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Academic Committee SOP

To be read in conjunction with

Academic Committee Policy

Approval Date
1 June 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Learning and Teaching Services

In relation to policy Academic Committee which includes its sub-committees the following standard operating procedures should be followed:


1.          Election of Academic Staff Representatives

Academic staff representatives for Academic Committee and its Standing Committees will be elected by the relevant groups.

Note: Academic Committee and its Standing Committees will endeavour to ensure that there is continuity of expertise as part of the nomination and election processes to manage the risk with all elections falling due at the same time.

  • Nominations to replace current elected academic staff representatives on Academic Committee and its Standing Committees will be called for on 1 October of the year prior to completion of the two-year term of office.
  • The call for nominations will be advertised by appropriate means such as postings on intranet, staff noticeboards and e-mail.
  • Nominations are to be made on the standard form; and signed and dated by both the nominator and the nominee. Nominations should be accompanied by a statement of up to 200 words from the nominee, explaining his or her interest in serving on Academic Committee, together with the skills he or she would bring to the role.
  • Nominations close with the Secretary to Academic Committee or Secretary to the Standing Committee on 20 October in any
  • Nominees’ statements are to be included in the voting papers made available to staff.
  • Voting papers for the academic staff representatives will be distributed at the end of October to all eligible academic staff. Electronic voting will be made available. Voting papers to be returned to the Secretary, Academic Committee, or the Standing Committee, by 30 November.
  • Each academic staff member is able to vote for one candidate only. The highest polling candidates will be elected.
  • Eligibility is defined as all permanent full time and proportional academic staff.
    • “permanent”, in relation to the academic or general staff of an institution, means a member of that staff
      1. who is employed, either on a full-time or part-time basis:
        • For a period ending, unless sooner terminated, on his or her reaching a specified age; or
        • Until he or she retires or resigns; or
      2. who has been employed, whether under a contract for a specified period or otherwise, and either on a full-time or part-time basis, for at least 3 months; or
      3. who has been employed, whether under a contract for a specified period or otherwise, and either on a full-time or part-time basis, for less than 3 months and whose employment is, in the opinion of the chief executive of the institution, likely to continue for at least 3 months from the date of commencement of that employment.

Note: If insufficient candidates stand for election, the Chief Executive shall appoint a member from the relevant constituency.


2.          Format for Submission of Papers

  • Academic Committee papers must be lodged with the Minute Secretary not less than five working days prior to the meeting. Standing Committees will determine timelines for their papers.
  • The Chair determines the agenda for Academic Committee meetings. The Chair of each Standing Committee determines the agenda for Standing Committee meetings.
  • Academic Committee papers must be received by members at least two full days prior to the meeting date to allow reading time. Any variation such as electronic meetings or extraordinary meeting may be approved by the Chair.
  • Papers must be signed by the person making the recommendation.
  • Careful wording of recommendations on Academic Committee papers is required to ensure that the record of the meeting accurately reflects the decision intended. The following guidelines and clarification of terminology apply to all papers submitted to Academic Committee.
    • The word “recommend” should only be included in the actual motion when the decision the meeting will take is to recommend action by another group. For example, the recommendation could be that “Academic Committee recommends that the Otago Polytechnic Council establish a … … Standing Committee”.
    • Recommendations may be for information only; in which case the recommendation is likely to begin with the word “note”. For example, … recommends that Academic Committee “notes that the Chair of Programme and Approvals Committee will forward an application for accreditation”. This recommendation, if passed, will record quite clearly in the minutes that Committee members have not seen the application, but accept that the appropriate person will forward it in due course.
    • “Approve” should be used when the Committee has the authority to give permission for the action to occur. For example,…recommends that “Academic Committee approve the submission of an accreditation application to NZQA”. “Approve” should not be used when the authority to make the decision lies with another body. If Academic Committee supports the decision, then it should recommend the action to Council or to the body with the authority to make the decision.
    • All decisions will be made on the understanding that sufficient information is available to justify the particular action or decision taken. For example:
      1. “To approve” implies that the alternatives of seeking further information or not approving the item have been explored, and that sufficient information is believed to be at hand to justify approval.
      2. “To note” implies receipt of information. Because no action is required, little background information is necessary.
      3. “To recommend” is to advise another body or committee or implies that in weighing up information both for and against the recommendation, Academic Committee members believe a decision in favour should be made.
    • Recommendations should make a distinction between definite and indefinite articles. “The” refers to a specific person, committee, or agency; “a” refers to any person, committee, or agency.
    • Each recommendation should contain all necessary information for implementation. For example, a recommendation should state: “That the plan to move the Tennyson Street campus be approved”, rather than “That the removal be approved”.


3.          Action Sheets

  • Action Sheets are to form part of the minutes of Academic Committee meetings.
  • Items from Action Sheets will be discussed under “Matters Arising” on the agenda. This discussion will be recorded in the minutes and carried forward on the Action Sheet arising from the meeting.
  • The Action Sheet will not duplicate material from Academic Committee Standing Committees’ compliance papers.


4.           Confirmation of Minutes

  • Academic Committee meeting minutes will be confirmed as a true and accurate record, at the next meeting.


5.           Availability of Papers and Minutes

  • The minutes and papers of Academic Committee will be available to staff on the Otago Polytechnic intranet.
  • Papers and minutes of any closed sessions will not be so available, and copies should be kept confidential.

Approved by:
Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive