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Standing orders of Academic Assembly

The standard operating procedures explain the conduct and responsibilities of the Academic Assembly.


Standing Orders of Academic Assembly are in accordance with section 28 of the Statutes.

1. Membership

a. Membership of Academic Assembly will be in accordance with Paragraph 1 of Section 22 of the Statutes.

b. The Chair of the Academic Assembly shall be elected in accordance with the procedure laid down in Ordinance 11.

2. Meetings of the Academic Assembly

a. There shall be at least one ordinary meeting of the Academic Assembly during each year, within fifteen months of the preceding meeting, which shall be addressed by the Vice-Chancellor. See Paragraph 3, Section 22 of the Statutes.

b. The Chair may at any time at his/her discretion and shall, upon the request of the Vice-Chancellor or upon the requisition in writing of not less than 20 members of the Academic Assembly stating the purpose for which the meeting is to be called, summon an extraordinary meeting of the Academic Assembly. See Paragraph 5, Section 22 of the Statutes.

3. Challenge to quorum

A quorum may be challenged twice in a meeting; thereafter any challenge to quorum shall be out of order. There shall be a quorum when 25 members are present. See Paragraph 4, Section 28.1 of Statutes.

4. Adjournment

In the event of a successful challenge to the quorum, the options available to the Chair are to:

a. adjourn the meeting to an alternative date;

b. close the meeting and defer all the business to be transacted to the next ordinary meeting of Academic Assembly

c. proceed with the meeting but clearly show in the minutes that the meeting was not quorate. Any business requiring a decision will have to be referred to the next available meeting of Academic Assembly.

Any business accomplished and decisions taken before the quorum is challenged will be valid.

5. Postponement of meetings

Any meeting of the Academic Assembly shall be postponed:

a. If one half of the members signify beforehand that they are unable to attend.

b. If, fifteen minutes after the time set for the commencement of the meeting, insufficient members are present to constitute a quorum and, as a result, the quorum is challenged.

6. Procedure

a. In the absence of the Chair, a Chair shall be elected at the meeting from among the members of the Academic Assembly.

7. Agenda

The Chair shall compile the agenda. Requests for inclusion of items on the agenda must reach the Chair, along with any papers for circulation, fourteen days before the date of the meeting at which the item is to be considered. The agenda shall be circulated with supporting papers at least seven days before a meeting. The consideration of late papers or tabled papers is at the discretion of the Chair.

8. Order of business

After the minutes of the previous meeting have been approved and signed by the Chair, the order of business shall be as follows:

a. Matters arising from the minutes.

b. Official announcements.

c. Relevant decisions of Senate.

d. Business remaining from the previous meeting.

e. Matters for discussion.

f. Any other business.

The order of items for consideration may be changed with the approval of the Assembly. Consideration of items on the agenda may be deferred. No prior notice will be needed on items brought up under `Any Other Business', but the Chair may use his/her discretion in ruling that any of these items are out of order and that they shall be put on the agenda for the next meeting. The Chair's discretionary ruling may be reversed if a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting support a motion to this effect.

9. Decisions

Decisions of the Assembly shall be made on the result of a vote on a formal seconded motion.

10. Voting

Voting will normally be by a show of hands but a written ballot shall be held if a majority of those present so request it.

A motion shall be declared carried if it receives a simple majority of votes cast. In the event of a tie, the Chair shall have the right of a second or casting vote. Two members appointed by the meeting shall act as tellers.

11. Voting rights

All members of the Academic Assembly present have a right to vote.

12. Motions

a. The Chair has discretion regarding the acceptance of motions. The Chair's discretionary ruling may be reversed if a two-thirds majority of the Assembly members present support a motion to this effect.

b. A challenge to the Chair on a point of order takes precedence over all other discussion.

c. Amendments shall be considered prior to a vote on the substantive motion.

d. 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.

e. Motions or amendments may be withdrawn by the proposer with the approval of the seconder and with the consent of the members present.

f. A member may, though there is a motion and an amendment before the Assembly, move:

(i) 'that the Assembly do now adjourn', discussion of which motion shall have precedence over all other motions or amendments.

(ii) 'that the Assembly do now proceed to the next business'.

(iii) 'that the matter do lie on the table'.

(iv) 'that the matter be referred back to Committee'.

(v) 'that the question be now put'.

If (i) is carried, the Assembly shall forthwith determine the time and place for the meeting to be resumed, or shall authorise the Chair to convene a meeting which shall be not later that seven days prior to the next meeting of the Assembly given in the Calendar.

If (ii) is carried, the matter may not be raised again except as a formal agenda item at a subsequent meeting; if it is lost, discussion may continue, and the same motion shall not be again proposed during the discussion until a period of fifteen minutes has elapsed.

If (iii) is carried, the matter may be raised subsequently in the meeting if the Assembly so resolves.

If (v) is duly seconded, a vote shall be taken without discussion. If it is carried, the main question shall be put forthwith.

g. A member may, during discussion on the main question, but not during discussion on an amendment, move the previous question; that is to say, s/he moves that the main question be not now put. If such a motion is seconded, it may be discussed but not amended. It may be displaced only by a motion to adjourn. If it is carried, there shall be no further discussion of the motion at that meeting; if it is lost, the motion shall be put forthwith.

h. A member who has proposed or seconded the motion under discussion may not move or second during that discussion any of the motions in clauses (f) or (g) other than 'that the question be now put'.

13. Minutes

Minutes of meetings will be taken by the Secretary and approved by the Chair before circulation. The minutes of a previous meeting must be approved by the Assembly and signed by the Chair. The Chair must be advised in writing, not less than twenty four hours before the meeting, of any proposed amendment to the unconfirmed minutes. The Chair shall advise the Secretary of Senate of any items from the minutes of the Assembly which need to be placed on the agenda of Senate, normally fourteen days before the meeting at which they are to be considered.

14. Amendments to standing orders

Proposals for amendments to the Standing Orders shall follow the provisions of Standing Order 7. Amendments to the Standing Orders may be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, but shall not take effect until after the meeting has closed.

15. Suspensions of standing orders

Any one or more of the standing orders may be suspended at any meeting so far as regards any business at such a meeting upon a motion duly made and seconded, without debate, provided that a two-thirds majority of members present and voting shall so decide.

[Standing Order 16 has been removed]

17. Resolution of indecisive elections

If any Academic Assembly election which is governed by the Ordinances produces an indecisive result because of two or more candidates polling an equal number of votes, the issue shall be resolved by the aforementioned candidates casting lots under the direction of the Secretary to Senate.

Version information

Owner: Academic Assembly
Version number:
Approval Date: 14 October 2009
Approved By: Academic Assembly
Date of last review: 3 May 2022


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