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'Four point one point one!'

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The Association of University Staff (AUS) is deeply concerned at the reported comments of Massey University Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McWha, that having consulted the Academic Board, he is not obliged to take advice from any other quarter.

AUS Executive Director, Rob Crozier, said in Wellington today that Professor McWha’s statement was consistent with the attitude of a chief executive running a private education company, but that it was astonishing that the Vice-Chancellor of a public university would ignore both legislation and Massey’s own internal rules, which set down the decision-making processes of the University.

“Professor McWha is the employee of the University Council (in fact its only employee!) and, as such, he is charged with managing the affairs of the university within the policy framework set by Council,” said Mr Crozier. “These are set out in 4.2.1 of the Manual of Operating Procedures and Policies, approved by the Council on 1 January 1997.”

“It is the Council which is required by the Education Act [see below] to consult the Academic Board and other bodies specifically set up to advise on such matters. This, and the Council’s own operating policies, require the Academic Board to secure the support of the Academic Committee for any proposals that involve such significant changes to the University’s academic programmes.”

“This latter step has not been complied with and Council members have been asked to think long and hard about the legal consequences of the decision that they are being asked to ratify tomorrow.”


Rob Crozier
Executive Director

Note: The text of 4.2.1 of Massey University’s Manual of Operating Procedures and Policies states, inter alia:

All new courses and changes to existing courses must be submitted to Academic Committee by Faculty and School Boards. Academic Committee will recommend/not recommend the proposals to Academic Board for approval.

All new academic developments, change of procedures relating to academic matters must have the support of Academic Committee before going to Academic Board. [4.2.1.1.1]
……./2
Section 182(1), Education Act 1989 states:

In determining the policy of an institution with respect to any matter relating to the institution, the Council of the institution shall consult with any board, committee, or other body established within the institution that has responsibility for giving advice in relation to, or for giving effect to, the policy of the institution with respect to that matter.


Contact details: Rob Crozier 021 375 661
Neville Blampied 021 680 475

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