1.  Preamble

This document sets out expectations for:

  • the induction of new members of Council and its standing committees
  • the professional development of members of Council
  • the performance review of Council

Whilst the program set out below has been designed primarily for the benefit of the members of Council, recognising their particular responsibilities as members of the governing body, we expect that aspects of the program will be of interest or benefit to members of Council standing committees and have accommodated this where appropriate.


2.  Induction

2.1  Welcome letter from Chancellor

As soon as practicable following their appointment or election, new members of Council will receive a letter of appointment from the Chancellor.

2.2  Letter from the Council Secretary

Each year, all members of Council will receive a letter from the Council Secretary about meeting arrangements for the year (including induction for new members). Members will be invited to submit new or updated biographical information, and will be advised of arrangements for securing access to the University's website, a Flinders University business card and an access and library card.

2.3  Information pack

All members will be provided each year with an information pack containing:

  • a copy of the Council Handbook
  • a map of the University
  • a copy of the University's strategic plan 
  • the Annual Report for the previous year
  • copies of other corporate documents
  • significant policy documents
  • a copy of the agenda papers and minutes for the previous meeting of Council (new members only)
  • a list of all members of Council with profiles, photographs and contact details
  • a parking permit (external members only) 

Information packs, adapted as appropriate, will also be provided to members of Finance & Investment Committee, Audit Committee and Academic Senate. 

2.4  Induction Briefing

An induction briefing will be held in February each year for all new members of Council, Finance & Investment Committee, Audit Committee and Academic Senate. The briefing will comprise:

  • a presentation from the University Secretary about the role and function of Council;
  • a presentation from the Chairs of Finance & Investment Committee, Audit Committee and Academic Senate about the roles and functions of those committees
  • a presentation from the Vice-Chancellor about the University: its organisation, location and size; its strategic plan; its financial situation; current issues; major projects; and the University's place in the higher education sector;
  • a briefing from the Vice-President (Corporate Services) on the University's approach to risk management;
  • a briefing from the Vice-President (Corporate Services) (or delegate) on the University's occupational health and safety systems and Council members' duties with respect to occupational health and safety;
  • a briefing from the Director, Financial Services Division on University funding;
  • a briefing from the University Secretary on Council procedures and meeting management; and
  • a conducted tour of the University campus at Bedford Park.

2.5 Mentors

The Chancellor may assign a mentor (from amongst the experienced members of Council) to each new member of Council. The mentor will be available to provide informal advice.


3.  Presentations and Professional Development

3.1  Presentations

Council will receive presentations from University staff as follows:

  • annual presentations from the members of the senior executive about their responsibilities and activities in their respective portfolios; and
  • from time to time, and as determined by the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, Council will receive presentations relating to other key areas of activity in the University.

3.2  Professional Development

The following arrangements will be made for professional development of Council members and members of Council standing committees as appropriate:

  • at least once per year, the Secretary of the Council will arrange a briefing for Council members on their rights and responsibilities as members of the governing body;
  • in April each year, and prior to the presentation to Council for approval of the Annual Financial Statements, the Director, Financial Services Division will provide, for interested members of Council, Finance and Investment and Audit Committees, a briefing about the University's financial statements;
  • annually, and prior to the presentation to Council of the University budget, the Director, Financial Services Division, will provide, for interested members of Council and Finance and Investment Committee, a briefing about University funding and the structure of the University budget.

In addition, any member of Council may contact the Chancellor at any time to discuss any particular needs they may have for professional development.


4.  Council Performance

4.1  The Council will conduct a biennial review of its performance.

4.2  At the first meeting of Council in the year of the review, the Chancellor will propose to Council the mechanism for the review of Council performance to be conducted during the relevant year.

4.3  It is the Chancellor's responsibility to oversee the performance of individual members of Council and to take whatever actions he or she sees fit as required.

(Adopted by Council at its meeting held on 16 December 2004.  Amended to give effect to recommendations agreed to by Council at its meetings held on 13 March and 4 December 2008.)