On Tuesday 26 July, Academic Senate held its fourth meeting of the year in the Arts Function Centre Room along with an option for members to attend by Zoom, with The Chancellor, Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM, attending as an observer. 

Our Top 5 items from the meeting were: 

1. Standardisation of Late Penalties 

The Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) discussed a recent agreement to implement a trial of a standardised late penalty for assessments across the Faculties of 5% per day, with a zero mark awarded if the assessment is submitted more than seven days after the due date, and a standard submission time of 11:55 pm with a one hour grace period to cover any technical issues experienced by students. If the trial is successful a proposal will be submitted to amend the Assessment Policy and Procedure. 

2. Approval of the Academic Progression Policy and Procedure 

A review of The Academic Progression Policy and Procedure was undertaken as part of our policy cycle. Significant consultation with Faculties was undertaken to ensure that the revised Academic Progression Policy and Procedure are sustainable and supportive for students, with an emphasis on assisting students with progression and completion. 

Key amendments include introduction of an ‘at risk’ monitoring process, standardisation of terminology used in the Policy and Procedure, and simplification of the academic standing’s calculation. 

Academic Senate approved the revised Academic Progression Policy and Procedure with immediate effect, and consequential amendments to the Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure to align nomenclature. 

3. New Graduate Research Continuation Policy  

A full review of the Higher Degree Research (HDR) and Master of Research (MRes) Termination of Candidature Procedure has been undertaken by the Graduate Research Academy (GRA).  A new Graduate Research Continuation Policy and amendments to the Procedure were proposed in order to: 

  • clearly specify continuation requirements and principles for progress reviews; 
  • provide clearer definitions of satisfactory, marginal and unsatisfactory progress; 
  • provide a simplified structure for the review process that formalises the Confirmation of Candidature process and clarifies the Annual Progress reports as department reviews; and 
  • incorporate steps for managing candidature if progress is deemed marginal, through access to an interim progress report.  

Academic Senate approved the new Graduate Research Continuation Policy, the amended HDR and MRes Termination of Candidature Procedure (including a new supporting flowchart) and a change of name for the Procedure to become the Graduate Research Continuation Procedure, with immediate effect. 

4. Research Integrity Update 

Professor Lesley Hughes, Interim Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering presented this report which provided a brief history of Research Integrity activities since 2014, a summary of research integrity cases investigated in 2021, the development of research integrity modules, and progress against an external review of the University’s approach to research integrity. Senate noted the new five-year strategy for research integrity, including its objectives Awareness; Engagement; Education, Training and Development; and Infrastructure, how these objectives will be achieved, specific targets and outcomes and the proposed timeline.

5. Academic Integrity Update

Senate received its annual report on Academic integrity that highlighted a summary of the activities and initiatives that have occurred. In alignment with the Academic Integrity Taskforce terms of reference, academic integrity activities and initiatives were categorised around the four pillars of: 1. Culture and Communication; 2. Education and Support, 3. Identification and Enforcement and 4. Processes and Governance.  

Policies Under Review / Development  

Consultation on Higher Degree Research Variations to Candidature Policy, and Offsite Research Enrolment Policy is currently being undertaken with staff and students via the Policy Central Bulletin Board and the following key policies are under development: 

  • Aegrotat and Posthumous Awards Policy 
  • Academic Language and Literacies Policy 
  • Academic Timelines Policy 
  • Exit Awards Policy 
  • HDR Admissions Policy 
  • Research Quality Assurance Policy 
  • Timetabling Policy 
  • University Centres Policy / Procedure 
  • Work Integrated Learning Policy. 

Our next meeting will be on 30 August. Keep an eye out for our ThisWeek notice in early August giving staff an opportunity to observe, or contact the Governance Secretariat by email at senate@mq.edu.au 

Posted by Jacqueline Phillips

Jacqueline Phillips is a neurophysiologist and Professor of Neuroscience at Macquarie. She worked as a veterinarian before pursuing medical research. She is currently the Chair of Academic Senate.

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