During October 2016 session of State Parliament, consideration of the Universities Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 was completed and passed by both Houses of Parliament.
AMENDMENTS TO THE UWA ACT ENACTED BY THE WA GOVERNMENT
This legislation made the following amendments to the UWA Act which forms the constitution of our University. The main changes which impact on Convocation are as follows:
- Composition of the Senate.
The legislation makes provision for a Nominations Committee (comprising not more than 6 Senators) with the charter to nominate future members of the Senate. Elected staff, students and Convocation Senators and the Chair of Academic Board are excluded from membership of the Nominations Committee.Senators can now be paid remuneration and allowances as determined by the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal.Convocation Membership has now been modified to restrict memberships to past and present members of Senate, graduates of UWA, those who are members before the amendments come into operation, and persons the Senate admits to Convocation.Convocation’s role in commenting on Statute changes proposed by the Senate has been retained, although the time allowed for this has been reduced from 3 months to 28 days
- The Senate has been reduced in size from 21 to 17;
- The terms of most Senators will now be 3 years (down from 4 years), with the maximum tenure being 3 terms of 3 years (9 years instead of the previous 12 years);
- The number of members co-opted by the Senate has been increased from 3, to no more than 5;
- Those members of the Senate appointed by the Governor has been reduced from 4 to 3;
- Staff-elected members have been reduced from 3 academic and 1 non-academic staff, to 1 academic and 1 non-academic.
- The number of Senate members elected by Convocation has been reduced from 4 to 2,
- Convocation elected members must now not be staff of any kind (previously could not be ongoing or fixed term academic staff);
- Student elected positions on Senate have been reduced from 3 to 2 (one undergraduate and one post-graduate) and cannot be re-elected more than once;
- A provision has been added that at least 4 members of the Senate much be UWA graduates;
- The requirement that the majority of the Senate must not be students or staff has been deleted.
The date for the proclamation of these changes was 2nd January 2017.
Following these changes to the UWA Act, a review was initiated by the UWA Senate to update and amend the UWA Statutes to ensure that these included the changes made to the Act and conformed to modern practice. As a result of this review a decision has been taken to consolidate all 27 existing Statutes into on single UWA Statute.
The proposed changes pertaining to Convocation are outlined in the attached PDF for your information. These changes have been developed and endorsed by Convocation Council. The Convocation 'chapter' of the UWA Statute is scheduled to be considered by the UWA Senate at its meeting on 9th March 2020.