The Academic Council was constituted according to the terms of the Central Institutions (Scotland) Regulations (1972). The function of the Academic Council related to the overall planning, coordination, development and supervision of the academic work of the College subject to the general control and direction of the Governing Body. The Academic Council met for the first time on 20 February 1973.
Originally membership consisted of: Principal (Chairman of the Council); Vice-Principal; Librarian; Heads and Associate Heads of Departments six members elected from full-time academic staff, four co-opted members including two students (nominated by the Student Representative Council) and another student as an observer. Elected and co-opted members served for four years and were eligible for re-election on expiry of their term of office. Elections took place in January of the year where an election fell, with the first in January 1979.
The Council usually met on a monthly basis during term time with extraordinary meetings being called to deal with particular items of business. The Chairman of the Council, in consultation with the Clerk to the Council, was responsible for drawing up the Agenda for a meeting, ensuring that all competent business was included, and that members were notified. The Chairman also had to verify the accuracy of the minutes, to sign them, and ensure that they were kept.
The Academic Council appointed a number of Standing Committees including:
-Research and Staff Development Committee
-Course Development, Validating and Monitoring Committee
Some of these committees had the power to set up sub-committees. Each committee was responsible to the Academic Council for its work and the minutes of their meeting were presented to the Academic Council for review.
There were also Advisory Committees which had no executive responsibilities but provided advice to the Academic Council and senior management. The Advisory Committees included:
-Senior Management Advisory Group
-Learning Resources Advisory Committee
-Library Advisory Committee
-Staff/Student Affairs Committee
-Computer Users’ Committee
Following the introduction of the Central Institutions (Scotland) Regulations (1988) the Governing Body was required to set up a new Academic Council to sit from 1 April 1990 to reflect the new academic structure of the College. Membership of the new Academic Council would include: Principal; Vice-Principal; Head of Faculty, Health Studies; Head of Faculty: Management Studies; Chief Librarian; President of SRC; 4 elected teaching members of staff; co-opted members including the chairmen of the 3 major College Committees (Research and Staff Development; Academic and Professional Standards; and Central Services) and one non-teaching member of staff.
The Standing Committees and Advisory Committees also changed at this time to reflect the new academic structure and needs of the College. The standing committees included:
-Two Faculty Boards, of Health Studies and Management Studies (with subcommittees: Course Committees; Assessment Boards; Course Planning Committees; Course Review Committees)
-Academic and Professional Standards Committee (with subcommittees: Validation Panels; Credit Accumulation and Transfer)
-Research and Staff Development Committee (but with Funding Sub-committee and Research Degrees Committee).
The Advisory committees were:
-Appeals Review Committee
Course Development, Validating and Monitoring Committee
The Course Development, Validating and Monitoring Committee (shortened to Course Development Committee in 1982) was responsible for encouraging the development of new courses, examining the feasibility of proposed courses and appointing a Course Planning Committee responsible for developing adopted courses. Each stage of course planning and validation had to be approved by the Committee and it was also responsible for monitoring progress of existing courses.
Membership was as follows: Principal; Vice-Principal; Secretary and Treasurer; Heads and Associate Heads of Departments; Senior Librarian; Senior lecturer, Learning Resources Centre; up to five other members elected from the academic staff, up to four members, with appropriate experience, from outwith the College; one student representative appointed by the Student Representative Council. The Academic Council elected the Chair of the Committee who would serve no longer than three years. Appointed members would serve for not more than two years but could be re-appointed without a break in service. Appointments were made in September unless a vacancy occurred.
Course Planning Committees
The Course Planning Committees were responsible for examining in detail and reporting on the feasibility of the proposed course in terms of likely student demand, employment, development and cultural opportunities and resources required. The committees drafted each stage of submissions for the Scottish Education Department and external validating bodies for approval by the Course Development, Validating and Monitoring Committee.
The membership of each Course Planning Committee was approved by the Course Development, Validating and Monitoring Committee. Expertise from outwith the College could be co-opted to the committee. Each committee would cease to function once the course was finally approved and in operation.
The Course Committees were responsible for advising the Course Leader on the organisation and administration of the course, keeping it under review during the period of approval, to make recommendations for changes in the course scheme and to produce a course handbook for the information of students and staff.
The membership of a Course Committee consisted of the members of the complementary Assessment Board, including the External Assessors, plus two students from each year of the course. The Course Leader, appointed by the Academic Council, would chair the committee, which would meet at least once each term.
Members of Assessment Boards for each course were appointed by the Academic Council and approved by the Course Development Committee. They were responsible for ensuring that the course assessment regulations, laid down by the Academic Council, were adhered to. They had to ensure that appropriate arrangements were made for examinations and assessments, review students’ performance and draw up results lists.
Research and Staff Development Committee
The Committee was responsible for reviewing the expertise of staff in light of any changes in the academic work of the college. It would make recommendations regarding staff development to the Academic Council to ensure the skillset would be able to meet future development plans. The committee would arrange appropriate in-service training and create an environment to encourage staff research and development activities. The Committee would advise on the development of research activities that were worthy of support by the College.
Membership was as follows: Principal; Vice-Principal; Secretary and Treasurer; Heads and Associate Heads of Departments; Senior Librarian; Senior Lecturer, Learning Resources Centre; up to five other members elected from the academic staff, up to two members, with appropriate experience, from outwith the College; one student representative appointed by the Student Representative Council. The Academic Council elected the Chair of the Committee who would serve no longer than three years. Appointed members would serve for not more than two years but could be re-appointed without a break in service. Appointments were made in September unless a vacancy occurred.
Senior Management Advisory Group
The Senior Management Advisory Group acted as an informal forum for the discussion of College matters and to advise the Principal.
Membership consisted of: Principal; Vice-Principal; Heads and Associate Heads of Departments; Senior Lecturer, Learning Resources Centre; Senior Librarian; Secretary and Treasurer; and other staff invited to meetings as appropriate.
Staff/ Student Affairs Advisory Committee
The Staff/ Student Affairs Advisory Committee acted as a forum for discussion of matters of interest, including: complaints and queries, reviewing induction procedures, compilation of student welfare guides. Meetings were held at least one per month.
Membership consisted of: 1 staff member from each Course Committee, serving no longer than three years; 1 student member from each Course Committee; President of the Student Representative Council (SRC); two members appointed by the SRC.
Library Advisory Committee
The Library Advisory Committee advised the Senior Librarian on matters of general library policy and operation, including; the selection of publications; implications for the library of new courses and changes in courses.
Membership consisted of: Principal; Vice-Principal; Secretary and Treasurer; Senior Librarian; Assistant Librarians (when appropriate); Senior Lecturer, Learning Resources Centre; one representative of each Head or Associate Head of Department; two students nominated by the Student Representative Council; persons from outwith the College may be co-opted for specific purposes.
Computer Users’ Committee
The Computer Users’ Committee would encourage staff and students to use the computing facilities for teaching, research and administrative purposes. It would make recommendations to the Research and Staff Development Committee on forward plans for staffing equipment and accommodation with estimates and costs and on matters relating to the College computing facilities.
Membership consisted of: Chairman (appointed by the Research and Staff Development Committee); Vice-Principal; two representatives nominated by each Head or Associate Head of Department; Senior Lecturer, Learning Resources Centre; Senior Librarian; two nominees of the Secretary and Treasurer; up to four co-opted members (including at least one student user).