Skip to main content

2.4 Standing Orders of the Council

Following approval by the Privy Council to change awarding powers of Honorary Degrees from the Council to the Senate, the following Standing Orders of the Council will be revised accordingly for implementation from 2011/12.

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 and are governed particularly by Statutes 12, 13, 14 and 25.

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 him 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 Registrar, 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 s/he 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 Registrar 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 he shall have requested some other member to take it up in his 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 Building Committee shall be voted upon at Council without the Council first having sought advice on the implications from its Building 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 he shall not introduce new matter and, after he has begun his 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 Registrar.

(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 shall be composed as follows:

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

The Vice-Chancellor

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The Pro-Vice-Chancellors

Three lay members of the Council appointed by the Council

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.

The Committee shall recommend the names of the persons on whom it is proposed that honorary degrees shall be conferred in each case, bearing in mind the purpose for which the honorary degrees of Doctor and Master have been instituted.

(d) The list of names recommended by the Committee shall be put to the vote by the Council, and if the list receives a majority of the votes of the members of the Council present at the meeting the list shall be deemed to have been approved in its entirety. If the list does not receive a majority of the votes the Council shall determine by ballot the names to be approved, and an honorary degree shall not be conferred upon any person who does not receive a majority of the votes of the members of the Council present at the meeting.

(e) If the Council withholds approval of any of the names recommended by the Committee, or if any of the persons whose names have been approved by the Council is unable to accept nomination, the Committee may, as soon thereafter as may be, submit additional recommendations for the conferment of honorary degrees. The Council shall vote upon the names so proposed under the procedure laid down under (d) above.

(f) The whole proceedings in the selection of honorary graduands shall be held to be strictly private, and no communication regarding the proceedings shall be made, without the authority of the Council, to any person who is not a member of the Council.

(g) In accordance with the powers contained in Statute 16 the University Council on the recommendation of the Senate has instituted 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 in Section 1.7, The Council and its Committees