Remit and Composition

  1. The core functions of the Senate are exceedingly broad and are specified in the Universities (Scotland) Acts as “to regulate and superintend the teaching and discipline of the university and to promote research”.
  2. The Senate is responsible for all academic matters relating to teaching and research. This includes approving teaching and learning (including assessment) policies and practices, regulations that govern students’ programmes of study, their progress and their awards, and admission requirements to the University’s various degrees (known as “Going Rates”); and ensuring that appropriate and effective arrangements are in place for student support (academic and non-academic). It is on the authority of the Senate that degrees and other awards are conferred. 
  3. Much of the detailed work in regard to the above matters is delegated by the Senate to the University Committee on Teaching and Learning (UCTL), which is a joint committee of the Senate and Court. The UCTL is responsible to the Senate for the assurance of the quality of the University’s educational provision, particularly in relation to the design, implementation, evaluation and review of mechanisms for quality assurance and quality control, for the enhancement of the quality of teaching and learning, and for the safeguarding of academic standards. The UCTL has three sub-committees (the Quality Assurance Committee, the Undergraduate Committee and the Postgraduate Comittee) which inform its work.
  4. Much of the work of the above committees is forwarded to the Senate after discussion with, and approval by, Schools and Colleges, as appropriate.  This detailed iteration, coupled with the fact that Colleges are represented on each of the above committees, often results in proposals from these committees being approved routinely by the Senate. Senate plays an important role, however, in that, occasionally, questions or suggestions are raised that are referred back to the relevant committee for consideration and amendment of proposals, as deemed appropriate.
  5. The research aspects of the Senate’s remit are covered through the above committees in regard to research students. Non-student research interests are overseen by the Senate through regular reports from the Vice-Principal (Research & Knowledge Exchange) who chairs the Research Policy Committee and through consideration of national initiatives as and when appropriate, e.g. in regard to the research assessment exercise.
  6. The Senate plays a broader, strategic, role in commenting on draft responses to external consultations on a variety of issues relating to teaching and learning, including research, and on internal matters such as the Strategic Plan.
  7. The Senate is also responsible for approving, for its part, policies relating to student academic appeals, discipline and complaints; and for hearing and determining the outcome of related issues through sub-committees (the Senate Appeals and Complaints Panel; the Students’ Progress Committees; the Student Disciplinary Committee).

The composition of the Senate is as follows:

a) Ex officiis

  • Principal (Convener)
  • Senior Vice-Principal
  • Heads of College (3)
  • Other Vice-Principals (5)
  • Heads of School (12)
  • College Directors of Teaching & Learning (3)
  • College Directors of Research (3)
  • Heads of Graduate Schools (3)
  • Quality Assurance Committee (8)
  • The University Librarian

b) Elected Members

  • 79 teaching and research (including honorary and part-time) staff (i.e. approximately twice the number of ex officio members) elected approximately pro rata by, and on the basis of, the total electorate within each School (see below), to serve for a four-year period, with half retiring every second year and with retiring members eligible for re-election for one further four-year period.

c) Student Members

  •  President of the Students’ Association
  • The Student President (Education & Employability)
  • Vice-President (Education & Employability)
  • The School Conveners (13)
  • One postgraduate representative from each of the three Colleges

In addition, the President (Welfare & Equal Opportunities) is in attendance.

Distribution of Elected Seats by School

Name of Constituency Number of Seats allotted to Constituency
(a) University of Aberdeen Business School 5
(b) School of Divinity, History and Philosophy 5
(c) School of Education 4
(d) School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture 5
(e) School of Law 4
(f) School of Social Science 5
(g) School of Biological Sciences 6
(h) School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition 25
(i) School of Psychology 4
(j) School of Engineering 5
(k) School of Geosciences 5
(l) School of Natural & Computing Sciences 6

The number of seats allotted to individual constituencies (a) to (l) above may be varied by the University Court on the recommendation of the Senatus Academicus.


Principal
  • Professor I Diamond
Vice-Principals
  • Professor J Kilburn (Senior Vice-Principal)
  • Professor A Glover
  • Professor N Haites
  • Professor J Paterson
  • Professor P McGeorge
Heads of College and Vice Principals
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor P Hannaford
Physical Sciences Professor BD MacGregor
Arts & Social Sciences Professor M Ross
Heads of School
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Ms A M Slater
Arts & Social Sciences Professor J Morrison
Arts & Social Sciences Professor E Welch
Arts & Social Sciences Professor R Irwin
Arts & Social Sciences Professor D Gimlin
Arts & Social Sciences Mr M Whittington (Interim)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor G Paton
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor A Sahraie
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor S Heys  
Physical Sciences Professor J Skakle  
Physical Sciences Professor D Jolley
Physical Sciences Professor I Guz
College Directors of Teaching & Learning
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Dr A Arnason (Acting)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor S Davies
Physical Sciences Professor R Wells
College Directors of Research
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Professor M Brown
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor M Campbell
Physical Sciences Dr R Neilson
Head of Graduate Schools
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Professor W Naphy
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor B Connolly
Physical Sciences Professor J Masthoff
Quality Assurance Committee
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor K Shennan
Arts & Social Sciences Mrs M Beaton
Arts & Social Sciences Dr M Ehrenschwendtner
Arts & Social Sciences Dr S Lawrie
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor P Bishop
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor D Lurie
Physical Sciences Vacant
Physical Sciences Vacant
Librarian
  • Ms D Bruxvoort

Elected Members

University of Aberdeen Business School (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Mrs L Tibbets (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr J Lamb (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr L McCann (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Professor N Hutchison (2014-2018) (also Senate Assessor to Court until 30/09/19)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr A Sim (2014-2018)
School of Divinity, History and Philosophy (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Professor P Nimmo (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Professor J Schaper (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr P Sweeney (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr H Pierce (2014-2018)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr P Ziegler (2014-2018)
School of Education (4 seats – 1 vacancy)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Dr R Shanks (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr DR Smith (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Vacant (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Mrs M Stephen (2014-2018)
School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Dr A Bryzgel (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr T Rist (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr A Lewis (2014-2018)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr B Tribout (2014-2018)
Arts & Social Sciences Professor P Mealor (2014-2018) (re-elected)
School of Law (4 seats – 1 vacancy)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Vacant (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr A Simpson (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr Z Yidhego (2014-2018)
Arts & Social Sciences Mr S Styles (2014-2018)
School of Social Science (5 seats – 1 vacancy)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Dr M Mills (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr A Oelsner (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Vacant (2016-2020)
Arts & Social Sciences Dr T Argounova-Low (2014-2018)
Arts & Social Sciences Professor D Anderson (2014-2018)
School of Biological Sciences (6 seats – 2 vacancies)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr D Lusseau (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor M Pinard (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr J Baird (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr M Barker (2016-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2014-2018)
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition (25 seats – 6 vacancies)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Life Sciences & Medicine Profesor J Jayasinghe (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr A Rajnicek (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr K Kiezebrink (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr J MacDiarmid (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr M Delibegovic (2014-2018) (also Senate Assessor to Court until 30/09/20)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor A Jenkinson (2014-2018) (re-elected)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr D Scott (2014-2018) (re-elected)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr G Macfarlane (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr N Vargesson (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor D MacCallum (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr R Mackenzie (2016-2020)(re-elected)
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2016-2020) 
 Life Sciences & Medicine Dr N Mody (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr A Venkatesh (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr S Fielding (2014-2018) (re-elected)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor R Barker (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr I Cameron (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr K Foster (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor A Lee (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor F Thies (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2014-2016)
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2014-2016)
School of Psychology (4 seats – 1 vacancy)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr E Nordmann (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Vacant (2016-2020)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr D Ray (2014-2018)
Life Sciences & Medicine Dr K Pilz (2014-2018)
School of Engineering (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Physical Sciences Professor D Jovcic (2016-2020)
Physical Sciences Professor E Pavolovskaia (2016-2020)
Physical Sciences Professor A Akisanya (2016-2020) (re-elected) (also Senate Assessor to Court until 30/09/19)
Physical Sciences Professor M Kashtalyan (2014-2018) (re-elected)
Physical Sciences Dr O Menshykov (2014-2018)
School of Geosciences (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Physical Sciences Dr B Rea (2016-2020)
Physical Sciences Dr N Schofield (2016-2020)
Physical Sciences Dr J Oliver (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Physical Sciences Dr A Ebinghaus (2014-2018)
Physical Sciences Dr C North (2014-2018)
School of Natural & Computing Sciences (6 seats – 0 vacancies)
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Physical Sciences Professor J Feldmann (2016-2020)
Physical Sciences Professor G Coghill (2016-2020) (re-elected)
Physical Sciences Professor  C Grebogi (2016-2020)
Physical Sciences Dr M da Silva Baptista (2014-2018)
Physical Sciences Dr B Martin (2014-2018)
Physical Sciences Dr W Vasconcelos (2014-2018)
Senate Assessors to Court
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Arts & Social Sciences Professor C Brittain (to 30 September 2017)
Life Sciences & Medicine Professor C Black (to 30 September 2017)
Physical Sciences Dr N Oren (to 30 September 2018)
Student Members
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Students’ Association Chubbe Anucha, Student President
Students’ Association Liam Fuller, President for Education and Employability
Students’ Association Aletta Boerkoel, Vice-President for Education
Students’ Association Mihaela Leskovska, School Convener (Business)
Students’ Association Kenneth Tomson-Duncan, School Convener (Divinity, History & Philosphy)
Students’ Association Kate Metcalfe, School Convener (Education)
Students’ Association Katlin Halop, School Convener (Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture) 
Students’ Association Diane Passinke, School Convener (Law) 
Students’ Association Daniel Kaminek, School Convener (Social Science) 
Students’ Association Maurice Hickman, School Convener (Biological Sciences)
Students’ Association Daniel Parsons, School Convener (Medicine & Dentistry)
Students’ Association Lion Budrass, School Convener (Medical Sciences)
Students’ Association Clara Henssen, School Convener (Psychology) 
Students’ Association Lisa Rossi, School Convener (Engineering) 
Students’ Association Alice Hall, School Convener (Geosciences) 
Students’ Association Nikola Lazarov, School Convener (Natural & Computing Sciences)
Students' Association Vacant, Postgraduate Representative (Arts & Social Sciences)
Students’ Association Andrew Edirisooriya, Postgraduate Representative (Physical Sciences)
Students’ Association Ellie Harding, Postgraduate Representative (Life Sciences and Medicine)
Student Members – in attendance
COLLEGE DESIGNATION
Students’ Association Jenny Killin, President for Welfare & Equal Opportunities

Senate Assessors
There are six Senate Assessors on the University Court, three of whom also serve as Senate Assessors on the Operating Board, as indicated below: 
  • Professor N Hutchison, until 30 September 2019; also on Operating Board
  • Dr N Oren until 30 September 2018;
  • Dr C Brittain, until 30 September 2017
  • Dr C Black, until 30 September 2017
  • Professor A Akisanya, until 30 September 2019; also on Operating Board
  • Professor S Heys, until 30 September 2016; also on Operating Board Nominations for Senate Assessors are sought from, and elected by, the Senate members within each College. 

Nominations for Senate Assessors are sought from, and elected by, the Senate members within each constituency.There are three separate consitutencies: the College of Arts & Social Sicences and the Business School; the College of Life Sciences & Medicine; and the College of Physical Sciences.

In order to maintain this representation across all levels of academic staff of the six Senate Assessors on the University Court, one should be nominated from and elected by the Established and Personal Professors who are members of the Senate within each constituency, and one is nominated from and elected by the Readers and Lecturers who are members of Senate within each constituency. 

Where a Senate Assessor's term of office on Senate ends before the conclusion of their term of office as a Senate Assessor, in accordance with Ordinance 111 their period of Senate membership is extended for the remainder of that period.   

Membership of the Operating Board include three Senate Assessors, one from each constituency in its composition.  In addition, the Senate Assessors on the Operating Board are members of the Senate Business Committee, whose primary role is to draft Senate agendas.

The remit of the Senate Assessors is summarised below:

  • to attend meetings of the University Court (and, where appointed, the Operating Board) and to provide an academic viewpoint, on behalf of the Senate, at these meetings;
  • to report back to the Senate on items discussed at the University Court, subject to careful caveats concening boundaries e.g. in regard to confidentiality or other sensitive issues.

[Note:  Minutes of Court and Operating Board meetings will be published after they have been approved at the following Court/Operating Board meeting and will be accessible by all staff]. 

 

Elected Members

The elected membership of the Senate has been based on School constituencies, with the number of seats allocated to each constituency being indicated below:

Name of Constituency Number of Seats allotted to
(a) University of Aberdeen Business School 5
(b) School of Divinity, History and Philosophy 5
(c) School of Education 4
(d) School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture

5

(e) School of Law 4
(f) School of Social Science 5
(g) School of Biological Sciences 6
(h) School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition 25
(i) School of Psychology 4
(j) School of Engineering 5
(k) School of Geosciences 5
(nl) School of Natural & Computing Sciences 6

The number of seats allocated to individual constituencies (a) to (l) above may be varied by the University Court on the recommendation of the Senatus Academicus.

Members are elected to the Senate on the basis of serving for a four-year period, with half retiring every second year and with retiring members being eligible for re-election.

Election is by Single Transferable Vote to ensure an adequate spread of disciplines and grades among the elected members.

Each constituency comprises the Professors, Readers and Lecturers, including clinical staff and the holders of research posts of equivalent status, who at the time of election are not members of the Senate ex officio.

Elected Senators are appointed to represent the views of their constituency on items that are to be discussed/debated at the Senate.  They are not elected to represent their individual roles.

In carrying out their role, elected Senators should note the following expectations regarding their role: 

  • There are four Senate meetings per year. Elected Senators should attend the majority, if not all, of the four Senate meetings each year. Attendance is taken at all meetings, is published on the Senate website and reviewed annually by the Senate Business Committee.
  • Elected Senators are responsible for representing the views of their constituency and consider their responsibility as individuals to act for the good of the whole university community, both academics and students. It is therefore important for Senators to be pro-active in seeking input from their constituency on matters of Senate business in advance of meetings.
  • Senators should work together with fellow Senators in their School to determine the most effective mechanism for obtaining feedback from colleagues in advance of meetings. The way in which this should be done is not prescribed but may include holding an open meeting for staff to seek input ahead of the meeting or providing an email route for colleagues to provide feedback.
  • Senate business is informed by a number of Senate committees. Elected Senators should ensure that they keep abreast of the ongoing work of these committees. The agendas and papers are made available on the Senate website and notification is provided when papers for the next meeting are available. Senators should ensure effective communication between themselves and their School representative on these committees and feed any matters they wish raised to their School representative in advance of meetings.
  • Following meetings of Senate, elected Senators are responsible for ensuring there is appropriate feedback to their constituents on the outcome of discussions at Senate. To facilitate this, a digest of the outcome of Senate is provided to the University community 48 hours after Senate has met.
Student Members

The following are student members of the Senate:

  • President of the Students’ Association
  • The Student President (Education & Employability)
  • The Vice-President (Education & Employability)
  • The School Conveners
  • One postgraduate representative from each of the three Colleges

In addition, the President (Welfare & Equal Opportunities) is in attendance at the Senate.

The primary role of all student members of the Senate is to represent student opinion on matters that are discussed or debated at the Senate.

In regard to the Sabbatical Officers, this representation generally would be on behalf of the Students’ Association.

The School Conveners, represent the student views within their parent school.

In regard to the postgraduate student representatives, this representation would be primarily in regard to the students registered on postgraduate programmes within the respective College.

It shall be for the Students’ Association to decide how best its representatives on Senate should iterate with the student body in general and the various student constituencies in regard to Senate business.

Details of the current student membership can be found by clicking here.