Standard rules of procedure for Academic Councils


Standard Rules of Procedure for...

Prepared within the framework of the Standard Rules of Procedure for Academic Councils as laid down by the rector, see Article 32(5) of the Aarhus University By-laws.

Membership, constitution of the council etc.

§ 1 The academic council consists of a total of … (a minimum of eight and a maximum of 22 members, excluding the dean and observers from the technical and administrative staff) … members. The academic council consists of the dean and ... members elected from among the academic staff in the faculty, including PhD students employed by the university, and ... members elected from among the students in the faculty. Moreover, three observers participate, elected from among the faculty's technical and administrative staff.

(2) The academic council elects a chairman from among the members.

(3) The vice-deans participate in council meetings as observers as required. 

(4) The academic council may invite other non-members to participate, to a specified extent, as observers in council meetings. 

(5) Observers have a right to speak but have no voting rights.

§ The student members of the academic council are elected for a period of one year. Employed PhD students representing the academic staff are elected for a period of two years. The other members of the academic council are elected for a period of four years.

(2) At the first meeting of the academic council after newly elected student members have joined the council, the chairman briefs the academic council on the council's work, and the council schedules its future meetings. 


§ 3 The academic council has the following tasks, cf article 23 (1) of the by-laws:

  1. Ensuring ideas generation, quality, transparency and legitimacy in all decisions on academic issues. 
  2. Participating in the appointment of members of the nomination body in connection with the appointment of external members of the University Board and in the nomination of members of advisory groups in connection with the appointment of rector, pro-rector, deans and vice-deans. 
  3. Appointing members of the university's interdisciplinary advisory forums. The appointment must not be made by the chairman and the dean alone, but must take place with the involvement of the academic staff, technical and administrative staff, PhD and student members of the academic council. 
  4. Advising the dean on budgetary priorities.
  5. Making statements to the dean on the internal distribution of funds. 
  6. Making statements to the dean on key strategic research questions and educational issues and plans for knowledge exchange. 
  7. Making recommendations to the dean on the composition of expert committees to assess applicants for academic positions.
  8. Awarding PhD and doctoral degrees. 

(2) Through continuous and timely involvement, the dean must ensure co-determination for the academic council in respect of academic issues in a broad sense. The dean must therefore discuss important issues within research, talent fostering, knowledge exchange and education with the council. 

(3) The academic council may make statements on all academic issues of substantial relevance to the activities of the university and has a duty to discuss academic issues presented by the rector or the dean for its consideration. 

(4) The academic council has the right to make statements to the Senior Management Team. 

Commitees and working method

§4 The academic council may appoint advisory committees; however, such committees cannot be assigned any independent powers.

Working method

§5 The chairman must prepare an agenda for the meetings in collaboration with the dean.

(2) The chairman and the dean are responsible for preparing an annual wheel and for planning regular meetings to ensure that all relevant issues are planned and considered in due time.

(3) The academic council's annual wheel should for example include:

  1. Overall strategy of faculty.
  2. Thematic discussions of principles.
  3. Budget.
  4. Appointment and recruitment policy.
  5. Professor policy.

Ordinary and extraordinary meetings, written consideration

§ The academic council performs its activities at normally six, and a minimum of four, annual meetings, see, however, Article 8. Ordinary meetings are held at the university .............; however, not in the period 1 July - 15 August.

(2) The chairman distributes an agenda or a notice cancelling the meeting to the members no later than four working days prior to each ordinary meeting. At the same time, the agenda or the cancellation must be published on the university's website or in another suitable manner. A supplementary agenda setting out additional items to be considered may be distributed no later than two days before the meeting. 

(3) If a member requests that a case be considered no later than one week prior to an ordinary meeting, the chairman must include the case as an item on the agenda for the meeting in question. 

(4) The chairman must ensure that the information required to assess cases is presented to the members. If such information has not been sent to the members along with the agenda for an ordinary meeting, it must be stated when such material can be expected to be distributed or handed out. 

§ Extraordinary meetings must be held as and when deemed necessary by the chairman. Extraordinary meetings must furthermore be held if so requested by one-third of the members of the academic council. The meeting must be held within one week of such request being made.

(2) Extraordinary meetings must be convened subject to a notice of no less than 24 hours. The notice must specify the items on the agenda and must contain the information required to assess the cases. 

§ If all members agree thereon, routine cases may be decided without holding a meeting through written consideration. A proposal for a decision along with the information required to assess the case must be distributed and must form the basis for the consideration. The members must indicate whether they can accept the procedure for the consideration and, in the affirmative, whether they can approve the decision proposed for the case. Where a member is unable to accept that the case is determined through written consideration, the case will be included on the agenda for the next meeting of the academic council.

Public access to meetings

§ Academic council meetings are public. The academic council may decide, however, that meetings will be held behind closed doors during the consideration of individual items on the agenda if deemed necessary due to the nature of the case or otherwise required by the circumstances.

(2) Where the academic council finds that its deliberations are being disrupted, the council may exclude one or more members of the audience from the meeting in question. If necessary, the rest of the meeting may be held behind closed doors. 

(3) Meetings must be held behind closed doors when considering cases involving information that must be kept confidential to safeguard public and private interests. 

(4) Any uncertainty as to whether a case warrants consideration behind closed doors must be settled behind closed doors in advance as decided by the chairman, the dean or a majority of the members. 

(5) The academic council may grant permission for observers to be present during the consideration of cases conducted behind closed doors. 

(6) Members and observers must observe confidentiality in cases considered behind closed doors in accordance with Article 9(3). 

Quorum, the chair and consideration of cases

§ 10 The academic council forms a quorum when at least half of its tenured members are present.

(2) The chairman presides over academic council meetings. The chairman decides in all matters relating to the conducting of the meetings. Cases are considered at meetings in the order in which they are listed on the agenda. 

(3) The academic council may decide to include new items on the agenda, and it may decide to deviate from the original order set out in the agenda and consider cases in another order. 

(4) Decisions in cases which were not included as individual items on the agenda distributed prior to an ordinary meeting may be made only when none of the members present at the meeting object to this. 

(5) Decisions in cases which were not included as individual items on the agenda distributed prior to an extraordinary meeting may be made only when all the members are present and none of the members object to this. 

§ 11 The academic council's decisions are carried by a simple majority of votes.

Compulsory attendance, competence to act and calling in substitutes

§ 12 The members are under a duty to attend council meetings.

(2) Members who are unable to attend a meeting must notify the chairman thereof before the meeting. The resolution minutes for each meeting must state which members were absent. 

(3) Members may only vote at academic council meetings if they are personally present at such meetings, see, however, Article 8. 

§ 13 A member must notify the chairman of any circumstances which may give rise to doubts about the member's competence to act. Such notification must as far as possible be given before the meeting.

(2) In cases of doubt, the academic council determines whether the member may participate in the consideration of the case in question. Where the member cannot participate in the consideration of the case and a substitute has been elected for the member, the chairman calls in the substitute to participate in the consideration.

§ 14 Where a member is absent due to illness, a study trip etc. for a period of more than two months and therefore unable to participate in the academic council's work, the chairman calls in the substitute to take the member's place on the council during the period of absence. The chairman decides whether the conditions for calling in the substitute are satisfied. Decisions concerning the calling-in of substitutes must be announced to the rector.

(2) Where a member is no longer eligible, such member must resign from the academic council. Where a member takes leave of absence, the rector may decide – on the recommendation of the academic council – that said member must only withdraw from the board during the leave of absence. 

§ 15 In the event of vacancies on the academic council and where a sufficient number of substitutes have not been elected or appointed to ensure that the academic council is made up of the required number of members, the council submits a recommendation to the rector indicating whether the vacant seat(s) should be filled through supplementary elections or whether the seat(s) should remain vacant until the next ordinary elections.

Resolution minutes and execution of the academic council's decisions

§ 16 The academic council's decisions are recorded in resolution minutes, which are to be distributed no later than fourteen days after the meeting, if possible, and submitted for approval at the next meeting. All members are entitled to have a minority viewpoint recorded in the minutes.

(2) The chairman executes the academic council's decisions. 

(3) Approved minutes of academic council meetings are published on the university's website to the extent that such decisions are not subject to confidentiality. 

(4) Together with the dean, the chairman is responsible for ensuring that the academic council actively communicates information about its work. 

(5) The Dean's Office assists the chairman in attending the chairman's duties. 

Questions concerning the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure and the Standard Rules of Procedure

§ 17 Any questions concerning the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure are settled by the academic council.

(2) Any questions concerning the interpretation of the Standard Rules of Procedure or concerning the compliance of the Rules of Procedure with the Standard Rules of Procedure, however, must be submitted to the rector. 

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure and the Standard Rules of Procedure

§ 18 These Rules of Procedure enter into force on 1 November 2012. Any decisions to amend the Rules of Procedure may be carried by a simple majority of votes in the academic council where such proposed amendment has been submitted no later than fourteen days prior to the meeting at which it is to be considered.

(2) Any amendments adopted to the Standard Rules of Procedure for Academic Councils, as laid down by the rector, also amend these Rules of Procedure. 

(3) In exceptional cases and within the framework of the Aarhus University By-laws, the rector may grant an exemption from the provisions of these Rules of Procedure.