Terms of reference


The Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Veterinary Science will work together through a Divisional Board to promote mutual accountability and drive cross disciplinary strategic developments in their teaching, research, service, and external partnerships.

These Terms of Reference set out the principles upon which the Board will operate.


The objectives of the Board are to promote mutual accountability and strategic cooperation among the three faculties and their Schools and Centres in respect of teaching, research, service, and budgets.

The Board will facilitate:

  • Development of a strategic plan for the over-arching activities of the Division
  • Agreement upon research and teaching ‘compacts’ with SEG
  • Alignment of the goals and strategies of the Division with the central Portfolios (Research, Education, and International)
  • Investigations of synergies, opportunities and efficiencies in teaching specifically to address overlaps in curriculum, both within the Division of Natural Sciences and between Divisions
  • Identification of research priorities and opportunities for increased collaboration both within the Division of Natural Sciences and between Divisions
  • Investigations of synergies and efficiencies in professional and student service units Integration of the Division with the governance structures and procedures of the University as a whole
  • Strengthening and promotion of the University’s national and international partnerships and international profile in the natural sciences
  • Management of the Division’s risks and the development of a risk register


The Board will act consistently with the following principles:

  • Mutual respect and support for the mission, integrity, sustainability and autonomy of each partner within the Division
  • Good faith commitment to achieving the objectives of the Board
  • Collaboration among the faculties in respect of all matters within the mandate of the Board

Powers and Functions

The functions of the Board are to:

Make recommendations to the Senior Executive Group and its sub-committees on all matters within the powers of the Board.

Meet regularly, in two forms:

  • Board: Meets monthly to integrate the Division’s work with SEG and provide mutual accountability for key financial, staffing and resourcing decisions within the Division
  • Advisory Committee to the Board: meet at least once every six months to plan, coordinate and implement curriculum reform, research cooperation and administrative efficiencies

Membership of the Board

The Board shall comprise the Deans of the constituent Faculties, the Deputy Dean of Science, and an additional member from each Faculty as nominated by the Dean of the Faculty. Delegation is permitted from one deputy, in a Dean’s absence. The Faculty which provides the Chair will also have an additional member (ProDean or Deputy Dean). The Board will include the chief officer of the Division and a representative from the Divisional Board of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry. The Board will be represented on other Divisional Boards by its Chair. The Provost will be an ex officio member of the Board. From 2014, the Board will include the Finance Director (Natural Sciences); the HR Relationship Manager (Natural Sciences) and the Manager Compliance & Risk (Division of Natural Sciences), as non-voting members.

The Advisory Committee of the Board would comprise; Deans of the constituent Faculties, Heads of Schools in Faculty of Science, and additional Faculty Executive members from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, and the Faculty of Veterinary Science to ensure appropriately balanced levels of representation (e.g. Pro-Deans or Associate Deans Research, Learning and Teaching and Postgraduate Studies, as required). The Head of the School of Medical Sciences will be a member. The Advisory Committee will include as non-voting members, Directors who operate across the Division.

There shall be no delegation of membership to another member of a constituent Faculty in the event that a member is not able to attend an Advisory Committee meeting.

The Board and Advisory Committee will have a secretariat provided by the University Central Services.

Chair of the Board

The Chair will be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor. The Faculty from which the Chair is appointed will have an extra member on the Board to allow the Chair to act as an impartial convener.

The Chair will be responsible for:

  • Calling all meetings
  • Preparing the agenda and related papers and draft recommendations
  • Ensuring that the minutes of Board meetings are recorded
  • Forwarding recommendations to SEG and liaising with the relevant committees of SEG
  • Reporting to SEG when appropriate and at least on an annual basis
  • Liaising where appropriate on behalf of the Board with the Provost and Vice-Chancellor of the University.


The Board and Advisory Committee will seek consensus and report majority and dissenting views. The consent of the relevant Dean to each Recommendation must be given in respect of all matters considered essential to meet accreditation requirements). If a Dean considers that a vote on any matter is contrary to the interests of their faculty they may invoke the dispute resolution procedure outlined below.


There will be two committees established, the Research Strategy Group and the Learning and Teaching Strategy Group. Each committee will be made up of 5 core members and have the ability to co-opt additional members as required.

Working Parties

The work of the Board and its Advisory Committee will be project oriented and to facilitate this, working parties will be established by the Board for defined purposes and durations.


Administrative support is to be provided by the central secretariat and through the office of one of the Deans by agreement amongst the Deans.

Evaluation of Board Performance

The performance of the Board will be reviewed regularly and at least every two years to assess whether and to what extent the Board is meeting its objectives and performing its functions.

Dispute Resolution

Any disputes and appeals against recommendations of the Board may be made to SEG.