Academic Senate

Academic SenateAcademic Senate is responsible for protecting, promoting and enhancing academic standards and quality at the University and advises Council on core academic activities including teaching, learning and research, through its President, who is also Council member.

Council delegates specific powers to Academic Senate for example approving and amending academic polices, approving exams results and completion requirements for degrees, introducing new programs and courses, and revising and discontinuing programs. In summary, all academic related matters are debated, discussed and resolved by Academic Senate or sent on to Council for its consideration.

To help it make decisions, Academic Senate has a number of committees and is also supported by the College Boards.

Academic Senate meets regularly and operates in accordance with the Constitution of the Academic Senate, the University of Newcastle Act 1989, and the University of Newcastle By-law 2017 which set out the powers and functions of the University and how these must be performed.

Senate Committees

Academic Senate committees

To help deal effectively with specialised issues, Academic Senate is supported by the below committees:

Learn more about each committee, committee members and meeting dates here.

Senate Meeting Dates

Academic Senate meeting dates

View the 2021 Meeting Calendar

This calendar includes Academic Senate, Research Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee and Program and Course Approval Committee meeting dates.

Academic Senate members

Meet the members of Academic Senate.

Most members are elected by academic staff and other members are elected student members or ex-officio members which means they are part of Academic Senate because of their position at the University.

Senate Communique

Academic Senate Communique

The Communique provides a brief outline of the matters discussed at each Academic Senate meeting. View the Communique below:

Senate Constitution

Report Template and Resources

Papers for Academic Senate, Research Committee and the Teaching and Learning Committee should be prepared on a specific template. Access the approved Academic Senate Report Template here.

View the relevant resources: Academic Senate Standing Orders, Constitution of the Academic Senate and Governance Rule

Please email for enquiries regarding meeting papers and minutes.

Academic Senate Handbook

The Academic Senate Handbook is primarily designed to help new and existing members of the Academic Senate and its Committees/Boards to understand their roles and responsibilities as a member.

It is also a useful resource for staff if you are interested in learning more about the University's academic governance and understanding the role of the Academic Senate (or its Committees/Boards), areas of focus and responsibilities.

Who to contact

Academic Senate or Zoe Ward
Teaching and Learning Committee or Liz Pengilley
Research Committee or Renae Morgan
Program and Course Approval CommitteeCathie Shanahan 

College Boards

College of Engineering, Science and Environment

College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing

College of Human and Social Futures

Pathways and Academic Learning Support CentreElizabeth Bridges
Research Training Sub-CommitteeGareth Patterson

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.