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Procedure for establishment, merger, renaming or disestablishment of a faculty, school or department

Read our policy on the procedure for the establishment, merger, renaming or disestablishment of a faculty, school or academic department of the University.


In accordance with Sections 17.10 and 19.22of the Statutes, Council (on the recommendation of Senate)hasresponsibility for approval of establishment, merger, re-naming or disestablishment of a Faculty, School or Academic Department of the University.

Initial Proposal
1. The Vice-Chancellor will be responsible for preliminary consideration of any proposal for establishment, merger, re-naming or disestablishment to determine whether it should proceed further. The Vice-Chancellor will normally invite the views of the Vice-Chancellor's Group, the relevant Dean(s) of Faculty/School, the relevant Head(s) of Department and University Executive Committee as part of this preliminary consideration.
Consultation Process
2. If the Vice-Chancellor decides that it should receive further consideration the views of all interested parties on the proposal will be invited. All staff and students of the relevant Faculty/School/Department(s), the relevant Dean(s) of Faculty/School, the relevant Head(s) of Department, at least the Chairs of the relevant Committees, the Chair of the Academic Assembly, the Campus Trades Unions, and the BUSU President will be included in any such consultation. The consultation may be conducted by e-mail, letter, web and/or meeting as appropriate. A minimum consultation period of 20 working days will apply. Those consulted will be provided with the details of the proposed amendments to the structure, the rationale and timescale for the proposal and any other relevant information to enable them to respond on an informed basis.
3. The proposal will be reviewed by the Vice-Chancellor in the light of the findings of the consultation, who shall determine whether (and if so in what form) a proposal shall be drafted.
Formal Proposal
4. A formal proposal for the establishment, merger or disestablishment is required for approval, ultimately by Council. This will include details of the:
current structure and the proposed amendments to it;
rationale for the proposal, including the wider sector context;
implications for prospective and current students;
implications for staff;
implications for student numbers, academic programme portfolio, research, other activities of the Faculty/School/Department(s), financial resources (e.g. operating budget, any new resources required), physical resources (e.g. space, equipment) and governance (e.g. representatives of the Faculty/School/Department(s) on Committees);
relationship with the University Strategy;
proposed timescale for formal approval and implementation;
consultation process/responses;
progress to date through the formal consideration process at Paragraph 6 (including minute extracts as appropriate);
risk assessment of the proposal (with reference to the University's Risk Register);
Equality Analysis (where relevant);
any other material issues which require consideration prior to approval.
5. The formal proposal will be submitted for comment to the University Executive Committee and the relevant Faculty/School/Department Executive Committee(s) at which point the Vice-Chancellor will determine whether the formal proposal should proceed to formal consideration.
Formal Consideration
6. The formal proposal will be considered as follows:
Faculty/School Board(s) of Studies
i) The Faculty/School Board(s) of Studies are required at the next meeting (unless otherwise agreed by the Vice-Chancellor) 'to advise and report to the Senate on all matters relating to the organisation of education, teaching, learning, and research in the subjects of the School, including curricula and examinations'(Statute 20.1).
ii) The proposal may only proceed to Council on the recommendation of the Senate (Statute 17.10).
iii) It is not appropriate for the formal proposal to be dealt with using vacation powers or chair's action at any stage of the formal consideration process. Special meetings may therefore be required to progress the proposal if a routine meeting is not available.
7. All stakeholders will be kept informed as appropriate of progress throughout the formal consideration stage.
8. In respect of the proposed timescale for implementation, the following issues will be considered:
arrangements for notification of decision to all interested parties;
provision of sufficient time for changes to business processes, including by the Faculty, BUCS, Human Resources, Learning and Teaching Enhancement Office, Finance, Registry and Library;
provision of sufficient time for updating of the website and other documentation;
estates (e.g. space management implications and revised signage);
arrangements for general publicity of the changes to the academic structure by the Department of Marketing and Communications.
9. The recommended implementation date for changes to the academic structure is 1st August. This would normally mean securing formal approval by February/March at the latest to allow for timely implementation.

Approved by Council on the recommendation of Senate 16th May 2013

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