Academic Senate

Academic SenateAcademic Senate is responsible for protecting, promoting and enhancing academic standards and quality at UON 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 series of committees and is also supported by Faculty Boards. It 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 Meeting Dates

Academic Senate meeting dates, agendas & minutes

Academic Senate meets regularly and these meetings are scheduled at the beginning of each year. Find the meeting dates, locations, times and agendas for Academic Senate here.

Senate Committees

Academic Senate Committees

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

  • Teaching and Learning Committee;
  • Research Committee;
  • The Program and Course Approval Committee; and
  • Faculty Boards.

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

Senate Communique

Latest news from Academic Senate

If you would like to know what is discussed and decided at an Academic Senate meeting you can read the latest Academic Senate Communique, released after each meeting. It features news, updates and outcomes from Academic Senate and is designed to provide staff and students with key highlights from the meeting.

Senate Members

Meet the Members

Meet the members of Academic Senate. Most members are elected by UON’s academic staff. Other members are elected student members, or ex-officio which means they are part of Academic Senate because of their position at UON rather than being directly elected or appointed by a vote.

Senate Constitution


The Constitution of the Academic Senate is essentially the rules and principles it follows in performing its function. It gives you a quick overview of Academic Senate’s key roles and functions.

The Academic Senate Handbook is a resource for Academic Senate and committee members. It will help you better understand your role and responsibilities as a member and provides you with the information you need to make an informed contribution.

Academic Senate meetings follow rules and procedures that enable orderly conduct of business and help make sure meetings and decisions are executed consistently. The Academic Senate Standing Orders apply in all meetings of Academic Senate and its committees, including Faculty Boards. The Standing Orders give a good sense of how a meeting is run, relevant meeting procedures, information about preparing and submitting papers and detail on what to expect from agendas and minutes.

You can access the delegation of authority webpage for information on delegation schedules, policies and guidelines.

Access the approved Academic Senate Report Template here.

Who to contact

Academic Senate Natasha Sugden, Council Secretariat Officer
Teaching and Learning Committee Ziah Elliott, Council Secretariat Officer
Research Committee Kim Davis, Deputy University Secretary
Faculty Boards Faculty Board Secretary
Program and Course Approval Committee

Cathie Shanahan, Senior Manager Academic Administration