The Senate is the Board of Directors of Australian Catholic University Limited and is the governing body of the University. Learn more about the Senate, its terms of reference and current members.

Terms of reference

The Senate is the governing authority of Australian Catholic University Limited. It comprises 18 Senators, each of whom are ex-officio (a holder of another office position), nomination or elected.

The Senate’s composition, authority and processes are described in Clause 13 of the Australian Catholic University Constitution.

Senate objectives

The objectives of Senate are as follows:

  • review and endorse strategic directions and priorities; and monitor progress against agreed goals
  • oversee the establishment and effective operation of key policies
  • ensure adequate risk management procedures and associated internal controls are established and effectively maintained
  • oversee the effective and prudential operation of the University, including approval and monitoring of budgets and financial plans
  • require and monitor compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations
  • ensure the University’s assets and resources are properly managed
  • effectively manage its own operations, with due concern for proper and appropriate accountability
    appointment of the Vice-Chancellor
  • ensure a clear definition of Senate’s role and the delegated responsibilities and authorities it assigns to the Vice-Chancellor, other officers, the Senate Subcommittees and the Academic Board.

Senate Sub-Committees

According to Clause 16.1 of the University Constitution, the Senate can appoint committees and delegate many of its powers to them. 

At least a third of a committee’s members must be made up of Senators, and any power exercised by a committee is deemed exercised by the Senate.

Current Sub-Committees of the Senate include:

The function of this sub-committee is to:

  • Facilitate the nomination and appointment process of Senators.
  • Consider and advise regarding the remuneration of the Vice-Chancellor and President.
  • Exercise a standing delegation to deal with matters between meetings of Senate.
  • Function as a point of review for Statutes, Regulations and Policies.
The Senate Standing Committee is chaired by the Chancellor, The Hon John Fahey AC and is governed by University Statute 2.10 .

The function of this sub-committee is to:

  • Liaise with the external auditor and audit activities.
  • Review risk management and compliance activities of the University.
  • Provide feedback to Senate through the Finance and Resources Committee regarding financial statements.
The Audit and Risk Committee is chaired by Mr Robert Baker (external appointment) and is governed by University Statute 2.3

The function of this sub-committee is advise and make recommendations to Senate on:

  • Planning, finance and contract matters relating to capital projects
  • Annual budgets, budget performance and annual accounts
  • Use of University reserves, commercial ventures and investments
The Finance and Resources Committee is chaired by Pro-Chancellor, Mr Julien O’Connell AM and is governed by University Statute 2.2

The purpose of this sub-committee is to:

  • Invite and consider proposals for the awarding of honorary degrees and the honorary title of Emeritus Professor, before recommending to Senate for approval
  • Periodically review Regulations for the awarding of honorary degrees and the honorary title of Emeritus Professor
The Honorary Awards Committee is chaired by the Chancellor, The Hon John Fahey AC and is governed by University Statute 2.9

Senate membership list

Learn more about the 18 members of the Senate, including nominated, ex-officio and elected members.

See Senate membership list

Non-Confidential Minutes of ACU Senate

By year commencing with 2019

Meeting 01/2019 (18 February 2019)
Meeting 02/2019 (11 April 2019) (PDF, 93KB)
Meeting 03/2019 (13 June 2019)
Meeting 04/2019 (8 August 2019)
Meeting 05/2019 (17 October 2019)
Meeting 06/2019 (4 December 2019)

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