Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Academic Board do?

The Academic Board’s principal responsibility is to maintain the highest standards in teaching, scholarship and research and to safeguard the academic freedom of the University.

The Academic Board is also responsible for overseeing the development of all academic activities of the University, formulating and reviewing policies, guidelines and procedures in relation to academic matters and playing an active role in assuring the quality of teaching, scholarship and research in the University.

The Academic Board reports to Senate and provides academic advice to both Senate and the Vice-Chancellor. The full responsibilities of the Academic Board are listed on this website.

The work of the Academic Board is carried out by the Chair and Deputy Chair, Chairs of Committees, Committees of the Academic Board and Working Parties. Interested members of the University community are actively encouraged to participate in these various activities.

Who are the members of the Academic Board?

Membership of Academic Board consists of Senior Executive Staff, professorial and non-professorial academic staff, students and other members co-opted to the Academic Board for their expertise. A current list of Academic Board members can be found here.

What does the Chair of the Academic Board do?

The Chair of the Academic Board is a member of Senate, the Senior Executive Group and all of the Standing Committees of the Academic Board. The Chair is also involved in the selection of staff for academic positions and also participates in the process of central promotions. The Chair also hears student appeals against academic decisions.

The Chair of the Academic Board also participates in the state and national committee of chairs which facilitates benchmarking against other institutions and assists in establishing academic priorities. The Chair’s role is to convey these priorities to the Academic Board and to guide the Board towards achieving them.

Why become a member of the Academic Board?

Being a member of the Academic Board provides a unique opportunity to discuss relevant higher education issues, provide input into the review and development of University policy and procedures and to contribute to the development of both undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. Past members have found their time on the Academic Board to be a rewarding and valued experience which helps to develop collegiality and an understanding of higher education and of the University itself.

How do I become a member of the Academic Board?

If you are an academic staff member or a student, you may nominate for election to a position in your Faculty or College, as appropriate, when nominations are called.

Elected academic staff members hold office for a term of 2 years from 1 January in the year immediately following the year of their election. Student members hold office for a term of 1 year from 1 January in the year immediately following the year of their election.

The University resolutions relating to Academic Board membership, election process and terms of office are available in full under the University of Sydney (Academic Governance) Rule 2003 (As amended) located here.

What is expected of an Academic Board member?

Members are expected to attend all scheduled Academic Board meetings. If they are unable to do so they are expected to advise the Executive Officer to the Academic Board in advance and apologies will appear in the agenda. It is beneficial for members if they prepare for all meetings by reading agendas, preparing relevant questions and by offering their full attention during all proceedings. To ensure that they gain the most out of each meeting it is recommended that members attend for the full duration of each Academic Board meeting, which normally does not exceed two hours. Meeting dates and times are circulated with the last agenda for each year and are accessible on the Academic Board website. It is also important that Members of Academic Board assist in communicating important issues and decisions of the Board to their College and Faculty.

How do I contact the Academic Board?

The Chair of the Academic Board, Associate Professor Peter McCallum, can be contacted as follows:
Phone: 9351 3268
Fax: 9351 3572
Email:

The Executive Officer to the Academic Board, Megan Kemmis, can be contacted as follows:
Phone: 9351 3306
Fax: 9351 3572
Email:

How do I contact the Standing Committees of the Academic Board?

There are four standing Committee of the Academic Board, the Academic Standards and Policy Committee, the Admissions Committee, the Graduate Studies Committee and the Undergraduate Studies Committee and each can be contacted as follows:

Academic Standards and Policy Committee
Chair: TBA
Secretary: Mark Smith
Phone: 9351 4260
Email:

Admissions Committee
Chair: TBA
Secretary: Mark Smith
Phone: 9351 4260
Email:

Graduate Studies Committee
Chair: Associate Professor Tony Masters
Secretary: Megan Kemmis
Phone: 9351 3306
Email:

Undergraduate Studies Committee
Chair: TBA
Secretary: Mark Smith
Phone: 9351 3306
Email:

Where can I locate Academic Board policies?

Information on Academic Board policies can be found at Policy Online.

For ease of use, the policies are grouped according to major categories such as Governance and University Committees, Research and Teaching and Learning.

How do I access the Academic Board agenda?

The Academic Board agendas are available online here. Members are encouraged to bring laptops to the meetings and view the agendas online during the meeting. If this is not an option, the agendas are easily printed from the website.

Do I have to be a member to attend an Academic Board meeting?

Staff and Students who are not members of the Academic Board can seek permission to attend meetings as observers but cannot vote on issues discussed at meetings. Please contact the Executive Officer to the Academic Board if you wish to attend as an observer. Academic Board meetings are not open to the general public.

How do I know what decisions have been made at an Academic Board meeting?

The minutes of the Academic Board meetings are available on the website here.
An Action Summary is also published here which lists agenda items which require further action. In addition, a summary of items considered and approved by the Academic Board is available on the What's New page which is usually updated the day after each Board meeting.

How do I get an item on to the agenda for an Academic Board meeting?

If you have an issue or policy matter that you would like the Academic Board to consider, please contact the Executive Officer. Such issues will be assessed by the Chair of the Academic Board in the first instance. A decision will then be made on whether or not the issue should then be referred to one of the Board’s Standing Committees for further discussion.

If you have any other questions or comments please contact the Executive Officer to the Academic Board, Megan Kemmis on 93561 3306 or email .