Terms of reference


The objectives of the Division of Health Sciences Board are to promote the strategic direction for the Division, manage risk, ensure academic and fiscal accountability, and to take responsibility for the relationship between the Division and SEG. In particular, the Divisional Board will promote cross- disciplinary research and teaching within the Division and across the University more broadly; ongoing curriculum monitoring and reform (where appropriate); efficient teaching of courses and units of study; identification of and support for research priorities and opportunities; oversight of high quality appointments in line with the Divisional Strategic Plan; efficient and effective shared support services; close collaboration with the Division of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy and where appropriate engage in joint endeavours in any one of the above; and integration of the Division with the governance structures and procedures of the University as a whole.

Membership of the Board

The following composition of the Board is proposed.

Dean, Deputy Dean, and two Associate Deans of the Faculty.
One nominated representative from each of the following stakeholder groups: Heads of Disciplines, the professoriate; and early career researchers.
One representative from the Division of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy and one representative from the to-be-formed Health Sciences Sydney Committee. This committee will comprise individuals external to the University who are committed to the strategic direction of the University more broadly and the Division specifically and who have significant expertise in the health sector and/ or higher education sector and/ or international sector relevant to the Division.
The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, ex-officio.
The Chair of the Board will be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor

It is expected that from time to time, other members of the Faculty, the Faculty Executive and other Divisions within the University may be invited to participate in the deliberations of the Board relevant to the business of the Board at that meeting and the individual’s expertise. It is also anticipated that from time to time, the Board may wish to hold invitation only or open sessions to highlight the work of the Division or to seek broader input into its deliberations on matters of strategic importance to the Division.

Conduct of Business of the Board

The Faculty of Health Sciences Executive provides academic leadership and management oversight of the strategic and operational business of the Faculty. The Executive meets fortnightly with alternate meetings of 4 hours primarily devoted to strategic matters, and 2 hours primarily concerned with operational matters. The FHS Executive reports formally to the Faculty via the Faculty Meeting held quarterly and informally via the daily FHS Bulletin. The Faculty Meeting is the formal collegial decision making body to which the Faculty Committees, Associate Deans, Deputy Dean and Dean report and provide recommendations in relation to Faculty business. To dispense with this integral part of Faculty governance could diminish collegial and consensus decision-making in the Faculty. It is proposed that the Faculty Meeting continues and its currently somewhat restrictive (and primarily academic) membership be broadened to include all academic and professional staff in the Division.

The quarterly Faculty Meetings are complemented by regular and up to 6 per year Faculty Forums at which a topic of interest to the Faculty as a whole is presented and debated, often led by relevant portfolios from across the University. Examples of topics in recent fora include international development, indigenous inclusion in curricula, UG Honours Programs, the Green Paper. One planned for later this year will address the UEM. These fora provide an opportunity for information sharing, debate, and an avenue for all staff to contribute to influencing Faculty and University policy and practice.

Divisional Board Meeting Schedule

To align with current Faculty governance it is anticipated that the Divisional Board would meet at least six times each year and on a schedule appropriate to receiving material from both Faculty Executive and the Faculty Meeting. The Agenda will be determined by the Chair in consultation with the Dean. Agenda items will represent the responsibilities of Divisional Boards as outlined briefly above under 1. Objectives, and on page 8 of the University of Sydney 2011-2015 White Paper. Material relevant to Agenda items will be drawn from the Faculty Executive, the Faculty Meeting, and from SEG or the Vice-Chancellor as matters of relevance to the Division of Health Sciences Board or Boards of all Divisions in the University.

Responsibilities of the Chair

The Chair will be responsible for calling all meetings; preparing the agenda and related papers and draft recommendations; ensuring the minutes of Board meetings are recorded; forwarding Recommendations to SEG and liaising with the relevant committees of SEG; reporting to SEG on an agreed schedule; and liaising where appropriate on behalf of the Board with the Provost and Vice- Chancellor of the University.

Conduct of Meetings of the Board

As a general principle, the Board will work toward reaching consensus on items being considered. All votes in respect of Recommendations to SEG and its sub-committees shall be by a majority and each member shall be entitled to one vote. The consent of the Dean is required for any matters considered essential to relevant professional accreditation and registration requirements.

Evaluation of Performance of the Board
As a general rule, the performance of the Board should be evaluated regularly and preferably in line with evaluation procedures for SEG given the reporting line and accountability from the Board to SEG.

Appeals and Dispute Resolution
Any disputes and appeals against recommendations of the Board would be made to SEG.

Administrative Support to the Board
Administrative support to the Board will be provided by a University-wide secretariat.