Rules of Procedure for the Senate

  1. Calling of Meetings
    • 1.1

      Meetings of the Senate shall be held not less than twice a year (i.e. at least once per semester). The Chairman may at his discretion convene a Special Meeting to consider matters to which specific or immediate attention must be given. The Chairman shall convene an Extraordinary Meeting of the Senate within 14 days of receipt of a written request to do so signed by not less than one third of the members for the time being.

    • 1.2

      The Secretary to the Senate shall circulate a notice of the meeting to each member not less than seven days before the date appointed for the meeting, except in cases of emergency when such notice shall be given as circumstances permit.

    • 1.3

      The notice of the meeting shall be accompanied by an Agenda setting out the order of the business for the meeting, together with any accompanying papers which are available. Other papers requiring consideration shall be circulated as early as practicable thereafter. Exceptionally, papers relating to matters on the Agenda may be tabled at the meeting with the permission of the Chairman.

    • 1.4

      Accidental omission to supply any notice or agenda to any member of the Senate shall not affect the validity of a meeting.

  2. Preparation of the Agenda
    • 2.1

      The responsibility for the compilation of the Agenda for any meeting, and for the collecting together of papers for consideration at the meeting, shall rest with the Secretary in consultation with the Chairman.

    • 2.2

      Members wishing to put forward items for the Agenda shall do so in writing to the Secretary not later than ten days before the date appointed for the meeting. The decision whether or not to include items on the Agenda shall rest with the Chairman. Non-members wishing to put forward an item must obtain the agreement of two members of the Senate to sponsor such an item, and must raise it through the members concerned.

    • 2.3

      Decisions on whether items on the Agenda shall be starred (indicating an item likely to be non-controversial) or not shall be taken by the Chairman, in consultation with the Secretary.

  3. Deputy Chairman
    • 3.1

      The Provost, or in the absence of the Provost, a Vice-President shall act as Chairman at any meeting of the Senate when the President is not present.

    • 3.2

      In the absence of the above persons, a Chairman for the meeting shall be elected from amongst the members of the Senate present at the meeting.

  4. Order of Business
    • 4.1

      The order of business at every meeting shall normally be as follows :

      • 4.1.1

        to approve the Minutes of the preceding meeting;

      • 4.1.2

        to receive and consider requests for unstarring any starred items on the Agenda;

      • 4.1.3

        to consider matters arising from the Minutes of the preceding meeting;

      • 4.1.4

        to dispose of any business remaining from the preceding meeting;

      • 4.1.5

        to receive reports of any decisions taken by circulation since the preceding meeting, or any action taken by the Chairman;

      • 4.1.6

        to consider matters on the published Agenda in the order set out;

      • 4.1.7

        to consider any other business raised by any member which the Senate agrees to discuss.

    • 4.2

      The order of business may be varied by agreement of the Senate at the commencement of the meeting.

    • 4.3

      Members wishing to raise any matter which is likely to require a decision by the Senate, and which is not on the published Agenda, should notify the Secretary at least two working days before the meeting. The Chairman shall decide whether or not the matter should be added to the Agenda for that meeting.

  5. Conduct of Business
    • 5.1

      All members shall speak to the Chairman, and shall give way whenever the Chairman wishes to intervene.

    • 5.2

      The Chairman shall put to the meeting such proposals as he deems necessary in the form of resolutions to be voted on by members.

    • 5.3

      Any member may propose a resolution which, if seconded by another member, shall be put to the meeting by the Chairman. Resolutions arising from a report of a Committee of the Senate shall not be required to be formally proposed and seconded.

    • 5.4

      Any member may propose an amendment to a resolution, which shall be put to the meeting if seconded by another member. All such amendments shall be voted on separately, before a vote is taken on the resolution, which shall first be amended in accordance with any amendments agreed.

    • 5.5

      Decisions on any resolution shall normally be reached by consensus. When it is necessary to conduct a vote, voting shall be by a show of hands unless secret ballot is deemed to be necessary as decided by the Chairman. Any matter voted on shall be decided by a simple majority of votes of the members present and voting. When a vote is taken, voting figures will not be recorded in the Minutes, since a resolution by the Senate shall be regarded as binding on members as a whole, including those not present at the meeting.

    • 5.6

      Each member present regardless of the number of capacities in which he is attending shall have one vote only. The Chairman has a vote, and in the case of an equality of votes, a second or casting vote. Proxy votes shall not be allowed.

    • 5.7

      Persons who, by invitation of the Chairman, are designated as being "in attendance", whether for the entire meeting or for specific items, are present primarily for the purpose of providing supplementary information on matters being considered by the meeting. They may participate in the discussion on those items at the invitation of the Chairman. They shall not vote, nor shall they form part of the quorum required for the meeting.

    • 5.8

      The Chairman shall be responsible for the observance of these Rules of Procedure, and his decision on any point of order shall not be open to appeal and shall not be reviewed except on a substantive resolution made after due notice.

  6. Withdrawal of Members and Others in Attendance
    • 6.1

      Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in these rules, the Chairman may require any member, observer or others in attendance at a meeting to withdraw for the discussion of particular items of business. The Chairman’s decision on what constitutes business falling under this rule, and his requirement to anyone present to withdraw, shall be final.

    • 6.2

      Unless the Chairman rules otherwise, observers or others in attendance shall not receive the notice of any meeting at which only such business is to be discussed, or any papers relating to such business; when such business is transacted by circulation under the procedure laid down in Rule 9, they shall not receive the papers dealing with such business. The Minutes of any such business shall be separately documented and not circulated to persons categorized as in attendance.

    • 6.3

      If any member has a direct interest, pecuniary or otherwise, in any matter to be considered at a meeting, and is present at such meeting, he shall disclose this fact and the nature of his interest as soon as possible after the commencement of the meeting. The Chairman shall thereupon request the meeting to consider whether the member should withdraw during discussion of the matter or remain present but abstain from participating and voting.

  7. Confidentiality
    • 7.1

      All Papers connected with the Senate’s business shall be regarded as "Open" unless otherwise provided under Rules 7.2 and 7.3. Papers regarded as "Open" may be discussed freely within the University.

    • 7.2

      Papers designated as "Restricted" may be discussed only with members of the University with a direct interest in the matter, and they may not be reproduced or otherwise copied.

    • 7.3

      Papers designated as "Confidential" shall be discussed only between those members to whom the Papers have been circulated, and who are present at the meeting when the Papers are considered. Such Papers shall normally be distributed at the meeting rather than beforehand, and shall be individually numbered, and collected from members after the business has been transacted. If a Confidential Paper is deemed necessary to be distributed to members before a meeting, it shall not be reproduced or otherwise copied. Moreover, the Confidential Paper must not be shown or its contents otherwise disclosed to any non-Senate members unless prior written approval to do so is obtained from the Chairman.

    • 7.4

      The Secretary shall be responsible for indicating the status of particular Papers, and members shall observe such designations when dealing with the Papers.

    • 7.5

      Papers which have been considered by the Senate may be reclassified by order of the Chairman or by resolution of the Senate.

    • 7.6

      Unless otherwise directed by the Chairman, all unconfirmed Minutes shall be classified as "Restricted". After confirmation, Minutes shall normally be reclassified as "Open".

    • 7.7

      Minutes for confidential items shall be classified as “Confidential”. Such Minutes shall be separately documented from the regular Minutes, and upon confirmation by the Chairman, be kept by the Secretary.

    • 7.8

      All the proceedings of the Senate meetings, including but not limited to discussions, voting results, Papers considered by the Senate, or the Senate Minutes, whether confirmed or unconfirmed, shall not be discussed with anyone outside the University nor released to the press or other media without the prior permission of the Chairman.

    • 7.9

      Members of the University who disregard Rules 7.2, 7.3 and 7.8 shall render themselves liable to censure. Persistent disregard of these rules shall be considered as a breach of staff or student discipline (as appropriate).

  8. Minutes
    • 8.1

      The Minutes shall record the names of those present at the meeting, the business transacted and the decisions made. The Secretary must be advised in writing, not less than two working days before the meeting, of any proposed amendment to the unconfirmed Minutes. At the meeting next following, the Chairman shall obtain confirmation that the Minutes are a true record and shall sign them accordingly. Any Minutes so signed shall be received in evidence without further proof. Any discussion regarding the confirmation of the Minutes shall be restricted to the question of their accuracy.

    • 8.2

      A copy of the confirmed Minutes of Senate meetings shall be placed in the University Library for reference, except for the Minutes of Confidential items.

  9. Transaction of Business by Circulation
    • 9.1

      The Senate may transact its business by circulation of papers due to cancellation of a meeting, or the need to address issues which call for urgent decisions or comments from the Senate, or under any other circumstances deemed appropriate by the Chairman. In such cases arrangements shall be made for members to express their approval or otherwise by a stipulated date. A resolution circulated which is approved by a majority of members for the time being of the Senate shall be as valid and effectual as if it had been passed at a Senate meeting. Decisions made by circulation of papers will be reported to the meeting next following.

    • 9.2

      The Chairman shall have general power to take action on the Senate’s behalf, in which case such action will be reported to the meeting next following.

  10. Appointment of Committees
    • 10.1

      The Senate may appoint Committees, to which it shall refer such matters as it thinks fit, except those specifically delegated to the Senate by the Council, when the Council shall be so informed.

    • 10.2

      A Committee shall report on its business to the Senate at such intervals as the Senate may decide.

    • 10.3

      The Chairman and Secretary of the Senate, or their nominees shall have the right of attendance at all meetings of committees established by the Senate.

  11. Absence of Members
    • 11.1

      Any member who is unable to attend a meeting of the Senate shall acquaint the Secretary of his inability to attend.

    • 11.2

      When an ex officio member is absent from the University, the member of staff formally appointed to act in his capacity during the absence may attend meetings which the absent member would normally attend ex officio. Otherwise, deputies for absent members will not normally be allowed.

    • 11.3

      One half of the number of members for the time being shall form a quorum.

    • 11.4

      If a meeting fails to achieve a quorum, or subsequently becomes inquorate, the Chairman may rule that the meeting proceed but that the absence of a quorum shall be noted in the Minutes and in any report to the Council. The Minutes of the meeting shall be circulated subsequently to absent members for their endorsement, or otherwise, of any decisions taken at the meeting. Such decisions must be ratified by a majority of members indicating their endorsement, whether present at or absent from the meeting, before any executive action is taken on any business transacted during the inquorate meeting or the inquorate part of the meeting.

    • 11.5

      The validity of any proceedings of the Senate shall not be impaired by any defect in the appointment or nomination of any member or by any vacancy in the membership of the Senate.

  12. Revision of the Rules
    • Any Resolution to vary these Rules of Procedure shall be adopted by a simple majority of members present at a meeting of the Senate.

  13. Co-option
    • Up to five members may be co-opted as necessary for a particular purpose and a specified time. Co-opted members will be excluded from the calculation of the quorum and shall not have voting rights.

  14. Scope of Application
    • These Rules of Procedure shall apply to the Senate. Committees established by the Senate may make reference to these Rules of Procedure, as appropriate, for conducting their meetings.

Revised by the Senate on 26 October 2015