Academic Board and the Academy : seizing the moment
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Hilary Winchester
In the past decade, much has been written about the governance of universities from the point of view of the superior governing body, frequently called the ‘Council’. Less has been written about the academic body, sub-committees to council, usually named, ‘academic board’. The dearth of writing on academic boards relative to that on university councils, does not reflect the high level of interest in academic boards of Australian University Quality Agency (AUQA) auditors. The AUQA audit reports, their recommendations, affirmations and commendations, demonstrate the important and changing role of academic boards, driven by change in the style of management of universities and the quality framework of which AUQA is a part. They also demonstrate the need for universities to pay closer attention to their academic boards. Other circumstances surrounding higher education in Australia, including the commencement of the second cycle of AUQA audits, continued discussion of the National Governance Protocols and implementation of the revised National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes reinforce the author’s view that universities must seize the moment and embark on more careful discussion of the role of academic boards, their interrelation with council and university management and their roleas the voice of the academy.