By Charles Fedor
A petition demanding an extraordinary meeting of the Academic Board was submitted on Friday evening.
The petition reads as follows:
“The undersigned members of the UWA Academic Board request a special meeting of the Academic Board under clause 23 of the Academic Board regulations.
The proposed purpose of the meeting is to ensure that the Academic Board is able to perform its statutory functions and powers under s 68 of the UWA statute. This would be achieved by requiring proposals for structural change within schools or Academic services be provided to the Academic Board for review of their impact on Academic activities at the same time as those proposals are provided for financial/business case review to the Change Management Board.
We wish to stress these proposals involve significant academic reorganisation, and Academic Board is therefore to provide advice on them to the Senate, the Vice Chancellor, and the Executive per section 68(3)(f) of the UWA statute. Indeed a concurrent independent review of the academic issues by the Academic Board provides necessary balance to a difficult and disruptive process that is otherwise led by the University Executive at the front and back end.
In this instance, the request for a special meeting is submitted to enable Academic Board to review the academic impact of the proposal for a restructure of the School of Social Sciences, for which the consultation period concluded on Tuesday 27th of July.”
The petition has been initiated and signed by a number of academics across multiple schools. It seems members of the Academic Board will be taking their oversight duties seriously. No student representative has signed the petition in support at time of writing. It requires twenty-five signatures for a meeting to be called; there are currently four signatures. This petition has been submitted by the UWA Academic Staff Association (UWAASA) governing committee (an association representing academics of the university) and encourages “the collective exercise of academic citizenship”. The petitioners have noted “time is of the essence.” I would urge readers to submit their opinions to the Academic Board and our student representatives as soon as possible (please visit the upcoming Trouble Makers Guide to Advocacy article for links).