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Governance, Committees and Boards

The governing body of the University is the Council as set out in the University of Canberra Act 1989 (ACT). The powers of Council are established in section 10 of the Act. Council creates the basis for management excellence by developing the University's mission statement and setting the strategic direction, as well as approving the annual budget. It is responsible for ensuring the systems and processes to direct and control the University's operations are in place and working effectively. In addition, Council fosters a culture which allows the University to deliver to all of its stakeholders outcomes in line with its mission and strategic goals.

The University of Canberra Governance Model

Council has 15 members, nine external to the University and six internal, enabling a range of perspectives to be considered and encompassing a range of knowledge, skills and expertise. Eight of the external members, normally including the Deputy Chancellor, are appointed by the Chief Minister of the ACT, on the advice of the University. The Chancellor is appointed by Council from outside or within Council. External members are nominated on the basis of their expertise and experience in senior management in areas such as finance, commerce, law, information technology, education and corporate governance. At least two members will have financial expertise and at least one will have commercial expertise. Internal members include the Vice-Chancellor ex officio, the Chair of Academic Board ex officio and others elected by the University's internal stakeholders, namely undergraduate and postgraduate students, academic staff and general staff. These and all Council members must act in the interest of the whole University rather than that of their constituencies. Members are appointed for terms between one and five years to allow for continuity and a balance between new ideas and corporate memory.

Council is committed to good governance. New members are inducted to make them aware of their roles and responsibilities and to inform external members about the University's activities. Council reviews its performance and the performance of its sub-committees annually. Council's sub-committees consider matters relating to finance and resources, audit and risk management, legislation, environment and the physical infrastructure, strategy, honorary degrees and nominations. The advisory committees are normally chaired by external members of Council.

Council also ensures accountability of all University systems and this includes overseeing and monitoring the University's academic activities through its Academic Board. Academic Board has approximately 30 members and its role is to advise Council on all matters of academic policy, the formulation of the academic objectives of the University and the actions necessary to sustain and develop such objectives and any other matter relating to education, learning, research or academic work of the University.

To ensure the transparency of its proceedings, Council meetings are open to the public and minutes of meetings are publicly available.

Voluntary Code of Best Practice for the Governance of Australian Universities

The Voluntary Code was approved by the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment on 27 July 2011 and adopted by Council on 12 August 2011 (Resolution C144/22).