University Council Elections 2018

Nominations are now open for the following positions on the University Council:

  • Academic staff member (2 positions)
  • Non-academic staff member (1 position)
  • Student member (1 position)

Nominations must be made by 3.00 pm on Wednesday, 8 August 2018.

The University has appointed an independent third party (BigPulse Online Elections) to conduct the nomination process and subsequent election on its behalf. An email will be sent to eligible University staff and students inviting them to nominate as a candidate.

Term of office

The term of office for each position is two years commencing on 10 September 2018 and concluding on 9 September 2020.

University Council

Council is the governing authority of the University and is responsible for oversight of the University's affairs. The role of a Council member is similar to the role of a company director. To obtain further information about how the University is governed please CLICK HERE.

Council is chaired by the Chancellor and has 13 members:

  • Chancellor;
  • Vice Chancellor;
  • Chair of Academic Board;
  • two members appointed by the NSW Minister of Education;
  • four external members appointed by Council, including one member who is a graduate of the University,
  • three elected staff members; and
  • one elected student member.

Council members possess a range of expertise in the fields of higher education, legal, financial management, risk management, strategic planning, business acumen, marketing and communication. To view the current membership of Council, please CLICK HERE.

All Council member roles are voluntary and are not remunerated. However, reasonable costs associated with carrying out Council duties are met by the University.

Council members are provided with an induction session and with professional development support throughout their term of office.

Unlike Members of Parliament, elected Council members do not “represent” the group from which they are elected. Rather they are expected to bring a student or staff perspective, as the case may be, to the Council. All members, whether appointed or elected, are required by law to act in the interests of the University as a whole rather than the group from which they have been appointed or elected.

Council meetings

Council meetings are conducted at least five times each year and meetings may take place at any of the University’s campus locations. A Council meeting usually runs for up to 2 ½ hours. Members are normally expected to attend the meetings in person. However, from time to time, the Chancellor may agree to a member attending by teleconference.

An agenda is circulated a week prior to the meeting to allow time for the members to familiarise themselves with the papers.

We estimate that the time commitment for a Council member is a minimum of 40 hours per year.

The matters discussed by Council are confidential. No Council member may divulge Council information beyond the content of the Council Report issued to all University staff.

Obligations

Members of Council have specific legal obligations to the University when performing their functions. These duties are similar to the duties of a company director under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). A combined list of duties from the Southern Cross University Act and general law is follows:

(a)     Duty to carry out functions of a Council member bona fide (in good faith) in the best interests of the University as a whole and for a proper purpose;

(b)     Duty to act honestly and exercise a reasonable degree of care and diligence in carrying out his or her functions;

(c)     Duty not to act for an improper purpose;

(d)     Duty not to make improper use of the position on Council to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for the Council member or another person or to cause detriment to the University;

(e)     Duty not to make improper use of information acquired because of the Council position to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for the Council member or another person or to cause detriment to the University;

(f)      Duty to retain discretion, which means not taking on an obligation to another party that will mean having to exercise duties and functions as a Council member in a particular way;

(g)     Duty to avoid conflicts of interest; and

(h)     Duty to declare a conflict of interest as soon as possible when a matter arises at a meeting of Council or that is to be considered by Council for which the Council member has a real or apparent conflict.

Council members are “officers” of the University and must comply with their obligations under the University’s Code of Conduct.

Eligibility

To be eligible for nomination, a candidate must be listed on the relevant University electoral roll as at the closing date for nominations (Wednesday, 8 August 2018). Each nomination must be supported by two people listed on the same electoral roll.

Student Member Electoral Roll

A student is eligible to nominate if they:

  • are enrolled* in a University course which has a duration of at least one year; and
  • are not employed by the University on either a continuing (permanent) or fixed term basis.

 

*A student is enrolled in a course once they complete enrolment in all units in their first study period.  They remain enrolled until they complete the course, take a leave of absence, withdraw from the course, are deemed to have abandoned the course or are excluded or expelled from the University.

All University students enrolled in a course with a duration of at least a year are eligible to vote in the election for student member of Council.

 

Academic Staff Member Electoral Roll

**    Full-time means staff employed on a continuing (permanent) or fixed term basis working full time hours, but excludes casual staff.

***  Fractional-time means staff employed on a continuing (permanent) or fixed term working less than full time hours, but excludes casual staff.

All full-time** or fractional-time*** members of the University’s academic staff are eligible to nominate for and vote in the election for Academic staff member of Council.

Non-Academic Staff Member Electoral Roll

All full-time** or fractional-time*** members of the non-academic staff of the University are eligible to nominate for and vote in the election for Non-academic staff member of Council.

Election Schedule

If more than one nomination for a position is received, an election will be conducted.

The election will be open for voting at 3.00pm, Wednesday, 15 August 2018 and close at 3.00pm, Wednesday, 29 August 2018. Voting is not compulsory.

The “optional preferential” system will be used in accordance with the Southern Cross University Council Elections Rule.

Belinda Atkinson
Council Secretary (Returning Officer)