University aims to simplify rules

The University of Otago is reviewing its internal statutes and regulations, partly to simplify and clarify its rules, including those involving complaints and appeals.

A report by Prof Gareth Jones, the deputy vice-chancellor, academic and international, which outlined the proposed review, was previously considered by the university senate, the university's senior academic advisory body.

The review is to be carried out by university council registrar and secretary Jan Flood and academic services director John Price, in consultation with relevant groups.

The work will focus initially on the structure of university statutes and regulations, as printed in the annual university calendar.

Detailed programme regulations would be considered later, but it was not planned to make "substantive changes" to those, except where a department, school or division wished that to happen, the report said.

The report, tabled at a meeting of the governing University Council yesterday, noted those regulations, especially in respect to complaints and appeals, could be "simpler and clearer".

The formal regulatory framework had developed "in piecemeal fashion over many years" without a clear overall structure, Prof Jones wrote in the report.

The "rules" governing the university's interactions with its students were contained in a very wide range of published documents, including the statutes and regulations printed in the calendar.

The university's academic divisions also produced publications for students which contained details of academic and other requirements which departments might later wish to enforce, he wrote.

Rules governing a particular situation could be found in several sources, with the potential for conflict between those sources.

Having both the university statutes and regulations made at council level was "unnecessary and confusing" and it would be appropriate for them to be brought together in a single set of statutes, the report said.

The review would also consider what information was best published in the calendar or in other publications.


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