion is to be divided into separate parts. Each part is then to be taken to be a motion.

A motion or amendment may be withdrawn by leave of Council.

The Chair is not to put any motion or amendment that is substantially the same in substance as any question that has already been resolved during the meeting.

When all debate is concluded, and all amendments have been dealt with, the Chair is to put the question, 'The motion before the Council is agreed to'.


8. Debate

The Chair is to control debate and encourage open and free discussion by permitting members to speak more than once to a motion or proposed amendment when the Chair determines that circumstances require further discussion and debate.


9. Voting

A question is to be resolved on the voices.

The Chair is to state whether the 'Ayes' or "Noes' have it, but if the Chair or any member present so requires, the question is to be determined by a show of hands.

A member who is not present when the question is put is not entitled to vote.

A member voting on a show of hands may require the votes of all members voting to be recorded in the minutes.

The Chair has a deliberative and also, if necessary, a casting vote.

 
10. Suspension of meeting procedures

Any of these meeting procedures may be suspended for the time being if –

  • a quorum is present, and
  • at least 3/4 of the members present agree.


11. Attendance of senior executive and other non-members

The Provost, the Chief Operating Officer and the Vice-Chancellor’s Chief of Staff will normally attend Council meetings, but not the members only session unless specifically invited to be present for that session.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellors will normally attend Council meetings for the presentation of the Vice-Chancellor’s report or when they are themselves presenting to Council.

A person who is not a member of Council may be present at meetings of the Council with the permission of the Chancellor.


12. Members only session

Members of Council will normally meet in the absence of non-members (apart from the secretary) for at least part of each meeting.

A person who is not a member of Council may in an individual case be present at a members only session of the Council, with the permission of the Chancellor.


13. Meetings by telephone, video link or other technology

A member may participate in a meeting of Council by telephone, video link or other technology, as allowed by Council.

A member who participates in a meeting as permitted under this clause is taken to be present at the meeting.


14. Resolutions by circulation

If a majority of the members who are eligible to vote on a resolution have signed a document containing the statement that they are in favour of the resolution in the terms set out in the document, then a resolution in those terms must be taken to have been passed at a meeting of Council held on the day on which the last of the members making up the majority signed the document.

A document for this purpose may consist of several documents in the same form, each signed by one or more of the members.

A document may be in the form of facsimile transmission or electronic mail.


15. General

Any procedural issue or dispute about the procedure of a meeting for which at least 3/4 of the members present require resolution other than by the direction of the Chair is to be resolved by reference to Horsley’s Meetings: Procedure, Law and Practice (4th edition, AD Lang, Butterworths, 1998, or any later edition).

 

Approved by Council 28 October 2011 (Resolution no. 11/6/1)
Replaces Meeting Procedures adopted by Council on 23 July 2004.