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University Governance and Management

UWA students are happy to be on campusThe University was established by the University of Western Australia Act 1911. The Act provides the legislative machinery for administering the University; it establishes the Governing Body (the Senate) which is empowered to ‘have the entire control and management of the affairs of the University’. It gives the Senate powers to act in the interests of the University through the making of statutes, regulations and by-laws and through the management of income and expenditure. It provides powers of delegation for the Governing Body, so that day-to-day management of the University can be delegated to officers employed by the University. Membership of the Governing Body in 2005 is listed in Appendix A of this section.

Other State Acts which deal with aspects of the management of the University are the University Buildings Act 1952, the University Medical School Teaching Hospitals Act 1955 and the QEII Medical Centre Act 1966.

The University is responsible to the State Minister for Education for the proper conduct of its business under the legal framework established by State legislation. However, the University receives the majority of its funding from the Commonwealth and it is therefore responsible to the Commonwealth Minister for Education for the delivery of its teaching and research programmes and for the provision of adequate infrastructure to support those programmes.

In order to fulfil its responsibilities effectively the Senate appoints the Vice-Chancellor as its Chief Executive Officer and works in partnership with him to maximise the University’s capacity and performance and to ensure its fiscal viability. The Senate delegates operational responsibility to the Vice-Chancellor and monitors, guides and supports the work of the Vice-Chancellor and Executive. It has identified its key activities as the setting of strategic directions, the oversight, audit and review of proper governance processes, the assessment and monitoring of performance against established targets, and the making and amending of University legislation. It has adopted a charter that provides for these roles.

The Vice-Chancellor is appointed by the Senate, following public advertising and standard recruitment procedures, for a period normally not exceeding seven years. Professor Alan Robson, the University’s 17th Vice-Chancellor, commenced his duties in 2004.

The Vice-Chancellor appoints an Executive group to assist him with his responsibilities for the academic, financial, administrative and other business of the University. In 2005 the Executive comprised:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor—Professor Margaret Seares
Responsible for broad line management of the deans of faculties, Dean of the School of Indigenous Studies and the University Librarian, for external relations and community activities, and deputising for the Vice-Chancellor in his absence
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)—Professor Doug McEachern
Responsible for research and research training, industry liaison and commercialisation, IT Policy
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic)—Professor Belinda Probert
Responsible for teaching and learning, undergraduate students, staffing policy
Executive Director (Academic Services) and Registrar—Mr Peter Curtis
Responsible for all matters relating to the academic administration of the University
Executive Director (Finance and Resources)—Ms Gaye McMath
Responsible for all matters relating to finance and resources

A key feature of the University’s governance and management system is its strong collegial foundation. The University’s peak academic body is the Academic Board, established under Statute No. 19 and chaired in 2005 by Professor Graeme Martin. The Board is supported by the Academic Council and a range of standing committees which provide policy advice on academic matters. The committee system is replicated at the faculty and school levels.

Statute No. 8 establishes the faculties, which are responsible for the general administration of the courses under their governance. Each faculty is headed by a dean, who has dual responsibility: to the faculty for providing vision, academic leadership and effective management, and to the Vice-Chancellor for the effective leadership and management of the faculty’s human, physical and financial resources located in the schools resourced by the faculty.

In 2005, the faculties and their deans were as follows:

Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts Dr Clarissa Ball
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Professor Anne Pauwels
Economics and Commerce (UWA Business School) Ms Tracey Horton
Education Associate Professor Marnie O’Neill
Engineering, Computing and Mathematics Professor Mark Bush
Law Professor Bill Ford
Life and Physical Sciences Professor George Stewart
Medicine and Dentistry Professor Ian Puddey
Natural and Agricultural Sciences Professor Alistar Robertson

The University’s decision-making structures and processes combine a significant level of operational autonomy (both academic and budgetary) in the faculties with a cohesive institution-wide approach to policy in the collegial and executive governance systems.

The Vice-Chancellor may also appoint deans whose responsibilities extend across the University. In 2005 they were:

Dean of the Graduate Research School Professor Robyn Owens
Dean of Undergraduate Studies Associate Professor Jane Long

The Executive, the deans, and committees at all levels work with and are supported by the University’s professional staff, both technical and administrative.

Diagrammatic representations of the University’s governance system and its executive management structure are set out in Appendix B and C respectively of this section.

The major publications produced by the University are:

These publications can be accessed online at: http://www.publishing.uwa.edu.au/

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