University Governance

The University Council

The Charles Sturt University Council is the governing body of the University and constituted in accordance with the Charles Sturt University Act 1989 to ensure the proper stewardship and strategic direction of the University.  The Council is directly accountable for the stakeholders of the University for creating and delivering value and improved performance through effective governance.

The Council has 15 members who are appointed or elected. Appointed members must have the skills, qualifications and experience necessary for the good governance and stewardship of the University.
The membership comprises of: the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Presiding Officer, Academic Senate as official members; three members appointed by the NSW Minister for Education; two members nominated by the Council; four graduate members; two elected staff members (one academic and one professional/general) and one elected student member (postgraduate or undergraduate).

The Council meets at least five times a year and conducts a formal planning workshop biennially to focus on strategic performance and to review governance processes.

Council Committees

The Council has established the following principal Committees to assist it in exercising its responsibilities, including monitoring the performance of the University against the objectives and performance indicators set out in the University Strategy and other institutional planning documents. Each Committee has terms of reference set out in a Rule approved under the Charles Sturt University Act 1989 and has the authority to require information or report from any officer or employee of the University.

Chancellor’s Foresighting Committee

The principal function of the Chancellor’s Foresighting Committee is to act for and on behalf of the Council, between scheduled meetings of the Council, in the control and management of the affairs of the University, including approval of recommendations for conferring awards on the University's graduands. The Committee also undertakes broad environmental assessments, which might identify emerging trends and other opportunities or threats, for further interpretation by the Council and/or management and provides advice and recommendations to the Council and/or management in relation to key emerging issues to assist with future planning.

The Committee comprises four members including the Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Presiding Officer, Academic Senate.

The Council may additionally appoint up to two other members of the Council to the membership, of which at least one must be an external member.

Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

The principal functions of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee include the:

  • oversight and granting of relevant approvals with respect to University finances including review and recommendation of the Annual Budget to the Council, monitoring of the financial performance of the University and student load;
  • oversight of capital development projects including commercial activities of the University and monitoring the performance of these;
  • oversight and granting of relevant approvals with respect to audit activities including reviewing reports of the internal auditor and the annual internal audit program;
  • oversight of the processes necessary to support a compliance framework in the context of best practice corporate governance as it relates to adherence to law, University policies, and accepted procedures;
  • review of reports on compliance (including whistle-blower activities); and
  • review of risk assessment within the University (including Academic Risk) and the internal control systems in place to underpin this assessment including the risk management framework and policies, risk appetite, risk mitigation and reputation management, as well as associated documentation.

The Committee comprises five members of the Council, the majority of whom are external members with financial and audit qualifications and experience.

Investment Committee

The principal function of the Investment Committee is to act for and on behalf of the Council with respect to the investment activities, targets and policy of the University. Including monitoring the performance of the University’s investment portfolio, Fund Managers, and investment risk as well as providing advice to the Chief Financial Officer and Investment Management Committee with respect to the investment program.  The Committee also oversights the University’s philanthropic activities.

The Committee comprises at least three members of the Council, the majority of whom shall be external members as well as two external independent members with investment skills and experience.

Nomination and Remuneration Committee

The Nomination and Remuneration Committee is responsible for the nominations processes of the Council, executive remuneration, and the performance review of the Vice-Chancellor. It also approves nominations for honorary awards and official naming of University facilities including roads, buildings etc.  The membership of the Committee comprises of the Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, the Presiding Officer, Academic Senate and three other members of Council (including at least two external members).

Academic Senate

The Academic Senate is the principal academic body of the University. It has delegated authority from the Council to make and monitor academic policy, it provides advice to the Council and Vice-Chancellor on all matters relating to teaching, research and scholarship and it is responsible for ensuring the high quality of teaching and learning and research within the University and monitoring and managing issues of academic risk.

The Academic Senate has a membership of 28 comprising: two members of the professoriate elected by the Academic Senate as the Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer; the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Executive Deans of Faculty; Pro Vice-Chancellors; Executive Director, Student Success; Executive Director of Library Services; the Presiding Officer of the Indigenous Board of Studies as ex-officio members; three members of the professoriate nominated and elected by the professorial forum; three elected academic staff members from each Faculty; and two students nominated by the student associations.

The Academic Senate meets five times each year and is assisted in its work by several committees.

Curriculum Learning and Teaching Committee

The Curriculum, Learning and Teaching Committee advises the Academic Senate on matters relating to curriculum, learning and teaching policy relating to undergraduate course and postgraduate coursework programs.

Academic Policy and Regulations Committee

The Academic Policy and Regulations Committee advises the Academic Senate on matters relating to existing and proposed academic regulations, policies and Rules of the Academic Senate (except those relating to higher degree research programs).

Research Committee

The Research Committee advises the Academic Senate on research and research training profile and performance. The Committee also advises Academic Senate on matters of policy and regulation pertaining to research professional doctorate and higher degree research programs and research professional doctorate and higher degree research candidature (including admission, enrolment, credit and graduation).

Other Committees of the Academic Senate

The Academic Senate has a number of other committees to perform specialist functions. These include: the Academic Appeals Committee which decides appeals from research higher degree candidates against decisions of the Research Advisory Committee; the Standing Committee which has the authority to determine urgent matters; the Audit Committee which is responsible for auditing the practices and operation of the Academic Senate; and the University Medals Committee which awards University Medals to academically outstanding students.

Faculties and Schools

The University´s academic activities (teaching, research and consultancy) are the province of the Faculties of the University. Each Faculty is headed by an Executive Dean who is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for the management of the Faculty. The Faculties, which are multi-campus, comprise campus-based and cross-campus Schools and, in a few cases, campus-based academic units. Each school is managed by a Head of School who is responsible to the Executive Dean.

Faculties are responsible for the development and delivery of courses whereas Schools are responsible for the curriculum and the teaching of the subjects that comprise courses.

Faculty Boards

Each Faculty has a Faculty Board, chaired by the Executive Dean, which is a committee of the Academic Senate and is responsible for the quality of the Faculty´s courses, research, consultancy and other academic activities. Each School of the Faculty is represented on the Faculty Board.

Committees of the Faculty Boards

The Faculty Boards have a number of committees to perform specialist functions on behalf of the Board. These include: a Courses Committee which approve the documentation for new and revised course proposals; an Assessment Committee which approves the awarding of grades; Faculty Research and Graduate Studies Committees which monitor the Faculty´s research and consultancy endeavours and graduate programs; and a Standing Committee to handle urgent issues.

School Boards

Each School has a School Board, chaired by the Head of School, which is responsible for the quality of the teaching and assessment of the School´s subjects and the other academic activities of the School.

Course Directors

Course Directors have been appointed in Faculties with responsibility for the strategic leadership and academic management of a complex course or a group of courses. The course director is responsible for leadership of planning and curriculum development for the course(s); for course quality assurance and accreditation processes and application of CSU’s academic regulations and policies to the course(s); for marketing and industry liaison on behalf of the course(s); and for student advisory processes for the course(s).

Course Coordinators

A course coordinator is a member of the academic staff of the Faculty. The course coordinator is responsible for ensuring that students in a course meet all the requirements of the course required for graduation and abide by the regulations and other policies approved by the Academic Senate.