Otago Polytechnic

Academic Committee Policy

Section
Academic
To be read in conjunction with

Academic Committee SOP

Approval Date
1 June 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Responsibility
Deputy Chief Executive: Learning and Teaching Services
Baldrige Criteria
Leadership
Purpose

To set out the constitution, terms of reference, membership and operational procedures of Academic Committee and its Standing Committees

Policy

Role of Academic Committee

  1. The main roles and functions of Academic Committee are to:
    • Provide Otago Polytechnic Board and the Chief Executive with independent advice on academic matters, which shall include but not be limited to any matters pertaining to teaching, learning and research as it affects Otago Polytechnic, for example:
      • The teaching, learning, research and knowledge transfer strategies and activities of the Polytechnic
      • The Polytechnic’s quality systems and processes
      • Academic, Management, and Board policies
      • The educational performance of the Polytechnic, and of the programmes offered by the Polytechnic
    • Approve programmes of study offered by Otago Polytechnic, including changes to such programmes, pursuant to and consistent with the requirements of NZQA and delegations for approval by NZQA to Otago Polytechnic.

 

Powers of Academic Committee

  1. No powers have been delegated to Academic Committee by the Otago Polytechnic Board.

 

  1. The Chief Executive has delegated authority to Academic Committee to approve new and revised courses and programmes.

 

Membership of Academic Committee

  1. Academic Committee shall comprise up to 25 members as follows:
  • Chief Executive (CE) (ex officio)
  • Deputy Chief Executive Learner Experience (ex officio)
  • Deputy Chief Executive Learning and Teaching Services (ex officio)
  • Deputy Chief Executive Maori Development/Kaitohutohu (ex officio)
  • Director Learning and Teaching Development (ex officio)
  • OPAIC Staff Representative (ex officio)
  • Te Kaihāpai (ex officio)
  • Director Learner Services (ex officio)
  • Director Research and Postgraduate Studies (ex officio)
  • Director of Performance Excellence (ex officio)
  • Tumaki: Whakaako (ex officio)
  • Chair Research and Postgraduate Committee (ex officio)
  • Chair Programme Approvals Committee (ex officio)
  • Three student representatives:

> OPAIC student representative (positional appointment)

> the Convenor of the Student Council (positional appointment)

> the President of Otago Polytechnic Students Association (OPSA)
  or delegate (positional appointment)

  • Two full professors (elected)
  • All Heads of College (positional appointment)
  • Co-opted member(s) as required (co-opted)

 

  1. The election process will be managed by the Chair of the respective committee as per standard operating procedure SOP - Academic Committee
    • Elected members of Academic Committee serve a two-year term but may be re-elected for additional terms
    • Elected members filling casual vacancies will continue for the balance of the original term of office
    • The three (3) learner representative positional appointments will serve annually, for a calendar year.

 

  1. Appropriate staff may be in attendance as necessary and shall have speaking rights only.

 

  1. Academic Committee may establish working parties/ad hoc sub committees of members or other staff for specific purposes.

 

  1. Members will identify an appropriate alternate who is notified to Academic Committee. This alternate will attend when the member is unavailable and will have full speaking and voting rights.

 

  1. When the appointed Chair of a Standing Committee should be an ex officio member of Academic Committee or any of its standing committees because of their role, or the positional appointment for student representative holds multiple positions, they will only be counted in the membership once.

 

  1. Academic Committee may co-opt one additional member from time to time. A co-opted member has the same rights as full members. Any person requested to attend an Academic Committee meeting who is neither a Committee member nor a co-opted Committee member is ‘in attendance’ and as such has speaking rights, but no voting rights.

 

  1. Academic Committee is an open meeting enabling any person who wishes to attend to do so. They have no speaking or voting rights, but may be granted speaking rights by the Chair.

 

  1. Members of Academic Committee and its standing committees are expected to prioritise meetings and attend regularly. Absence from more than two meetings in succession, or from more than 20% of the meetings in any academic year without due cause may result in forfeiture of membership, at the discretion of the CE.

 

Meetings

  1. Academic Committee will be chaired by the Chief Executive or his/her nominee.

 

  1. The Chair of Academic Committee has a deliberative vote, and in the case of an equality of votes, also has a casting vote.

 

  1. Academic Committee will conduct up to 10 face-to-face meetings from February to November each year, with the option of electronic approval meetings as required for urgent approval requests.
    • Where a member identifies that an electronic meeting item requires discussion the item will be referred to the next face to face meeting, or if urgent, a special meeting will be called.

 

  1. A meeting quorum is defined as one more than half of the total actual membership, inclusive of alternates, and must include the Chair or nominee.

 

  1. An annual work plan will be established for Academic Committee and meetings will be scheduled to meet the demand in the work plan.

 

  1. Academic Committee will on an annual basis review educational performance including progress against Otago Polytechnic strategic objectives.

 

  1. The Chair or the Chair’s nominee may convene an extraordinary meeting of Academic Committee, as necessary. This may occur through face to face or electronic

 

  1. The Chief Executive or the Chair of Academic Committee may determine that a paper or papers will be discussed in closed session for reasons of privacy or commercial sensitivity. These papers and their minutes will not be distributed outside of Academic Committee without the written permission of the Chief Executive or the Chair of Academic Committee.

 

  1. Committee Secretary: The Deputy Chief Executive: Learning and Teaching Services office will ensure full secretarial services for the Committee.

 

Standing Committees

  1. Academic Committee shall have three standing committees, each with its own terms of reference:
  • Research and Postgraduate Committee (incorporates Research Ethics Committee)
  • Programme Approvals Committee
  • Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus (OPAIC) Academic

 

  

 

22.1. Research and Postgraduate Committee (incorporating the Research Ethics Committee)

  • As a reporting committee to Academic Committee the Research and Postgraduate Committee will provide a summary report on committee activities pertinent to research (including Research Ethics Committee approvals), knowledge creation and postgraduate programmes at Otago
  • The Research and Postgraduate Committee will also provide advice to Academic Committee as required.
  • Any and all research conducted by Otago Polytechnic staff and learners must be notified to Research Ethics Committee for documentation and approval. The Research Ethics Committee is an institutional (i.e. not an accredited) committee and as such does not approve any invasive research on humans, or research on animals.
    1. Approval for research on animals is, by arrangement, the responsibility of the University of Otago Animal Ethics Committee. Before applications for animal research are referred to UoO, the researcher will first consult with the Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing.
    2. The decision of the University of Otago Animal Ethics Committee is deemed to be the decision of the Research Ethics Committee and documented accordingly.
  • The terms of reference of these committees are attached in Appendix 1a and 1b.
  • Complaints regarding Research and Postgraduate Committee and Research Ethics Committee. The Committee shall:
    1. Receive complaints about research undertaken within the Polytechnic. (It is expected that complaints should be dealt with at the lowest level possible and that resolution between the parties should be sought.) Complaints may come from researchers, participants, colleagues or any other involved or concerned person.
    2. Draw the complaint to the attention of the researcher, supervisor, and/or manager
    3. Advise on actions to be taken to resolve the complaint
    4. The supervisor and/or manager shall advise Research Ethics Committee of the outcome
    5. After each complaint, the Research Ethics Committee shall review its processes and documentation and identify whether there is an opportunity for amendments to process or policy.
    6. The Research Ethics Committee shall report the outcome of all complaints through the Research and Postgraduate Committee on an annual basis.

Note: The Committee is a peer review process and, as such, has no structural authority related to a staff member’s employment, performance, or remuneration. It is appropriate for any such aspects to be dealt with through the staff member’s own manager.

  1. Complaints about research which are unresolved at Research Ethics Committee level and complaints about the Committee’s decisions or processes shall be made in the first instance to the Committee with a request for the issue to be reconsidered. Dissatisfaction with such a second review, outcome or response should be then referred to the Director Performance Excellence and arrangements be made to resolve the complaint following the guidelines in Resolution of Learner Complaints.

22.2. Programme Approvals Committee

  • As a reporting committee to Academic Committee the Programme Approvals Committee will report on committee activities pertinent to new and changed programme applications and approvals, from which advice will be released to Board, Leadership Team or other parties as appropriate.
  • The Programme Approvals Committee will also provide advice to Academic Committee as required.
  • The terms of reference of this committee are attached in Appendix 2

 

22.3. Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus (OPAIC) Academic Committee

  • As a reporting committee to Academic Committee the OPAIC Academic Committee will report on committee activities pertinent to quality processes including self assessment, programme review, programme monitoring and moderation, and research.
  • The OPAIC Academic Committee will also provide advice to Academic Committee as required.
  • The terms of reference of this committee is attached in Appendix 2

 

Research and Postgraduate Committee -Terms of Reference                                                                                       Appendix 1a

 

Purpose

To provide leadership and advice in relation to research postgraduate programmes at Otago Polytechnic.

The Committee’s leadership will be instrumental in positioning Otago Polytechnic as a credible and leading research polytechnic, and will promote strong interfaces between research and teaching, especially for staff teaching on degrees and postgraduate programmes.

Membership

The members of the Committee are expected to be conversant with the broader educational context, both nationally and internationally, and to bring these understandings to bear when advising the Polytechnic.

 

· Director Research & Postgraduate Studies (Chair) (appointed by CE)

· Chief Executive (ex officio)

· Deputy Chief Executive Learning and Teaching Services (ex officio)

· Deputy Chief Executive Learner Experience (ex officio)

· Deputy Chief Executive Maori Development/Kaitohutohu (ex officio)

· Te Kaihāpai(ex officio)

· OPAIC / Future Skills research representative (ex officio)

· Two (2) members of the professoriate (elected by the professoriate)

· Two (2) researchers (elected by those staff who are research active and eligible for Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF))

· Seven (7) Postgraduate area Leaders

• Note 1: Any new Postgraduate Programmes will have a representative.

· Up to two (2) co-opted members, at the Committee’s discretion, provided that the total membership of the Committee, inclusive of the ex-officio members, may not exceed 20 members. Co-opted members will usually be active and successful researchers or research leaders in their own right.

In attendance

· The Chair of the Research Ethics Committee may be present at Research and Postgraduate Committee meetings and shall have full speaking rights

·Research Office staff to be in attendance at all meetings with speaking rights only to report as required.

· Any member of Academic Committee may attend meetings of the Committee with full speaking rights.

Roles and Functions

· Lead the development of the strategic focus and direction for research and postgraduate study at Otago Polytechnic.

· Maintain the Polytechnic’s strategic goals, priorities, key performance indicators (KPIs), with regard to building a research culture underpinning teaching, removing barriers to staff research engagement, supporting those undertaking postgraduate supervision and established and emerging researchers towards PBRF.

· Ensure that processes exist within Otago Polytechnic to maintain the quality provision of postgraduate programmes including issues of intellectual property, research proposal, approval, supervision, learning and teaching, examination and thesis requirements.

· Develop, provide oversight and manage the assessment process for the doctoral degree.

· Advise on policy relating to research, postgraduate study and intellectual property.

· Endorse guidelines for the allocation of central funds for research support, publications and conference attendance.

· Review annually the effectiveness of research and accountability around research funding processes throughout the Polytechnic.

· Oversee the Research Ethics Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Research and Postgraduate Committee

· Receive reports from the OPAIC / Future Skills Research, Postgraduate and Ethics Committee

Review annually the effectiveness of the Committee.

Committee

Secretary

The Office of the Director Research and Postgraduate Studies will provide full secretarial services for the

Committee.

Meetings

Meetings will be held monthly, to synchronise with the Academic Committee meeting cycle, and may include electronic meetings and additional workshops.

Reporting

The Committee has a key initiating role in relation to research and postgraduate studies, as well as responding to matters that may be referred from Academic Committee.

The Committee will report to Academic Committee from which advice will be released to Board, Executive Leadership Team and other parties as appropriate.

 

Research Ethics Committee - Terms of Reference                                                                                                          Appendix 1b

Purpose

To provide:

· Assurance of safety to participants in research projects that their rights have been considered and      respected, including establishing informed consent, confidentiality and the storage and use of data.

· To advise and protect researchers regarding their rights and duties.

· To protect those who may be affected by research results or outcomes.

· Ensure methodologies are appropriate.

· Ensure ethics approval is obtained from all institutions before commencing the project, when joint research is being undertaken between two or more institutions.

Membership

· Chairperson (appointed by CE)

· An academic staff member/researcher from each Academic group

· Two members representing local iwi (nominated by Ngāi Tahu through the Arai-Te-Uru Papatipu Rūnaka)

· Student representative (nominated by the Student Sub Committee of Board)

· Two persons not involved in research on human or animal subjects and who are not members of the Otago Polytechnic academic staff

· Up to three co-opted members, at the Committee’s discretion

· Invite expressions of interest from appropriately qualified people according to vacancies.

 

Note 1: The Chair will be appointed by the Chief Executive and may attend the Research and Postgraduate Committee with full speaking rights. If the Chair is absent, the Chair may delegate all authorities that the Chair holds to another Committee member for a period. The Chair will notify the CE, the Research Ethics Committee members, and the Chair of the Research and Postgraduate Committee of any such delegations

 

Note 2: With exception of the Chair, the Research and Postgraduate Committee will appoint members, following recommendation from the Research Ethics Committee.

In making these appointments, the Research and Postgraduate Committee should consider:

· Committee expertise in ethics and law

· Gender balance and cultural representation

Range of research conventions in different disciplines.

Roles and Functions

·         Ensure that all research within the Polytechnic, or under the auspices of the Polytechnic, which involves human participants or the use of personal information is carried out in accordance with this policy and ethics guidelines.

·         Review and update Otago Polytechnic Ethics Guidelines yearly

a.     Foster an awareness of those procedures and of ethical principles in general within the Polytechnic

b.     Ensure practices are consistent with national tertiary research ethics standards and guidelines

·         Ensure researchers have written approval from the Research Ethics Committee before commencing activities as required by Otago Polytechnic Guidelines on Ethical Practices in Research

·         Enable and facilitate best practice by providing detailed instructions and suggested processes for meeting ethics approval. The Committee should provide constructive feedback to staff within four weeks of receiving their application

·         Withdraw approval for any research project that does not comply with guidelines, and notify the project leader and Academic Committee in writing.

·         Consider any matter of ethical concern relating to the involvement of human participants in research which any student or member of staff of the Polytechnic raises with the Committee

·         Refer any research involving animals to Head of School Veterinary Nursing as this is covered by an agreement with the University of Otago. Refer point 7.1.3 above.

·         Ensure that research proposals are carried out in accordance with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, with the currently applicable National Standard for Ethics Committees, and other relevant professional codes relating to research

·         Ensure systems are in place that ensure best practice is addressed for the purposes of self-assessment and external evaluation and review of ethical processes

·         Recommend and review policy and procedures and advise Academic Committee through the Research and Postgraduate Committee on issues relating to ethics in research

·         From time to time, in cases where it is not possible to convene the Committee and such requests are reasonable, the Chair may make decisions on ethical matters. In these cases, the Chair will advise the Committee at its next meeting. The Chair may seek advice on such decisions as is deemed necessary

·         Review annually the effectiveness of the committee.

Committee

Secretary

The Research Office will provide full secretarial services for the Committee.

Meetings

Meetings will be held at least eight times per year and may include electronic meetings.

Reporting

The Research Ethics Committee reports to Academic Committee through the Research and Postgraduate

Committee.

 

Programme Approvals Committee - Terms of Reference                                                                                              Appendix 2

 

Purpose

To provide leadership and advice in relation to all aspects of programme approvals and accreditation to ensure that Otago Polytechnic qualifications, programmes and accreditations are current and educationally sound, are aligned to the Polytechnic’s strategies and requirements, and meet external quality requirements.

Membership

· Chairperson (appointed by CE)

· Chief Executive (ex officio)

· Deputy Chief Executive Learning and Teaching Services (ex officio)

· Deputy Chief Executive Learner Experience (ex officio)

· Director Performance Excellence (ex officio)

· Te Kaihāpai (ex officio)

· Director: Learning and Teaching Services (ex officio)

· Deputy Chief Executive Maori Development/Kaitohutohu (ex officio)

  Academic Advisor (ex officio)

· Two Heads of College (elected by the Heads of College)

· Two Principal Lecturers who have a successful track record
in programme and curriculum development (elected by Principal Lecturers)

· Co-opted members, at the Committee’s discretion, provided that the total membership of the Committee, inclusive of ex officio members, may not exceed 15 members. Co-opted members must be experienced curriculum developers or leaders in their own right.

Note: Any member of Academic Committee may attend meetings of the Committee with full speaking rights.

Roles and Functions

· Evaluate qualifications and new and revised programmes prior to recommending to Academic Committee for approval

· Provide advice on programme development

· Review annually the effectiveness of the committee.

Note: The members of the Committee are expected to be conversant with the broader educational context, both nationally and internationally, and to bring these understandings to bear when advising the Polytechnic.

Committee

Secretary

Performance Excellence will provide full secretarial services for the Programme Approvals

Committee.

Meetings

Meetings will be held monthly, to synchronise with the Academic Committee meeting cycle, and may include

electronic meetings.

Reporting

The Committee has a key role in relation to programme approvals and accreditation processes, as well as responding to matters that may be referred from Academic Committee.

The Committee will report to Academic Committee from which advice will be released to Board, Leadership Team or other parties as appropriate.

 

OPAIC/ Future Skills Academic Committee - Terms of Reference                                                                                       Appendix 3

Purpose

To provide the OPAIC and Future Skills Group Governance Boards, the Otago Polytechnic Academic Committee and the OPAIC and Future Skills Executive Leadership Teams with independent advice on academic matters including those related to teaching, learning, assessment, research and new initiatives including programme development.

To lead and support the harmonization of academic standards, facilitate communication and working relationships between campuses and stimulate the sharing of new ideas in a timely manner.

To ensure that all aspects of institutional quality are maintained, and meet internal and external quality requirements. 

Membership

Academic Committee will have up to 20 members

•     Chief Executive: OPAIC/Future Skills Group

•     One Future Skills Board Member

•     Deputy Chief Executive Academic

•     DCE Māori Development/ Kaitohutohu or delegate

•     Chair: Te Kaihāpai/Director: Quality and Programme Development (International)

•     Quality Manager

•     Academic Manager (Domestic)

•     Chair Research, Postgraduate and Research Ethics Committee

•     Chair Programme Approvals and Quality Committee

•     One student representative (International)

•     One student representative (Domestic)

•     Four Heads of Department or delegate (International)

•     Two Academic Staff members (International) elected

•     HoD Students Success

Chair - Chief Executive OPAIC/Future Skills Group appoints the Chair

Co-opted Members – Academic Committee may co-opt up to two (2) additional members from time to time for specific purposes. Co-opted members have the same rights as full members.

In attendance - Academic Committee is an open meeting enabling any person who wishes to attend to do so.  They have no speaking or voting rights, but may be granted speaking rights by the Chair.

Working parties/ad hoc sub-committees - The Academic Committee may, when considered necessary, establish working parties and/or ad hoc sub-committees comprising committee members or other staff for specific purposes.

NB When the appointed Chair of a Standing Committee should be an ex officio member of Academic Committee or any of its standing committees or have more than one role they will only be counted in the membership once.

Roles and

Functions

•      To enhance educational innovation, rigour and excellence in such a manner as to support the evolution of OPAIC/Future Skills Group as New Zealand’s premier destination for students and the development of globally capable graduates who are in demand by employers.

•      To present and debate academic matters relevant to contemporary tertiary education

•      Strategically evaluate and approve new and revised programmes of study, including changes to such programmes, for approval consistent with the requirements of Otago Polytechnic (OP), Future Skills and the NZ Qualifications Authority.

•      Advise on quality matters

•      Advise the Governance Boards on academic matters of a management nature including

the teaching, learning, research and knowledge transfer strategies and activities of Future Skills Group

quality systems and processes

academic and management policies

educational performance of OPAIC and Future Skills’ programmes

•      Evaluate the effectiveness of quality processes, including self-assessment and programme review

•      Ensure that learning and teaching activity reflects innovation, latest international practice and effectiveness, and highest educational standards.

Committee

Secretary

Designated administrator will provide full secretarial services for the Committee.

Quorum

Half the actual membership at any time plus one

Meetings

Meetings will be held at least monthly February – December and may be face to face or electronic

Reporting

The Academic Committee has a key initiating role in relation to programme development, programme revision and quality matters for OPAIC/Future Skills Group. The Academic Committee will report to the OPAIC/Future Skills Governance Board and provide reports to the Otago Polytechnic (OP) Academic Committee in respect of OPAIC.

Signature

Approved by:
Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive
01/06/2020