The University Statutes define the function of Convocation as follows:
The Convocation shall have the power to discuss and declare an opinion on any matter which may be referred to it by the Court, the Council or the Senate or on any other matter affecting the University and to report its views on such matters to the Court, the Council or the Senate as may be appropriate.
1. Meeting of Convocation
(i) Convocation shall meet at least once in every academic year within fifteen months of the preceding meeting.
(ii) Notice of a meeting of Convocation shall be given by the University Secretary* at least twenty-eight days before the date of the meeting.
(iii) The Chair of the meeting has the power to adjourn a meeting of Convocation either to an alternative date, subject to the provision of 5 (iii) below, or temporarily.
(i) A quorum may be challenged twice in a meeting; thereafter any challenge to quorum shall be out of order.
(ii) There shall be a quorum when 25 members are present (Paragraph 4, Section 28.1 of Statutes).
3. Postponement of meetings
(i) If in advance of the meeting it becomes clear that a meeting of Convocation cannot proceed (due for instance to adverse weather conditions) the Chair of the meeting has the power to postpone a meeting of Convocation to an alternative date.
(ii) Any meeting of the Convocation shall be postponed if thirty minutes after the time set for the commencement of the meeting insufficient members are present to constitute a quorum as defined in Section 2 above.
(i) Convocation shall be chaired by the Chancellor, or in his / her absence, by the most senior Pro-Chancellor available.
(ii) In the absence of the Chancellor and any Pro-Chancellor, a Chair shall be elected at the meeting from among the members of the Convocation present.
(iii) The Chair has discretionary ruling on procedure, but this may be reversed if two-thirds of the members present and voting so decide.
(i) The University Secretary* shall compile the agenda in consultation with the Chair of the meeting. Requests for inclusion of items on the agenda must reach the University Secretary, along with any papers for circulation, fourteen days before the date of the meeting at which the item is to be considered.
(ii) The agenda shall normally include approval of the minutes of the previous meeting and consideration of any Matters Arising from those minutes and a report on the work of the University and the Department of Development & Alumni Relations.
(iii) The agenda shall be circulated with all the available supporting papers at least seven days before a meeting.
(iv) The consideration of late papers or tabled papers is at the discretion of the Chair.
6. Disclosure of interest
(i) Members of the Convocation should act, and be perceived to act, impartially and in good faith, and not be influenced in their role by personal, social or business relationships.
(ii) Any member who believes that he or she may have a direct or indirect personal or financial interest in any matter under discussion at a meeting of Convocation where this is not self-evident (e.g. a matter that relates to all alumni of the University) shall state that interest at the earliest opportunity, normally to the Chair or the University Secretary * prior to the meeting or, if necessary, at the appropriate point during the meeting. Such declarations shall be recorded in the minutes.
(iii) Given the nature of Convocation as a representative body, members declaring an interest may stay and contribute to the discussion but not vote unless the Chair indicates otherwise. A member shall not be precluded from participating in discussion of or voting on any item of business solely because he/she is an alumnus of the University.
(i) Motions for consideration by Convocation, duly proposed and seconded by at least one other member, must be submitted in writing to the University Secretary* at least fourteen days in advance of the meeting. Acceptance of any motions received after this time will be at the discretion of the Chair. Motions must relate to a matter concerning the University. Any motions received will be circulated seven days in advance of the meeting at which it will be considered.
(ii) Any amendments to a motion, duly proposed and seconded, must be submitted in writing to the University Secretary* at least 24 hours prior to the meeting at which the motion is to be considered. Acceptance of any amendments received after this time will be at the discretion of the Chair. Any amendments received will be circulated to members at the meeting of Convocation at which it will be considered.
(iii) A challenge on a point of order takes precedence over all other discussions.
(iv) Amendments shall be considered prior to a vote on the substantive motion.
(v) Whenever an amendment is moved upon an original proposition, no second amendment shall be taken into consideration until the first amendment shall have been disposed of.
(vii) Motions or amendments may be withdrawn by the proposer with the approval of the seconder.
(viii) A member may, though there is a motion and an amendment before Convocation, move:
- 'that the Convocation do now proceed to the next business'
- 'that the question be now put'
(i) Minutes of meetings will be approved by the Chair before circulation. The minutes of a previous meeting must be approved by the Convocation. The University Secretary* must be advised in writing, not less than twenty-four hours before the meeting, of any proposed amendment to the unconfirmed minutes.
(ii) The draft minutes of Convocation will be published on the website of the University after they have been confirmed by the Chair.
9. Amendments to Standing orders
(i) Amendments to the Standing Orders may be made by a simple majority of Convocation, but shall not take effect until after the meeting has closed.
Date of last review:
* The functions of the University Secretary in relation to Convocation have been formally transferred to the Head of Strategic Government, in her capacity as Secretary to Convocation. Convocation will be asked to agree an amendment to its Standing Orders to reflect this change at its next meeting.