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Academic Governance in the New Regulatory Environment

Please contact us if you'd like more information about this program.

Academic boards are widely considered to be fundamental to the ideal of a university as a self-governing community of scholars. They have existed in one form or another for centuries. In recent times, however, as universities become more corporate in identity, questions are being asked about the continuing role of academic boards. They do not look the same across all Australian universities, and university councils perceive them variably.

This half-day program, one of four in the Governance suite of programs, examines the role and relevance of academic boards in the overall context of university governance.

Who should attend?

  • Ex-officio members of the council (the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, the Chair of the Academic Board).
  • New or recent members of a university council (including external and internal members and new or near-new Chairs of Committees of a council).
  • University governance professionals (including University Secretaries, Secretaries to Council and Heads of Secretariats).
  • Senior executive staff.
  • Senior academic staff who require or will require a knowledge of university governance as part of their current or future roles.

Program content and format

  • The role of an academic board.
  • The operational and legislative framework of academic boards.
  • The relationship of an academic board with a university council and a university executive.
  • The effectiveness of academic boards and of chairs of an academic board.
  • The future of the academic board in the 21st century.

Participants will be provided with readings and assigned tasks to be completed prior to attendance at the program. The program will provide an opportunity for learning through guided discussion of case study materials. It will also introduce research evidence relating to the role and performance of academic boards in Australian universities.

Program delivery

This program can be delivered as a tailored program for individual institutions or for a group of institutions based in the same city or state.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • refer knowledgeably to the range of structures and practices that apply to the operation of academic boards across the Australian higher education system,
  • distinguish clearly between the role of an academic board and the role of a university council,
  • identify a range of mechanisms for evaluating the effectiveness of an academic board and for assessing the leadership provided by the chair of an academic board, and
  • comment in an informed way on policy trends impacting on the role and importance of academic boards in the Australian higher education system in the 21st century.

Overall, the program will contribute to a better understanding of the role of the academic board. It will also enable participants to obtain insights into the challenges facing academic boards, and into the ways in which different academic boards are addressing these challenges.

Enquiries and expressions of interest

Please direct enquiries about this program to or call +61 3 83440756.

This program can be delivered as a bespoke program for groups of universities within the same city or state. Contact us to discuss delivery for your institution(s).

Other programs in the Governance suite

Understanding University Governance

Effective University Councils

Regulating the University: Impacts and Implications for University Governing Bodies

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Part of the Governance series
Part of the Governance series