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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.

The Senate is scheduled to meet eight (8) times in 2022. 

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. 

Committees and Subcommittees

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)       

Composition and Membership
Chair and ex-officio members
The chair is appointed by Senate from the Fellows of Senate (not a staff or student Fellow).

Member

Term of office

Peter Scott
Chair

Current term as Chair
Jun 2021 – May 2023

Previous terms as Chair
Jun 2019 – May 2021

Aug 2016 – Dec 2017

Belinda Hutchinson AC
Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Chancellor
Feb 2017 – Feb 2025

Previous term as Chancellor
Feb 2013 – Feb 2017

Richard Freudenstein
Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Deputy Chancellor
April 2020 – Mar 2022

Previous term as Deputy Chancellor
Dec 2017 - Mar 2020

Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Current term as Vice-Chancellor
July 2021 - 

Fellows of senate

Three Fellows of Senate are appointed by Senate after consultation by the chair of the committee with the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor.

Member

Term of office

Dave Burrows

Current term
Jun 2021 – May 2023

Previous term
Jun 2019 – May 2021

Professor Jane Hanrahan

Current term
January 2022 – December 2023

Gabrielle Stricker-Phelps

Current term
1 Dec 2020 – 30 Nov 2022

External members

A minimum of two and up to three external members with appropriate professional expertise and experience appointed by Senate on the recommendation of the chair of the committee.

Member

Term of office

Dianne Leeson

Current term
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous terms
Jun 2021 – May 2022

Jun 2019 – May 2021

Jun 2017 – May 2019

Mar 2016 – May 2017

Terry Williamson

Current term
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term
Jun 2020 – May 2022

May 2018 – May 2020

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:

Stephen Phillips
Vice-Principal (Operations)

Wayne Andrews
Chief Financial Officer

Greg Robinson
Chief University Infrastructure Officer (CUIO)

David Pacey
Chief Governance Officer

 

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, 99.9KB)

Composition and membership
Chair and ex-officio members

The chair is appointed by Senate from the Fellows of Senate (not a staff or student Fellow).

Member

Term of office

Karen Moses
Chair

Current term as Chair
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term as Chair
Jun 2020 – May 2022

Jan 2018 – May 2020

Belinda Hutchinson AC
Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Chancellor
Feb 2017 – Feb 2025

Previous term as Chancellor
Feb 2013 – Feb 2017

Richard Freudenstein
Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Deputy Chancellor
April 2020 – Mar 2022

Previous term as Deputy Chancellor
Dec 2017 – Mar 2020

Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Current term as Vice-Chancellor
July 2021 -

Fellows of Senate

Three Fellows of Senate are appointed by Senate after consultation by the chair of the committee with the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor.

Associate Professor Maryanne Large

Current term
Jun 2021 – May 2023

Previous term
Jun 2019 – May 2021

Lachlan Finch 

Current term
Dec 2020 – Nov 2022

Dr Lisa McIntyre

Current term
June 2021 – May 2023

Previous term
Dec 2019 – May 2021

Peter Scott

Current term
June 2021 – May 2023

Previous term
Dec 2019 - May 2021

External members

A minimum of two and up to three external members with appropriate professional expertise and experience appointed by Senate on the recommendation of the chair of the committee.

Member

Term of office

Matthew Lunn

Current term
Jun 2021 – May 2023

Previous terms

Jun 2019 – May 2021

May 2017 – May 2019

August 2015 – May 2017

John Meacock

Current term
September 2021 - May 2023

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:

Stephen Phillips
Vice-Principal (Operations)

Wayne Andrews
Chief Financial Officer

Martin McLoughlin 
Acting Director, Internal Audit

Darren Goodsir
Chief of Staff

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, 93.7KB)

Composition and membership
Chair and ex-officio members

Chair appointed by Senate (not a staff or student Fellow).

Member

Term of office

Dr Lisa McIntyre
Chair

Current term as Chair

1 Jun 2022 - 31 May 2024
Previous term as Chair

Jun 2020 – May 2022

Belinda Hutchinson AC
Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Chancellor
Feb 2017 – Feb 2025
Previous term as Chancellor
Feb 2013 – Feb 2017

Richard Freudenstein
Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Deputy Chancellor
April 2020 – Mar 2022

Previous term as Deputy Chancellor
Dec 2017 – Mar 2020

Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Current term as Vice-Chancellor
July 2021 -

Karen Moses
Chair of the Finance Committee

Current term as Chair of the Finance Committee
Jun 2020 – May 2022

Previous term as Chair of the Finance  Committee
Jan 2018 – May 2020

Fellows of senate

intentionally vacant

Member

  • To remain vacant given the appointment of three external members 
External members

A minimum of one and up to two external members with appropriate professional expertise and experience appointed by Senate on the recommendation of the chair of the subcommittee.

Member

Term of office

John Livanas

Current term
Jun 2021 – May 2023

Previous term
Aug 2019 – May 2021

Gary Brader

Current term
Dec 2021 – Dec 2023

Nerida Hall

Current term
Dec 2021 – Dec 2023

Additional members

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

Attendees

Others determined by the Chair

Stephen Phillips
Vice-Principal (Operations)

Miles Collins
Chief Investment Officer

Wayne Andrews
Chief Financial Officer

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 

Full terms of reference (pdf, 99.9KB)

Composition and membership
Chair and ex-officio members

Chair is appointed by Senate from the Fellows of Senate (not a staff or student Fellow).

Member

Term of office

Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew
Chair

Current term as Chair
Jun 2021 – May 2023

Previous term as Chair
May 2019 – May 2021

Belinda Hutchinson AC
Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Chancellor
Feb 2017 – Feb 2025

Previous term as Chancellor
Feb 2013 – Feb 2017

Richard Freudenstein
Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Deputy Chancellor
April 2020 – Mar 2022

Previous term as Deputy Chancellor
Dec 2017 – Mar 2020

Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Current term as Vice-Chancellor
July 2021 -

Fellows of Senate

Three Fellows of Senate are appointed by Senate after consultation by the chair of the committee with the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor.

Member

Term of office

Kate McClymont AM

Current term
Jun 2021 – May 2023

Previous term
Jun 2019 – May 2021

Previous terms as member of the Nominations and Appointments Committee
Jan 2018 – May 2019
May 2016 – Dec 2017
May 2014 – May 2016

Jason Yat-sen Li

Current term
Jun 2022– May 2024

Previous term
Jun 2020 – May 2022
Jan 2018 – Dec 2020

External members

A minimum of two and up to three external members with appropriate professional expertise and experience appointed by Senate on the recommendation of the chair of the committee.

Member

Term of office

Jenni Smith

Current term
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term
Jun 2020 – May 2022
May 2018 – May 2020

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

Stephen Phillips
Vice-Principal (Operations)

Karen Haywood

Chief Human Resources Officer

David Pacey

Chief Governance Officer

Darren Goodsir

Chief of Staff 

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)

Composition and Membership
Chair and ex-officio members

Chair is appointed by Senate from the Fellows of Senate (not a staff or student Fellow).

Member

Term of office

Jason Yat-Sen Li
Chair

Current term as Chair
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term as Chancellor
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Belinda Hutchinson AC
Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Chancellor
Feb 2017 – Feb 2025

Previous term as Chancellor
Feb 2013 – Feb 2017

 

Richard Freudenstein
Deputy Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Deputy Chancellor
April 2020 – Mar 2022

Previous term as Deputy Chancellor
Dec 2017 – Mar 2020

Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Current term as Vice-Chancellor
July 2021 - 

Fellows of Senate

Three Fellows of Senate are appointed by Senate after consultation by the chair of the committee with the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor.

Member

Term of office

Karen Moses

Current term
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew

Current term
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Professor Renae Ryan

Current term
Jun 2021 – May 2023

External members

A minimum of two and up to three external members with appropriate professional expertise and experience appointed by Senate on the recommendation of the chair of the committee.

Member

Term of office

Vince Graham AM

Current term
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term 
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Rob Warren

Current term
Jun 2022 - May 2024

Previous term 
Sep 2020 – May 2022

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:

Martin McLoughlin 

Acting Chief Internal Auditor

David Pacey

Chief Governance Officer 

Nisha Padmanabhan

Chief Risk Officer

Mike Powell

Chief Safety Officer 

Darren Goodsir

Chief of Staff

Olivia Perks

General Counsel

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)

Composition and Membership
Chair and ex-officio members

The chair is appointed by Senate from the Fellows of Senate (not a staff or student Fellow).

Member

Term of Office

Richard Freudenstein
Chair
Deputy Chancellor

Current term as Chair
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term as Chair
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Belinda Hutchinson AC
Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Chancellor
Feb 2017 – Feb 2025

Previous term as Chancellor
Feb 2013 – Feb 2017

Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Current term as Vice-Chancellor
July 2021 - 

Professor Jane Hanrahan
Chair of the Academic Board

Current term as Chair of Academic Board
Jan 2022 - Dec 2023

Fellows of Senate

Three Fellows of Senate are appointed by Senate after consultation by the chair of the committee with the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor.

Member

Term of Office

Dr Lisa McIntyre

Current term 
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Peter Scott

Current term 
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew

Current term
Jun 2022 – May 2024

Previous term
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Additional members

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

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)

Composition and Membership
Chair and ex-officio members

The chair is appointed by Senate from the Fellows of Senate (not a staff or student Fellow).

Member

Term of Office

Richard Freudenstein
Chair
Deputy Chancellor

Current term as Chair
Sep 2020 – May 2022

Belinda Hutchinson AC
Chancellor
ex-officio member

Current term as Chancellor
Feb 2017 – Feb 2025

Previous term as Chancellor
Feb 2013 – Feb 2017

Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice-Chancellor and President
ex-officio member

Current term as Vice-Chancellor
July 2021 - 

Professor Jane Hanrahan
Chair of the Academic Board

Current term as Chair of Academic Board
Jan 2022 - Dec 2023

Fellows of Senate

Two Fellows of Senate are appointed by Senate after consultation by the chair of the committee with the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor.

Member

Term of Office

Kate McClymont AM

Current term
Jun 2021 – May 2023

Professor Renae Ryan

Current term
Jun 2021 – May 2023

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