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Senate

The Senate is the governing authority of the University of Sydney

The Senate oversees all major decisions concerning the conduct of the University.

The University of Sydney Senate is responsible for staff appointments and welfare, student welfare and discipline, financial matters and the physical and academic development of the University. It also awards all degrees and diplomas and is responsible to the Parliament of NSW.

The Senate's primary responsibilities are:

  • appointing the Vice-Chancellor as the principal executive officer of the University, and monitoring their performance
  • approving the mission and strategic direction of the University, as well as the annual budget and business plan
  • overseeing and reviewing the management of the University and its performance
  • establishing policy and procedural principles, consistent with legal requirements and community expectations
  • approving and monitoring systems of control and accountability, including general overview of any controlled entities
  • overseeing and monitoring the assessment and management of risk across the University, including commercial undertakings
  • overseeing and monitoring the academic activities of the University.

The statutory powers and responsibilities of Senate are defined by section 16 of the University of Sydney Act 1989 (NSW).

Senate Structure

Senate committee structure diagram

As per Part 5 of the University of Sydney (Amendment Act) Rule 1999 (pdf, 321KB), Senate will convene six to eight times per year.

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Friday 4 March 2022 Friday 18 March 2022 All day
Friday 4 March 2022 Saturday 19 March 2022 (Retreat) All day 
Wednesday 4 May 2022 Wednesday 18 May 2022 1pm 
Wednesday 15 June 2022 Wednesday 29 June 2022 1pm 
Friday 5 August 2022 Friday 19 August 2022 All day
Wednesday 12 October 2022 Wednesday 26 October 2022 1pm 
Wednesday 23 November 2022 Wednesday 7 December 2022 1pm 

The constitution of the Senate is set out in Division 1 of the University of Sydney Act 1989, and Senate is currently comprised of:

  • official members;
  • elected members;
  • Senate appointed members; and
  • Ministerially appointed members.

More information on our Senate Fellows can be found on their profile pages. 

Building and Estates Committee

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Friday 4 February 2022 Friday 18 February 2022 9:30am - 12.00pm
Friday 27 May 2022 Friday 10 June 2022 9:30am - 12.00pm
Friday 26 August 2022 Friday 9 September 2022 9:30am - 12.00pm
Friday 4 November 2022 Friday 18 November 2022 9:30am - 12.00pm

All submissions to Senate Committees must first be endorsed by the University Executive

The role of the Building and Estates Committee is to monitor and advise Senate on:

  • matters of planning, development and general oversight of the management of the University’s real property and physical infrastructure with particular reference to: 
    • major capital developments;
    • infrastructure management;
    • operating resource allocation;
    • sustainability;
  • effective risk management in the areas covered by the Committee’s Terms of Reference; and
  • conducting reviews in the areas covered by the Committee’s Terms of Reference.

 

Full terms of reference (pdf, 91.3KB)

Members
Member Term of office
Chair

Peter Scott

Chancellor
ex-officio member

Belinda Hutchinson AC

Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Richard Freudenstein

Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Professor Mark Scott AO
Fellow of Senate Dave Burrows
Fellow of Senate Professor Jane Hanrahan
Fellow of Senate Gabrielle Stricker-Phelps
External Member Dianne Leeson
External Member Terry Williamson
Attendees
Position Attendee
Vice-President (Operations)

Stephen Phillips

Chief Financial Officer

Wayne Andrews

Chief University Infrastructure Officer 

Greg Robinson

Chief Governance Officer

David Pacey
Any other members as determined by the chair

 

Full terms of reference (pdf, 91.3KB)

Finance Committee

Agenda items due  Meeting date  Meeting time
Wednesday 23 February 2022 Wednesday 9 March 2022 3:30pm - 6.00pm
Tuesday 12 April 2022 Tuesday 26 April 2022 2.00pm - 4:30pm 
Wednesday 25 May 2022 Wednesday 8 June 2022 2.00pm - 4:30pm
Wednesday 13 July 2022 Wednesday 27 July 2022 2.00pm - 4:30pm 
Monday 3 October 2022 Monday 17 October 2022 2.00pm - 4:30pm 
Wednesday 9 November 2022 Wednesday 23 November 2022 2.00pm - 4:30pm 

All submissions to Senate Committees must first be endorsed by the University Executive

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Tuesday 21 February 2023 Tuesday 7 March 2023 2:00pm - 4:30pm 
Wednesday 12 April 2023 Wednesday 26 April 2023 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Wednesday 17 May 2023 Wednesday 31 May 2023 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Monday 10 July 2023 Monday 24 July 2023  3:30pm - 6:00pm 
Wednesday 16 August 2023 Wednesday 30 August 2023 (reserve)  3:30pm - 6.00pm
Tuesday 26 September 2023 Tuesday 10 October 2023 3:00pm - 5:30pm 
Tuesday 14 November 2023 Tuesday 28 November 2023  2:00pm - 4:30pm 

The role of the Finance Committee is to monitor and advise Senate on:

  • issues relating to the financial performance and sustainability of the University, by reviewing and evaluating information provided by management on the financial impact of strategic proposals, budget and planning priorities, resource and capital allocation, and commercial activities
  • the University’s external audit program, including reliability of financial management and reporting and compliance with laws and regulations ensuring the effective management of financial risk across the University, including the financial risks of subsidiaries and controlled entities;
  • ensuring the effective management of non‐financial risk in areas covered by the Committee’s Terms of Reference; 
  • effective management of the University’s short-term portfolio, cash flow and liquidity positions; and
  • conducting reviews in the areas covered by the Committee’s Terms of Reference

Full terms of reference (pdf, 173.8KB)

Members
Position Member
Chair

Karen Moses

Chancellor
ex-officio member

Belinda Hutchinson AC

Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Richard Freudenstein

Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Professor Mark Scott AO
Fellow of Senate Associate Professor Maryanne Large
Fellow of Senate Lachlan Finch 
Fellow of Senate Dr Lisa McIntyre
Fellow of Senate Peter Scott
External Member John Meacock
External Member David Thodey AO
Attendees

Other members determined by the chair:

Position Member
Vice-President (Operations)

Stephen Phillips

Chief Financial Officer Wayne Andrews
Chief Internal Audit Officer Alison Hamill
Chief of Staff Darren Goodsir

Finance Investment Subcommittee

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Friday 11 February 2022 Friday 25 February 2022 8.00am - 10.00am
Wednesday 11 May 2022 Wednesday 25 May 2022 1.00pm- 3.00pm
Tuesday 16 August 2022 Tuesday 30 August 2022 8.00am - 10.00am
Wednesday 16 November 2022 Wednesday 30 November 2022 8.00am - 10.00am

All submissions to Senate Committees must first be endorsed by the University Executive

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Wednesday 15 February 2023 Wednesday 1 March 2023 9:30am - 11:30am 
Wednesday 24 May 2023 Wednesday 7 June 2023 8:00am - 10:00am 
Thursday 17 August 2023 Thursday 31 August 2023 8:00am - 10:00am 
Monday 20 November 2023 Monday 4 December 2023 8:00am - 10:00am 

The role of the Investment Subcommittee is to monitor and advise the Finance Committee on:

  • matters relating to the University's investment portfolio with particular reference to the:
    • appropriateness of investment policies
    • success of investment strategies
    • sustainability of investment activities;
  • strategies for the management of University investments;
  • recommendations for the University's Future Fund; and
  • recommendations for major capital expenditure projects and strategic initiatives which are funded entirely from the Future Fund, including advice on the investment mandate for the Future Fund, which balances support for a broad range of core University objectives with seeking to achieve appropriate commercial returns.

Full terms of reference (pdf, 171.5KB)


Members
Postion Member
Chair Dr Lisa McIntyre

Chancellor
ex-officio member

Belinda Hutchinson AC

Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Richard Freudenstein

Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Professor Mark Scott AO
Chair of the Finance Committee

Karen Moses

Fellow of Senate  Intentionally vacant given the appointment of three external members 
External Member  John Livanas
External Member  Gary Brader
External Member  Nerida Hall
Attendees
Vice-President (Operations) Stephen Phillips
Chief Investment Officer Miles Collins
Chief Financial Officer Wayne Andrews
Others determined by the Chair

People and Culture Committee

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Wednesday 2 February 2022 Tuesday 15 February 2022 9:00am - 12.00pm
Wednesday 18 May 2022 Wednesday 8 June 2022 9.00am - 11.30am 
Thursday 28 July 2022 Thursday 11 August 2022 9:30am - 12.30pm 
Tuesday 8 November 2022 Tuesday 22 November 2022 9:30am - 12.30pm 

All submissions to Senate Committees must first be endorsed by the University Executive

Agenda items due  Meeting date  Meeting time
Friday 3 February 2023 Friday 17 February 2023 2.00pm - 5.00pm 
Wednesday 3 May 2023 Wednesday 17 May 2023 9.30am - 12.30pm 
Monday 3 July 2023 Monday 17 July 2023 9.00am - 12.00pm 
Wednesday 16 August 2023 Wednesday 30 August (reserve)  9.00am - 12.00pm 
Wednesday 8 November 2023 Wednesday 22 November 2023 9.00am - 12.00pm 

All submissions to Senate Committees must first be endorsed by the University Executive

The People and Culture Committee monitors and advises Senate on:

  • human resources (HR) policies, structures and processes that support the University’s strategic objectives in:
    • University culture and values;
    • the attraction, development and retention of academic and professional staff;
    • remuneration and reward;
    • diversity and inclusion;
    • workplace relations; and
    • performance management, succession planning and development programs for senior executive roles including the Vice-Chancellor and his or her executive direct reports;
  • the culture at the University, including the need for any reviews or external advice;
  • effective risk management in areas covered by the Committee’s Terms of Reference, including compliance with legal and regulatory requirements; and
  • conducting reviews in the areas covered by the Committee’s Terms of Reference, including the need for any external advice

Full terms of reference (pdf, 67.7KB)

 
Members
Position Member
Chair

Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew

Chancellor
ex-officio member

Belinda Hutchinson AC

Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Richard Freudenstein

Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Professor Mark Scott AO
Fellow of Senate Kate McClymont AM
Fellow of Senate Jason Yat-sen Li
External Member Jenni Smith
External Member  Susan Ferrier 
Attendees
Position Attendee
Vice-President, Operations

Stephen Phillips

Chief Governance Officer 

David Pacey 

Chief Human Resources Officer

Karen Haywood

Chief of Staff Darren Goodsir 

Any others as determined by the chair when necessary.

Risk and Audit Committee

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Friday 8 April 2022 Friday 22 April 2022 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Friday 8 July 2022 Friday 22 July 2022 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Friday 23 September 2022 Friday 7 October 2022 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Friday 4 November 2022 Friday 18 November 2022 2:00pm - 4:30pm

All submissions to Senate Committees must first be endorsed by the University Executive

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Friday 10 February 2023 Friday 24 February 2023 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Wednesday 22 March 2023  Wednesday 5 April 2023 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Friday 30 June 2023 Friday 14 July 2023 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Friday 25 August 2023 Friday 8 September 2023 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Friday 10 November 2023 Friday 24 November 2023 2:00pm - 4:30pm

The role of the Risk and Audit Committee is to:

  • review and oversee the University’s systems of risk management, internal control, internal audit and regulatory compliance; and
  • to ensure that they are effective in monitoring and responding to strategic, operational, financial and other emerging risks within the Committee’s Terms of Reference

The Committee monitors and advises Senate on:

  • systems of risk management including: 
    • Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) related matters including compliance with work health and safety legislation;
    • environmental and sustainability risk and compliance;
  • Internal Audit
  • regulatory compliance; and
  • insurance.

Full terms of reference (pdf, 68.3KB)

Members
Position Member
Chair

Jason Yat-Sen Li

Chancellor
ex-officio member

Belinda Hutchinson AC

Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Richard Freudenstein

Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Professor Mark Scott AO
Fellow of Senate Karen Moses
Fellow of Senate Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew
Fellow of Senate Professor Renae Ryan
External Member Vince Graham AM
External Member Rob Warren
Additional members

Senate may, on the advice of the committee, or on its own volition, co-opt additional members as required.

Attendees

Other members determined by the chair:

Position Attendee
Chief Internal Audit Officer

Alison Hamill

Chief Governance Officer 

David Pacey 

Chief Risk Officer/ Interim Chief Safety Officer

Nisha Padmanabhan

Chief of Staff Darren Goodsir 
General Counsel Olivia Perks 

Nominations Committee

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Friday 18 February 2022 Friday 4 March 2022 8:30am - 10:00am
Thursday 15 September 2022 Thursday 29 September 2022 11:30am - 1:00pm 
Tuesday 8 November 2022 Tuesday 22 November 2022 8.00am - 9:30am

The role of the Nominations Committee is to monitor and advise Senate on:

  • governance issues generally as they relate to Senate and the University with particular reference to:
    • induction and continuing education of Fellows
    • Senate performance reviews
    • Senate committee structure and purposes
  • ensuring the effective management of risk in areas covered by the Committee’s Terms of Reference 
  • conducting reviews in the areas covered by the Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Full terms of reference (pdf, 60.3KB)

Members
Position Members

Deputy Chancellor
Chair
ex-officio member

Richard Freudenstein

Chancellor
ex-officio member

Belinda Hutchinson AC

Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Professor Mark Scott AO

Chair of the Academic Board

ex-officio member

Professor Jane Hanrahan
Fellow of Senate  Dr Lisa McIntyre
Fellow of Senate  Peter Scott
Fellow of Senate  Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew
Additional members
Senate may, on the advice of the committee, or on its own volition, co-opt additional members as required.

Honorary Awards Committee

Agenda items due Meeting date Meeting time
Wednesday 21 September 2022 Wednesday 5 October 2022 10am – 11.30am

The role of the Honorary Awards Committee is to advise Senate on:

  • candidates for honorary degrees and honorary fellowships; and
  • naming proposals in relation to University buildings and other significant assets, including scholarships and prizes, centres and institutes, and foundations.

Full terms of reference (pdf, 58.4KB)

Nominations and Past Recipients 

Members
Position Members
Deputy Chancellor
Chair

Richard Freudenstein

Chancellor
ex-officio member

Belinda Hutchinson AC

Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Professor Mark Scott AO

Chair of the Academic Board
ex-officio member

Professor Jane Hanrahan
Fellow of Senate  Kate McClymont AM
Fellow of Senate  Professor Renae Ryan
Additional members

Senate may, on the advice of the committee, or on its own volition, co-opt additional members as required.

Contact

Alyssa White

Senior Manager University Governance & Deputy Secretary to Senate
Address
  • Level 5 Corner of Eastern Avenue and City Road Michael Spence Building F23