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1.6 Standing Orders of the Council

***Amendments to the Standing Orders of the Council were last approved at the meeting of the Council held on 17 October 2018, with changes taking immediate effect.***

The University Statutes contain provisions regarding the conduct of University business in general and of the University Council in particular. The Standing Orders of the Council are subordinate to the Statutes.

Any of the duties or functions of the Chair under these Standing Orders shall be exercised by the Vice-Chair in the absence of the Chair.

(1) Meetings

(a) Ordinary meetings of the Council shall be held at such times and in such places as the Council may from time to time determine; one such meeting at least shall be held during each term.

(b) Special meetings of the Council may be held at such times and in such places as the Council may determine.

(c) Extraordinary meetings may be summoned by the Chair in cases of urgency, and shall be summoned by them on a written requisition signed by twenty members of the Council.

(d) Notices of meetings, specifying time and place of the intended meeting and the business to be transacted at the meeting and signed by or on behalf of the Secretary to Council, shall be issued to every member of the Council at least four working days before any meeting of the Council, but the Chair of the Council may authorise a meeting to be summoned upon such shorter notice as they shall think justified by the urgency of the case.

(e) At special meetings and at extraordinary meetings no business shall be taken which does not appear on the agenda paper.

(2) Order of Business

(a) Subject to the discretion of the Chair, the order of business at an ordinary meeting of the Council shall be as follows:

(i) Items of business which require the full and detailed consideration of the Council, to be determined by the Chair of the Council, in the following order:

(A) the Minutes of the previous ordinary (and of any subsequent special or extraordinary) meeting;

(B) any matters arising on the Minutes;

(C) any business which the Chair may bring forward;

(D) any business which the Vice-Chancellor may bring forward;

(E) any business required by the Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations or Standing Orders to be done;

(F) business (if any) remaining from the previous meeting;

(G) report of the Senate;

(H) reports from the Committees of the Council;

(I) questions and notices of motions;

(J) other major items of business of which notice appears on the agenda paper, and motions and questions of which notice has been given, in the order in which they have been received.

(ii) Items of business deemed to be non-controversial, as determined by the Chair of the Council, which may be approved or received with the minimum of consideration and discussion, in the following order:

(A) business (if any) remaining from the previous meeting;

(B) report of the Senate;

(C) reports from the Committees of the Council;

(D) any business required by the Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations or Standing Orders to be done;

(b) It will be assumed that members of the Council will have read all the papers circulated.

(c) Papers circulated to members of the Council may not be published outside the University, or made the subject of public comment, without the agreement of the Council. Members of the Council must use their discretion if they wish to discuss the contents of such papers privately with persons whose opinion they wish to obtain and they must themselves accept responsibility for the consequences of any such disclosure.

(d) The contents of any papers circulated to members of Council which are marked ‘Strictly Confidential’ must in no circumstances be divulged or discussed with any person who is not a member of Council without the consent of the Council. The Council may at any meeting by a vote decide to remove the category of ‘Strictly Confidential’ from any paper which has been so circulated.

(3) Business of Council

(a) The full terms of motions not arising out of the business under discussion (except a motion for the suspension of Standing Orders) shall be given to the Secretary to Council in writing, signed by the members proposing and seconding the motion not later than 9.30am on the fourth working day before the date on which the Council is to meet.

(b) No motion may be rescinded or altered in the University term in which it is passed or in the term immediately following, nor may any motion which has been rejected be moved again in the term in which it was rejected or in the term immediately following, unless the notice of the motion proposing to rescind or alter a motion which has been passed, or to re-introduce a rejected motion, be signed by ten members of the Council.

(c) No motion shall be discussed or put to the vote unless it has been proposed and seconded. When a motion which arises out of the business under discussion has been proposed and seconded, the proposer shall, if required by the Chair, provide the Chair with a copy of the motion in writing and this shall be read out before discussion of the motion proceeds, and again before a vote is taken.

(d) No motion of which notice appears on the agenda paper shall be proceeded with in the absence of the member in whose name it stands, unless they shall have requested some other member to take it up in their place; the motion, if not so taken up, shall be considered as dropped and shall not be moved without fresh notice.

(e) No motion which has been moved and seconded shall be withdrawn or altered without the consent of a majority of members present.

(f) No motion which carries financial implications for the University shall be voted upon at the Council without the Council first having sought advice on the implications from its Finance and General Purposes Committee.

(g) No motion which contains matters which fall within the terms of reference of the University Estate Committee shall be voted upon at Council without the Council first having sought advice on the implications from its University Estate Committee.

(h) Except by permission of the Chair, no member shall speak more than once on the same motion or amendment except the mover of a motion in reply, as hereinafter provided, or to a point of order or in explanation, but, on an amendment being moved, any member who has spoken to the original motion may speak again to the amendment.

(i) The mover of an original motion shall be entitled to reply, but in replying they shall not introduce new matter and, after they have begun their reply, no other member shall speak on the question. The mover of an amendment shall not be entitled to reply.

(j) Any member of Council may ask the Chair any question relating to business which is within the jurisdiction of Council. Notice of any such question shall, if the Chair desires, after being read, be delivered in writing to the Secretary to Council.

(k) Notices shall state the date on which it is proposed that the motion shall be moved or the question shall be asked.

(l) No Standing Order shall be made, altered or rescinded except upon a motion of which due notice has been given at or before a previous meeting of the Council.

(m) Any member may propose, with the permission of the Chair, one of the procedural motions listed below at any time during a meeting. The proposer of a procedural motion may speak to it and if a seconder can be found the seconder may also speak. The motion shall then be put to the Council without further debate. No amendment may be proposed to a procedural motion, unless it relates to the time of adjournment, and no member may, under cover of a question on a procedural motion, discuss any other subject. The procedural motions which may be proposed are:

That the Council adjourn for (time specified);

That the debate be adjourned at (time);

That the question be put ;

That the question be not put ;

That the Council proceed to the next business;

That the matter be referred back to committee.

(n) All questions of order shall be decided by the Chair whose decision shall be final.

(o) Every matter shall be determined by the majority of the members present and voting on the motion, except where a postal ballot of all members shall have been ordered. In the case of equality of votes the Chair shall have a casting vote whether or not he has voted before on the motion.

(p) A postal ballot of all members may be ordered at a meeting of the Council by the Chair or on a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Council present and voting.

(q) A postal ballot of all members may be ordered by the Chair between scheduled meetings of the Council.

(r) A motion for the suspension of Standing Orders shall only be carried if two-thirds of the members present are in favour of it.

(4) Honorary Degrees

(a) All members of the Council and the Senate shall be invited once each year to submit to the Honorary Degrees Committee, through the Vice-Chancellor, in confidence, nominations for honorary degrees, provided that they shall also have the right to submit nominations in confidence to the Vice-Chancellor at any time.

(b) The Honorary Degrees Committee (hereinafter referred to as ‘The Committee’) shall be appointed annually by the Council and the Senate and shall be composed as follows:

The Chair of the Council, who shall be Chair of the Committee

The Vice-Chancellor

The Provost

One Pro-Vice-Chancellor or Academic Vice-President

The Chairs of the Faculties

Two Independent members of the Council appointed by the Council

The Director of Development

The Committee shall meet at least once in each academic year to consider the names of persons on whom it is proposed to confer honorary degrees.

(c) The Committee shall consider and report to the second meeting of the Council in the Autumn term upon the nominations submitted to it provided that, with the consent of two-thirds of the members present at the meeting:

(i) The Committee may itself make additional nominations for honorary degrees and may seek additional nominations from other members of the University in order to obtain a properly balanced list.

(ii) The Committee may seek advice from members of the University on the merits of these candidates under consideration.

(d) The whole proceedings in the selection of honorary graduands shall be strictly private.

(e) In accordance with the powers contained in Statute 16 the Senate may grant the following honorary degrees:

Doctor of Laws (LLD)

Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Doctor of Science (DSc)

Master of Arts (MA)

Master of Science (MSc)

The honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Letters and Doctor of Science shall be conferred upon persons of high intellectual or cultural distinction.

The honorary degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Science shall be conferred upon persons who have served the University or the community, and for whom the award of such a degree would be a proper form of recognition by the University.

(5) Terms of Reference of Standing Committees of Council

Terms of Reference of Standing Committees of the Council are available here.