Selection of Chancellor Policy

Document Number000598
Date Approved13 February 2004

1.      Legislation

1.1.     Section 10(1) of the University of Newcastle Act 1989 provides for the Council, whenever a vacancy in the office of Chancellor occurs, to elect a person (whether or not a member of the Council) to be Chancellor of the University.

1.2.     Section 10(2) of the University of Newcastle Act 1989 provides that “The Chancellor, unless he or she sooner resigns as Chancellor or ceases to be a member of the Council, holds office for such period (not exceeding 4 years), and on such conditions, as may be prescribed by the by-laws”.

1.3.     Section 44 of the By-law provides that “for the purposes of section 10 (2) of the Act, the term for which the Chancellor is to hold office is 4 years”.

2.      Criteria

2.1.     Candidates for the position of Chancellor should embody the following qualities and qualifications:

  1. eminence in their chosen vocation, profession or community endeavour;
  2. proven ability to lead a large organisation;
  3. personal integrity and probity;
  4. capacity to represent the University with distinction in ceremony and ritual;
  5. capacity to protect and promote the standing of the University in the community overall;
  6. capacity to fulfil the role of Chancellor in Council and its committees;
  7. be highly regarded by the major stakeholders in the University community;
  8. be available to carry out the duties of Chancellor on an on-going basis for the duration of the term of office;
  9. a strong commitment to higher education and, preferably, a demonstrated interest in and/or contact with the University;
  10. extensive experience, and a reputation for effective performance, as chair of senior bodies, preferably some of those with membership drawn from a diversity of backgrounds, and a clear understanding of, and record of adherence to, appropriate governance principles.

3.      Procedures for the Appointment of a Chancellor

3.1.     The Council will establish a Search Committee:

3.1.1.       in the case where the incumbent’s term is due to expire, not less than nine months prior to date on which the present term will expire;

3.1.2.       in the case where the incumbent has resigned, at the meeting at which the resignation is received; or

3.1.3.       in the case where the incumbent has died, at the first meeting following the incumbent’s death.

3.2.     The Committee shall have at least five members, comprising:

  1. The Deputy Chancellor (as Chair). In the event that the Deputy Chancellor is unavailable or unwilling to act, or if the Deputy Chancellor wishes to be considered for the position of Chancellor, then the Council shall elect an external member of the Council to be Chair;
  2. the Vice-Chancellor;
  3. the President of the Academic Senate;
  4. one external member of the Council (in addition to any member elected at (i) above);
  5. one of the student members of the Council.

3.3.     The Committee may co-opt additional members as required.

3.4.     Membership of the Committee should be gender inclusive in accordance with the policy approved by the Council.

3.5.     The Committee shall receive and consider all nominations presented to it by any member of the Council.

3.6.     The Committee may make such enquiries as it deems fit in respect of any potential candidate.

3.7.     A short-list of potential candidates shall be agreed to by the Search Committee for consideration and ranking by Council. Once Council has ranked the candidates the Council will request the Vice-Chancellor to approach the potential candidates in order of priority to determine their interest in the position.

3.8.     When approaching potential candidates the Vice-Chancellor will make clear the expectations of the role of Chancellor as specified in Section 2 above, and will give a clear indication of the level of commitment required to fulfil the role.

3.9.     Once a potential candidate has formally indicated their willingness to accept the position, a confidential item should be placed on the Council agenda to elect that person for an initial term of four years.

3.10.   To expedite an appointment the Council may delegate to the outgoing Chancellor, or to the Acting Chancellor, authority to elect the potential candidate as Chancellor for an initial term of four years to commence on the day following the incumbent Chancellor’s retirement.

4.      Procedures for the Re-appointment of a Chancellor

4.1.     Where it has been determined by the Council that the existing Chancellor is the most suitable person to assist the University achieve its vision, mission and goals, the Vice-Chancellor shall approach the Chancellor to determine his/her willingness to continue in the role.

4.2.     If the Chancellor is willing to continue in the role, the Vice-Chancellor shall prepare a document for endorsement by the Council, recommending the re-appointment of the Chancellor for a further four-year term.

Approval AuthorityCouncil
Date Approved13 February 2004
Policy SponsorUniversity Secretary
Policy OwnerAcademic Registrar
Policy ContactDeputy Academic Registrar, Governance and Academic Administration
Amendment History

Approved by Council Resolution C04:2 on 13 February 2004.