Fellows of Senate

Duties of Fellows of Senate

The duties of Fellows of Senate are set out in the University of Sydney Act 1989 and other legislation.


Duties of Fellows of Senate (Clause 26F, University of Sydney Act 1989)

Clause 26F of the University of Sydney Act 1989 provides that The Fellows have the duties set out in Schedule 2A, as follows:

1. Duty to act in best interests of University

A Fellow must carry out his or her functions:
(a) in good faith in the best interests of the University as a whole, and
(b) for a proper purpose.

2. Duty to exercise care and diligence

A Fellow must act honestly and exercise a reasonable degree of care and diligence in carrying out his or her functions.

3. Duty not to improperly use position

A Fellow must not make improper use of his or her position:
(a) to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for the Fellow or another person, or
(b) to cause detriment to the University.

4. Duty not to improperly use information

A Fellow must not make improper use of information acquired because of his or her position:
(a) to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for the Fellow or another person, or
(b) to cause detriment to the University.

5. Disclosure of material interests by Fellows

(1) If:
(a) a Fellow has a material interest in a matter being considered or about to be considered at a meeting of the Senate, and
(b) the interest appears to raise a conflict with the proper performance of the Fellow's duties in relation to the consideration of the matter,
the Fellow must, as soon as possible after the relevant facts have come to the Fellow's knowledge, disclose the nature of the interest at a meeting of the Senate.

(2) A disclosure by a Fellow at a meeting of the Senate that the Fellow:
(a) is a member, or is in the employment, of a specified company or other body, or
(b) is a partner, or is in the employment, of a specified person, or
(c) has some other specified interest relating to a specified company or other body or to a specified person,
is a sufficient disclosure of the nature of the interest in any matter relating to that company or other body or to that person which may arise after the date of the disclosure and which is required to be disclosed under subclause (1).

(3) Particulars of any disclosure made under this clause must be recorded by the Senate in a book kept for the purpose and that book must be open at all reasonable hours for inspection by any person on payment of a reasonable fee determined by the Senate.

(4) After a Fellow has disclosed the nature of an interest in any matter, the Fellow must not, unless the Senate otherwise determines:
(a) be present during any deliberation of the Senate with respect to the matter, or
(b) take part in any decision of the Senate with respect to the matter.

(5) For the purpose of the making of a determination by the Senate under subclause (4), a Fellow who has a material interest in a matter to which the disclosure relates must not:
(a) be present during any deliberation of the Senate for the purpose of making the determination, or
(b) take part in the making by the Senate of the determination.

(6) A contravention of this clause does not invalidate any decision of the Senate.

(7) This clause does not prevent a person from taking part in the consideration or discussion of, or from voting on any question relating to, the person's removal from office by the Senate pursuant to section 26G.

(8) This clause applies to a member of a committee of the Senate and the committee in the same way as it applies to a member of the Senate and the Senate.

(9) For the purposes of this clause, a Fellow has a material interest in a matter if a determination of the Senate in the matter may result in a detriment being suffered by or a benefit accruing to the Fellow or an associate of the Fellow.

(10) In this clause:
associate of a Fellow means any of the following:
(a) the spouse, de facto partner, parent, child, brother or sister, business partner or friend of the Fellow,
(b) the spouse, de facto partner, parent, child, brother or sister, business partner or friend of a person referred to in paragraph (a) if that relationship is known to the Fellow,
(c) any other person who is known to the Fellow for reasons other than that person's connection with the University or that person's public reputation.


Other legislation

In addition to the University of Sydney Act 1989, there is other legislation which may apply to Fellows, including:

  • discrimination legislation, both Commonwealth and State
  • consumer legislation such as Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (NSW)
  • Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW)
  • Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 (NSW)
  • Annual Reports (Statutory Bodies) Act (NSW) 1984

Breach of duty (Clause 26G, University of Sydney Act 1989)

A Fellow of Senate may be removed from office for breach of duty. Clause 26G of the University of Sydney Act 1989 provides:

(1) The Senate may remove a Fellow from office for breach of a duty set out in Schedule 2A.

(2) The removal from office may be effected only at a meeting of the Senate of which notice (including notice of the motion that the Fellow concerned be removed from office for breach of duty) was duly given.

(3) The removal from office may be effected only if the motion for removal is supported by at least a two-thirds majority of the total number of Fellows for the time being.

(4) The motion for removal must not be put to the vote of the meeting unless the Fellow concerned has been given a reasonable opportunity to reply to the motion at the meeting, either orally or in writing.

(5) If the Fellow to whom the motion for removal refers does not attend the meeting, a reasonable opportunity to reply to the motion is taken to have been given if notice of the meeting has been duly given.

(6) A Fellow may not be removed from office by the Senate for breach of duty except pursuant to this section.