Responsibility for the governance of the University rests with the University Court and the Senatus Academicus (Senate). To assist them in their work, the Court and Senate have each established various committees.
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.
The core functions of the Senate are exceedingly broad and are defined by the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016 as the body which ‘is responsible for the overall planning, co-ordination, development and supervision of the academic work of the institution’.
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- History and Ordinances
History and Constitution
For 267 years there were two separate universities in Aberdeen, each with its own statutory rights and degree-granting privileges. The first, King’s College, was founded in Old Aberdeen by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, under a papal bull dated 10 February 1495. The second, Marischal College, was founded in New Aberdeen by George Keith, Fifth Earl Marischal of Scotland, under a charter dated 2 April 1593. The two colleges remained rival institutions until 15 September 1860, when a Royal Ordinance united them under the title of the “University of Aberdeen”. Before the union of 1860, each of the two Universities was governed by its Chancellor supported by the Principal, the Rector and the Senate Academicus or Senate.
King’s College was the third University to be established in Scotland, following St Andrews (1411) and Glasgow (1451). Together with the University of Edinburgh (1583), these first Scottish Universities are generally referred to as “the four ancients”. Their governance was prescribed by the Universities (Scotland) Act of 1858 which created the University Court and other such instruments “for the better government and discipline of the Universities of Scotland”: the latter included the General Council (or assembly of graduates). The Senatus also retained its authority to regulate the teaching programmes and its responsibilities for discipline. The Universities (Scotland) Act of 1889 confirmed the structure of the University Court and invested it with major new powers, including the sole responsibility “to administer and manage the whole revenue and property of the University”. The 1858 and 1889 Acts were confirmed by a further Act, in 1966, which extended the role of the Senate to include “the promotion of research”.
Ordinance & Resolutions
An Ordinance is a further definition, clarification or stipulation of existing powers, as prescribed by Acts of Parliament. The passing of an Ordinance requires a detailed process of internal consultation before it is submitted for the consent of the Privy Council. In practice, this means that the Court must consult with the General Council, the Senate and the wider community.
A Resolution represents the elucidation of a power which is within the Court’s own competence to enact. In practice, it requires the General Council and Senate to be consulted and for representations to be sought within the community. To satisfy the latter requirement, it is necessary for Draft Resolutions to be on public display on campus for a stipulated period of weeks.
- Remit and Composition
Memberships | Elected Members | Roles
- The core functions of the Senate are exceedingly broad and are defined by the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016 as the body which ‘is responsible for the overall planning, co-ordination, development and supervision of the academic work of the institution’.
- The Senate is responsible for all academic matters relating to education and research. This includes approving education (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.
- Much of the detailed work in regard to the above matters is delegated by the Senate to the University Education Committee (UEC) and the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC). The UEC is responsible to the Senate for education matters relating to undergraduate, postgraduate taught and the taught elements of postgraduate research; the wider student experience relating to matters impacting on student success; the development of approaches to educational innovation. The UEC has two sub-committees (the Employability and Entrepreneurship Committee and the Student Support and Experience Committee) which inform its work.
As delegated by Senate, the QAC oversees 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. and for the safeguarding of academic standards. The Academic and Regulation Policy sub-group of QAC is responsible to QAC for the development and regular review of education policy and regulations and for ensuring the alignment with the QAA Quality Code and wider academic infrastructure.
- Much of the work of the above Committees is forwarded to the Senate after discussion and consultation with Schools. This detailed iteration, coupled with the fact that all Schools 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.
- The research aspects of the Senate’s remit are covered through the above Committees with regard to research students. Non-student research interests are overseen by the Senate through regular reports from the Vice-Principal (Research) who chairs the University Research Committee and through consideration of national initiatives as and when appropriate, for example in regard to the research assessment exercise.
- The Senate plays a broader, strategic, role in commenting on draft responses to external consultations on a variety of issues relating to academic matters, and on internal matters such as the Strategic Plan.
- 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 its 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
- Vice-Principals (4)
- Heads of School (12)
- Deans for Research (4)
- Deans for Education (4)
- Deans for Student Recruitment (4)
- Quality Assurance Committee (4)
- The University Librarian
b) Elected Members
- 79 teaching and research (including honorary and part-time) staff (i.e. approximately twice the number of elected 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
- Vice-President for Education
- Vice-Chair of AUSA Education Committee
- The School Conveners (13)
- Three postgraduate representatives
In addition, the Welfare Officer 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 6 (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.
- George Boyne
- Karl Leydecker (Senior Vice-Principal)
- Ruth Taylor (Education)
- Pete Edwards (Regional Engagement)
- Marion Campbell (Research)
- Alan Speight (Global Engagement)
Heads of School
- Greg Gordon (Law)
- Beth Lord (Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History)
- Chris Collins (Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture)
- Catriona MacDonald (Education)
- Ian Greener (Social Science)
- Haina Zhang (Business)
- Graeme Paton (Biological Sciences)
- Arash Sahraie (Psychology)
- Siladitya Bhattacharya (Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition)
- David McGloin (Natural & Computing Sciences)
- David Muirhead (Geosciences)
- Ekaterina Pavlovskai (Engineering)
Dean of Qatar
Deans for Research
- Graeme Nixon (Dean for Postgraduate Research)
- Dr Andrew Dilley (Dean for Academic Research Partnerships and Research Governance)
- Gary MacFarlane (Dean for Interdisciplinary Research and Impact)
- Mirela Delibegovic (Dean for Industrial Engagement in Research and Knowledge Transfer)
Dean for Regional Engagement & Regional Recovery
- Dr Heather Morgan (Dean for Enterprise and Innovation)
Deans for Education
- Jason Bohan (Dean for Student Support)
- Kirsty Kiezebrink (Dean for Educational Innovation)
- Steve Tucker (Dean for Quality Assurance and Enhancement)
- John Barrow (Dean for Employability and Entrepreneurship)
Deans for Student Recruitment
- Ann-Michelle Slater (Dean for Portfolio Development and Programme Promotion)
- Alison Jenkinson (Dean for Widening Access, Articulation and Outreach)
- Adelyn Wilson (Dean for International Stakeholder Engagement)
- Harminder Battu (Dean for International Student Pathways and Progression)
Dean for Sustainability
- Tavis Potts (Dean for Environmental Sustainability)
Quality Assurance Committee Representatives (4 seats - 2 vacancies)
- Jerry Morse (Health Subjects)
- Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner (Arts, Humanities,Social Sciences and Business)
- Simon Bains
University of Aberdeen Business School (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Cheryl Dowie (2020-2024)
- Thereza Raquel Sales de Aguiar (2020-2024)
- Laura McCann (2020-2024) (re-elected)
- Scott Allan (2022-2026)
- Fiona Stoddard (2022-2026)
School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History (5 seats – 1 vacancy)
- Karin Friedrich (2020-2024)
- Joachim Schaper (2020-2024) (re-elected) (also Senate Assessor to Court until 30 September 2025)
- Joanne Anderson (2020-2024)
- Alessandra Cecolin (2022-2026) (Re-elected)
- Samantha Newington (2022-2026)
School of Education (4 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Mary Stephen (2020-2024)
- William Barlow (2022-2026)
- Lorna Stewart (2022-2026)
- Charlaine Simpson (2022-2026)
School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
- William Barras (2020-2024)
- Thomas Rist (2020-2024) (re-elected)
- Jonathan Hicks (2022-2026)
- Michelle MacLeod (2022-2026)
- Alan MacPherson (2022-2026)
School of Law (4 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Zeray Yidhego (2020-2024)
- Irene Couzigou (2020-2024) (re-elected)
- Isla Callander (2022-2026)
- Thomas Muinzer (2022-2026)
School of Social Science (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Malcolm Harvey (2020-2024)
- Jennifer Walklate (2020-2024)
- Andrew McKinnon (2020-2024) (re-elected)
- Ilia Xypolia (2022-2026) (re-elected) (also Senate Assessor to Court until 30 September 2023)
- Martin Mills (2022-2026)
School of Biological Sciences (6 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Isla Graham (2020-2024)
- Lesley Lancaster (2020-2024)
- Martin Barker (2020-2024)
- Thomas Bodey (2022-2026)
- Ursula Witte (2022-2026)
- Sam Martin (2022-2026)
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition (25 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Rasha Abu Eid (2022-2026)
- Kate Gillies (2022- 2026) (re-elected)
- Julia Allan (2022-2026)
- Lesley Anderson (2022-2026)
- Beatriz Goulao (2022-2026)
- David McLernon (2022-2026)
- Amudha Poobalan (2022-2026)
- Justin Rochford (2022-2026)
- Karen Scott (2022-2026)
- Diane Skåtun (2022-2026) (re-elected) (also Senate Assessor to Court until 30 September 2025)
- Colin Lumsden (2022-2026)
- Samantha Miller (2020-2024) (re-elected)
- Chantal den Daas (2020-2024)
- Alasdair MacKenzie (2020-2024)
- Pietro Marini (2020-2024)
- Kathryn Martin (2020-2024)
- Aravinda Meera Guntupalli (2020-2024)
- Mintu Nath (2020-2024)
- Neil Vargesson (2020-2024) (re-elected (also Senate Assessor to Court until 30 September 2023)
- Bettina Platt (2020-2024)
- Valerie Spiers (2020-2024)
- Gareth Jones (2020-2024) (re-elected))
- Dawn Thompson (2020-2024)
- Delma Childers (2020-2024)
- Daniel Berg (2022-2024)
School of Psychology (4 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Constanze Hesse (2022-2026) (re-elected)
- Sandie Cleland (2020-2024)
- Joost Rommers (2020-2024)
- Bert Timmermans (2022-2026
School of Engineering (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Dragan Jovcic (2020-2024) (re-elected)
- Sumeet Aphale (2020-2024)
- Adelaja Israel Osofero (2020-2024)
- Waheed Afzal (2022-2026)
- Euan Bain (2022-2026)
School of Geosciences (5 seats – 0 vacancies)
- Alex Brasier (2020-2024)
- Rebecca Crozier (2020-2024)
- Brice Rea (2020-2024) (re-elected)
- David Cornwell (2022-2026)
- Javier Martin-Torres (2022-2026)
School of Natural & Computing Sciences (6 seats – 1 vacancy)
- Peter Henderson(2022-2026) (re-elected)
- Richard Hepworth(2022-2026) (re-elected)
- Nigel Beacham (2022-2026)
- Matthew Collinson (2020-2024)
- Nir Oren (2020-2024)
- Vacant (2020-2024)
- Vanessa Mabonso Nzolo, Students' Association President
- Akua Serwaa Agyeman, Vice-President for Education
- David Mercieca, Education Officer (Vice-Chair)
- Giulia Pipolo, School of Biological Sciences Convener
- Akosua Akwaboaa Akyem-Pepra, School of Business Convener
- Vacant, School of Dentistry Convener
- Beniamin Liviu Stefan, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy Convener
- Nicola Mcilraith, School of Education Convener
- Ali Kareem Naemah, School of Engineering Convener
- Paul Okoe, School of Geosciences Convener
- Hossa Skandary-Macpherson, School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture Convener
- Tomas Pizarro-Escuti, School of Law Convener
- Fatima Garcia Bernal, School of Medical Sciences Convener
- Alice Calesso, School of Medicine Convener
- Charan Teja Gunisetty, School of Natural & Computing Sciences Convener
- Kaitlin Agius, School of Psychology Convener
- Miles Rothoerl, School of Social Science Convener
- Bhuvneshwar Pindiga, Postgraduate Officer (Vice-Chair)
- Lauren Dorward, Postgraduate Education Committee Ordinary Member
- Adetayo Adeyemi, Postgraduate Education Committee Ordinary Member
Student Members – in attendance
- Sai Shraddha S Viswanathan, AUSA Vice-President for Welfare
There are four Senate Assessors on the University Court.
Nominations for Senate Assessors are sought from, and elected by, the Senate members within each constituency. There are two separate constituencies:
- two of the Senate assessors shall represent and be elected by the elected members of academic staff of Senate from the: School of Engineering, School of Geosciences School of Natural & Computing Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition and School of Psychology; and
- two of the Senate assessors shall represent and be elected by members of academic staff of Senate from the: Business School, the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, the School of Education, School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, School of Law and the School of Social Science.
There shall be an equal gender balance among the Senate Assessors. There shall be one male and one female Assessor elected to represent 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. The usual term of office shall be four years. Senate Assessor appointments are limited to two terms of four years.
The remit of the Senate Assessors is summarised below:
- to attend meetings of the University Court (and, where appointed, any sub-committees of Court) and to provide an academic viewpoint at these meetings;
- to report back to the Senate on items discussed at the University Court, subject to careful caveats concerning boundaries e.g. in regard to confidentiality or other sensitive issues.
[Note: Minutes of Court will be published after they have been approved at the following Court meeting and will be accessible by all staff].
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
(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 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 elected members of the Senate.
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 views.
In carrying out their role, elected Senators should note the following expectations regarding their role:
- There are five Senate meetings per year. Elected Senators should attend the majority, if not all, of the five 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.
The following are student members of the Senate:
- President of the Students' Association
- Education Officer
- Vice-Chare of AUSA Education Committee
- The School Conveners (13)
- Three postgraduate representatives
In addition, the Welfare Officer 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.
- The core functions of the Senate are exceedingly broad and are defined by the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016 as the body which ‘is responsible for the overall planning, co-ordination, development and supervision of the academic work of the institution’.
- Senate Committees
There are a number of sub-committees of the Senate, as under, whose membership is restricted to Senate members:
In addition, there is a composite Students’ Progress Committee for undergraduate students, which is a sub-committee and acts with the power of the Senate and a Student Disciplinary Committee.
Honorary Degrees Committee
The Honorary Degrees Committee’s primary role is to consider nominations for honorary degrees and make recommendations to the Senate. Ultimate approval of decisions on whether to offer honorary degrees to a particular candidate rests with the Senate.
The Committee meets bi-annually, in October and April/May, with its recommendations being considered by the Senate at its November and June meetings. Occasionally nominations are considered by circulation.
The Honorary Degrees Committee also, from time to time, reviews the University’s practices and procedures in regard to honorary degrees and makes recommendations to the Senate, as appropriate.
Access further details about Honorary Degrees and the nomination process on the tab below.
You can access the web pages for the Honorary Degrees Committee here.
Senate Business Committee
The Senate Business Committee has a primary role to agree Senate agendas. In order to engage Senate in open debate, the Senate Business Committee identifies for each meeting of Senate at least one major strategic topic for discussion.
The Committee also has delegated responsibility from the Senate to approve the appointment of Senate members or representatives to University Committees and the schedule for Senate elections. You can access the web pages for the Senate Business Committee here.
Senate Appeals/Complaints Panel
The Senate Appeals/Complaints Panel hears and determine, on behalf of the Senate, the outcome of academic appeals and complaints submitted by students in accordance with the University’s Policy and Procedures on Student Appeals and Complaints
Undergraduate Students’ Progress Committees
The Students’ Progress Committee hears and determine, on behalf of the Senate, the outcome of representations submitted by students in accordance with the University’s Policy on Undergraduate Student Progress and the associated Guidance Notes.
Student Disciplinary Committee
The Student Disciplinary Committee considers cases that are referred to it in accordance with the Code of Practice on Student Discipline.
- Standing Orders
2022 Senate Standing Orders (Approved 28 September 2022)
Frequency of Meetings
- Senate will usually meet 5 times between September and the end of June each Academic Year. Two meetings in the period prior to Winter Break, then one before Spring Break and two further meetings after.
- Meetings of Senate will normally be held in the Kings Conference Centre (KCC) Auditorium, subject to public health restrictions, with one meeting per year at Foresterhill. A hybrid option, to join via TEAMS (or equivalent system) will be available for those unable to join the in-person meeting, for example, because working away from Aberdeen. In the event that an in-person meeting is not possible, Senate will be held via TEAMs (or equivalent system).
- Additional meetings may be held if requested by the Principal or, in writing, by 10 or more members of Senate.
- Meetings of Senate are usually held on Wednesday afternoons at 1pm to maximise the ability of engagement with Senate and will end within core business hours. This is intended to coincide with limited planned teaching at that point in the week, allowing student extra-curricular activities.
- The Principal is Convenor of Senate. If they are absent, then the Senior Vice-Principal or a Vice-Principal nominated by the Principal will convene the meeting.
- One-third of the members of Senate is a quorum. (Univ. (Scotland) Act 1858).
- All members of Senate, have equal status. Elected Staff and Student Senators are expected to engage with staff and students in their constituencies, ensuring that an inclusive range of perspectives are considered by Senate. Ex-officio Senators are expected to ensure that the academic responsibilities and perspective of their roles contribute to the richness of Senate discussions.
- Adjournment of a meeting of Senate requires the support of the majority of Senate members present.
Senate Agenda and Circulation of Papers
- The University Secretary is Secretary to Senate and responsible for the organisation of meetings and circulation of papers.
- Senate Business Committee (SBC) sets the agenda for Senate meetings. SBC meets 3 working weeks before Senate.
- Senate has the right to give precedence matters of urgency or importance. In the absence of such matters, meetings of Senate will open with approval of the meeting agenda and the minutes of the previous meeting.
- The Principal will provide an update to Senate on emergent issues for the sector and the University. This will afford the opportunity for informal questions and answers on matters of academic interest.
- The Senate Agenda will, in addition to minutes and updates, have three categories of business:
- Items for Academic Input. These items will generally be substantive pieces of work under the stewardship of a Senate committee which are being shared for advice and guidance.
- Items for Approval. These items are intended for discussion and approval by Senate. These items will normally have been previously discussed as an Item for Academic Input.
- Routine Business of Senate is expected to be actively considered by Senators as part of their preparation for the meeting but then to be approved without discussion. This is known as a “consent agenda”. During discussion on the Agenda, Senators may request the elevation of items of routine business into the category of items for approval.
- Agenda items should be submitted to the Secretary at least one working week (5 working days) before SBC (equivalent to 4 working weeks before Senate). Papers should identify clearly the origin of the paper, why the paper is presented, the action required of Senate and prior consideration by any Senate or other committee. Papers not originating from a committee should identify the proposer (author) and seconder.
- The Principal, or in their absence the Senior Vice-Principal, may allow urgent late papers to be included on the agenda. Any late papers not accepted for the agenda, and the rationale for delaying to a future meeting, will be recorded in the Senate minute.
- Papers will be issued 2 working weeks (10 working days) prior to the Senate meeting. This time is provided with the expectation that Senators will actively discuss the papers with colleagues in their constituent schools, enabling an informed and effective Senate discussion.
- No member of the Senate is entitled to propose a motion for a Senate decision out with the items on the Agenda unless prior notice has been given to the University Secretary. (Standing Order 14 above).
- Senators may submit written questions to the Principal, out with the items on the Agenda, by 5pm on the Monday preceding Senate. Written answers to those questions will be posted on the Senate site to give transparency to all Senators. The Principal, as Convenor, may determine that the question has sufficient relevance and urgency to add the item to the current or future Senate agenda.
Contributing to Senate Discussions
- Senate is expected to be a forum for rich debate, inclusive discussion and respectful challenge. To ensure breadth of contribution, Senators are expected to be respectful of all contributors and to generally speak only once during the discussion on an item, unless asked to respond to questions raised or with the consent of the meeting. The Convenor will invite Senators to contribute to the discussion.
- Senators joining meetings on TEAMS (or equivalent system) should consider inclusivity and accessibility issues in the use of backgrounds. In particular, those which might result in strobing or other visual distractions should be avoided.
- Senators wishing to move a motion, or amendment to a motion, in relation to the proposal under discussion should do so formally at the relevant point in the agenda only. The amendment must be relevant, relevancy to be determined by the Convenor, and seconded before progressing to discussion and decision. Rulings by the Convenor may be overturned by a two-thirds majority of members present (in person or online).
- In the event of multiple amendments or motions, each will be considered in turn. A motion or amendment may only be withdrawn with the consent of the proposer and seconder. A motion for closure of a debate will be voted on without discussion, the mover of the original motion shall have a right of reply if the vote is carried.
- Senators may seek recognition of their dissent from a decision of Senate. This should be done prior to the progression to the next item of business and will be recorded in the Senate minute.
- At any point during a Senate meeting, a Senator may raise a point of order identifying a concern in relation to a breach in the Standing Orders, or the Ordinance, Resolutions or Statutes which govern Senate. The point of order will be resolved by the Convenor, prior to Senate returning to the original item of discussion. Rulings by the Convenor may be overturned by a two-thirds majority of members present (in person or online).
- Items for Approval by Senate are decided by consensus or by a vote of Senate. Each member has one vote and no proxy votes are allowed.
- Decisions by vote are determined by a simple majority of those in attendance. In the event of a tied decision, the Convenor shall have an additional casting vote.
- Decisions by consensus are facilitated when the discussion indicates widespread support for the item. The Convenor will directly ask Senate whether a vote is necessary, approval being granted in the absence of any request to vote.
- Voting via TEAMs or equivalent system will use a digital format.
- Voting will take place at the end of relevant discussion with the outcome confirmed to Senate verbally and recorded in the Minute.
- All meetings of Senate will be minuted, including the outcome of all votes.
- Draft minutes will be circulated to Senate within 2 weeks of the meeting. Proposed amendments to the minutes, to improve fact or accuracy, should be communicated to the secretariat within 2 weeks.
- Senate will be asked to approve the minutes at the next meeting, with any proposed amendments relative to the draft minute clearly marked.
- The Secretariat will publish the finalised minutes within 2 weeks of approval by Senate.
- Meetings will be recorded" to support the accurate minuting of the meeting. Information or commentary in the chat function does not form part of the Senate discussion and will not be included in the minute.
Amendment to Standing Orders
- Any of the standing orders may be suspended with the support of two-thirds of the members present.
- The Convenor shall determine all questions of procedure not expressly provided for in these Standing Orders. The Convenor’s rulings may be overturned by a two-thirds majority of those members in attendance (in person and/or online).
- Standing Orders may be amended by Senate as an Item for Approval.
 In the 2016 Standing Orders this was known as a nom. con (abbreviation of nemine contradicente – no-one disagreeing) decision.
Further advice is being sought on the level of access required to the recording
- Honorary Degrees
To find out about the Honorary Degrees nomination process please visit Honorary Degrees page
- Election Results
UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
UNIVERSITIES (SCOTLAND) ACT 1966
ORDINANCE NO. 111 (ELECTION OF SCHOOL MEMBERS
TO THE SENATUS ACADEMICUS)
The following have been elected to serve on the Senatus Academicus from 1 October 2022 until 30 September 2026 (except where indicated otherwise)
School of Biological Sciences
School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History
Karin Friedrich (until 2024)
School of Education
School of Engineering
Sumeet Aphale (until 2024)
Adelaja Israel Osofero (until 2024)
School of Geosciences
Javier Martin Torres
School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
William Barras (until 2024)
School of Law
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
Rasha Abu Eid
School of Naturaly and Computing Sciences
School of Psychology
School of Social Science
Jennifer Walklate (until 2024)