Standing Orders of Senate

The Standing Orders of Senate are given below. At a special meeting on 4 February 2014, Senate agreed to establish the Council of Senate to carry out all of the normal business of Senate. Senate further agreed that it would no longer meet in accordance with the schedule of meetings specified in its Standing Orders at Item 1 below. The next meeting of Senate is scheduled to be held in October 2016.

(as approved by Senate on 5 June 2003)

(amendments approved by Senate on 3 May 2007)

1. Meetings of the Senate shall be held normally on Thursdays at 2.00pm and will take place 5 times a year. They shall be summoned by the Principal or, if he or she is not available, they shall be summoned by at least three members of the Senate and the Clerk of Senate.

2. Meetings of Senate shall normally be convened by the Principal who is the president of the Senate. If the Principal is not available then the senior Vice-Principal or another Vice-Principal shall take the chair. In the absence of the Principal and all of the Vice Principals, the most senior Professor available shall take the chair.

3. A special meeting of the Senate may be held at any time on the summons of the Principal. A special meeting shall also be summoned by him or her on a requisition signed by at least five members of the Senate specifying the business to be brought forward; or, if he or she is not available, it may be summoned by at least five members of the Senate. In such cases, three working days notice should be given. When engaged with contentious matters, committees should consider arranging open meetings in order to include larger numbers in formal discussion and to explain at first hand the decisions made. Web sites should also be used to increase access to discussion.

4. Except for special meetings referred to in paragraph 3, all notices of matters of business, including motions which are to form part of the agenda for ordinary meetings, shall be with the Clerk not later than 11.30am on the Monday in the week preceding a meeting of Senate. Motions are to be delivered in writing, signed by the proposer. Where appropriate, papers should be accompanied by a statement of alternatives and the pros and cons of each. Papers shall identify who will lead discussion at Senate. Agenda items should be distinguished as being for: (a) discussion and decision, or (b) formal approval, or (c) information.

5. An agenda shall be prepared by the Vice-Principal (Learning and Teaching) and Clerk of Senate, in consultation with the Principal.

6. The agenda and papers for meetings of Senate shall normally be issued by the Senate Office not less than five working days in advance of the meeting of Senate.

7. Formal motions arising from the agenda shall be submitted to the Clerk of Senate in writing, and signed by the proposer and the seconder, both of whom shall be members of Senate, at least two clear days before Senate is to meet and shall be circulated to members of Senate and be tabled at the meeting.

8. Motions may also be moved arising from discussions of items of business on the agenda.

9. When an amendment to a motion has been made and seconded, no other amendment shall be accepted by the Convener until the amendment before the meeting has been disposed of. When the amendment is put to the meeting, a vote shall be taken for and against. If the amendment is carried, the question before the meeting shall be the motion as amended. If the amendment is lost, the question shall be again the motion as it stood before the amendment was proposed. In either case, it shall then be competent for any member to propose another amendment which, if duly seconded, shall be dealt with as before provided. The motion in its final form shall be put to the meeting and a vote taken for and against.

10. At any time in the course of a discussion, a member may raise a point of order and the discussion shall be suspended until the point of order has been decided by the Convener, whose decision shall be final.

11. Except by express leave of the Convener, only the proposer of a motion shall have the right of reply at the end of discussion by Senate.

12. The Convener shall, as an early item on the agenda, indicate to Senate those matters which will be starred for discussion, and unless any member of Senate at that time indicates a wish to raise a question on any of the remaining items, they shall be taken as read and passed.

13. The Principal or the Clerk of Senate is empowered to send, in the first instance, any business that in his or her judgement concerns a particular College to the College concerned. This and all other necessary matters dealt with by each College shall be brought before the Senate by the Head of College, in the form of recommendations of the College.

14. The Convener shall determine all questions of procedure not expressly provided for in these Standing Orders.

15. The Senate will receive regular reports on current issues from the Senior Management Group, as well as an annual presentation on University finances.

Revised November 2001
Updated August 2002, June 2003 and May 2007