Name

The name of the association will be the “Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors”. The initials ACEDD may be used as the short title for the association where abbreviations are appropriate.

Interpretations

In this constitution, unless the context otherwise requires:

“Environmental” includes environmental science, studies and management, which are understood as referring to and concerned with geophysical, biophysical and ecosystem processes and patterns, management and planning, sustainable development, and consideration of the sum of conditions – including social, cultural, economic and political interactions – that impinge on an individual or community of a species and affect its existence or development; in this sense “environment” includes human ecosystems, patterns and processes

“Council” means the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors

“Deans and/or Directors” will include such persons as each member organisation determines, normally representing disciplines responsible for environmental science or environmental studies broadly conceived: for example, Deans of Faculties, Heads or Deans of Schools, Heads of Departments or Disciplines, or their delegates, and appropriate others who hold senior positions of responsibility for environmental science and environmental studies in Australian universities

Principles

The Council will operate according to the following principles of good governance: legitimacy, transparency, accountability, inclusion, fairness, capability and adaptability.

Purpose

The purpose of the Council is to promote environmental science and environmental studies in universities throughout Australia in order to:

  • proactively identify and constructively respond to national issues in environmental science, environmental studies, higher education and related areas, and to local and international issues where such matters are also of national importance;
  • raise the profile of environmental education, research and research training, and community engagement for the environment in higher education among all tiers of government, the private and non-government sectors and, where appropriate, among members of the general public;
  • undertake regular consultation on environmental matters with Commonwealth ministries, associated departments and boards, national bodies representing state and federal ministers and the Australian Local Government Association, and organisations in the private and non-government sectors;
  • represent the Council’s mission for environmental science and environmental studies on appropriate national committees focused on research, training and community engagement in these fields;
  • contribute to the development of environmental policy and administration with a view to establishing national position statements on such matters or matters closely related to them and within the scope of the Council’s mission;
  • broaden understanding among a wide and diverse range of people in locations around the nation that environmental science and environmental studies are key areas of study of significant and growing importance;
  • promote funding for and recognition of excellent research and research training, and of the nexus between research and teaching in environmental science and environmental studies;
  • foster collaboration in initiatives that advance common good scholarship in environmental science and environmental studies, and that encourage the translation of such scholarship into forms and formats that are more generally accessible; and
  • facilitate information and knowledge flows and the creation and maintenance of appropriate networks among institutional members of Council and allied and affiliate organisations and individuals.

In achieving these purposes the President or members of Executive may communicate and give action to agreed positions of the Council at appropriate times between meetings of the Council.

Memberships and meetings of the Council

Members of the Council will be member universities, represented by Deans and/or Directors of environmental science or environmental studies, or their delegates.

Council will hold two meetings of the Council in each calendar year, at least one of which will be in Canberra.

Each member university represented at the Annual Meeting may nominate one person as its voting delegate, provided that the university is a current financial member of the Council. Voting at the Annual Meeting is restricted to voting delegates. The Annual Meeting is the Spring Meeting of the Council. This meeting is normally held in Canberra.

The quorum for voting at the Annual Meeting will be the next whole number greater than one half than the number of member universities of Council.

Academic or other appropriate personnel from other higher education providers or from other universities based in other countries may attend by invitation as observers.

Office Bearers and Executive of the Council

The office bearers of the Council shall be the:

  • Immediate Past President
  • President
  • Vice President/Incoming President Elect
  • Treasurer

The President and Vice President will be elected by confidential electronic ballot from among the Deans and Directors representing financial member universities of the ACEDD and by the Council at its Annual Meeting.

The Treasurer will be elected by the Council at its Annual Meeting and will maintain the financial records of the Council.

Nominations for office bearers will normally be called at least one month before the commencement of the Annual Meeting. Nominations received will be declared in writing to financial members by the Executive Officer two weeks before the Annual Meeting, and a confidential electronic ballot will be undertaken. Election will be by majority vote. Results shall be announced at the Annual Meeting.

Office bearers will hold office for the period of time between the finish of one Annual Meeting and the finish of the second Annual Meeting of the Council after they took up office, i.e. two years. Incumbent office bearers of the Council are eligible for renomination and election.

Office bearers are elected to their positions because of their membership of the ACEDD council at the time of election. If they cease to be their institution’s delegate during the time they hold office (or a successor office in the case of the Vice President and President) they will still hold office but cannot be considered for renomination and election.

If the position of any one of the office bearers becomes vacant between the normal schedule of elections, the Council will elect from its members a person to fill the vacancy until the next Annual Meeting.

The Council Executive Committee will be responsible for the conduct of the affairs of the Council. The Council Executive Committee will have the power, subject to this constitution, to regulate its own proceedings. It will comprise the office bearers elected by the Council. The quorum for conducting business between Annual Meetings of the Council will be all members of the Executive.

The President is empowered and encouraged to represent the interests of the Council between Annual meetings, and to respond to national issues in environmental science, studies and management, higher education and related matters. These representations may be made to both government and the non-government sectors, and include public and media comment.

Where the Council has not developed an agreed position, the President may consult with the Council Executive Committee or, where the matter is urgent, may request the President to record their dissent from a statement made. This dissent will be noted in an attachment to the following meeting papers.

Services

To fulfil the stated purpose of the Council, the Executive Officer and the Council Executive Committee will also organise the Annual Meeting of Council, and may additionally organise or support the organisation of extraordinary meetings of the membership for purposes other than regular meetings that advance the mission of the Council.

Affiliations

The Council may affiliate with such other bodies, local, national or international, as may be desirable and appropriate in order to further its purposes.

Subscriptions

Annual subscriptions paid by member universities will be paid on a calendar year basis (January to December), and must be paid on receipt of an invoice for a university to remain a financial member.

Annual subscription fees will be reviewed every other year at the Annual Meetings, and subsequently fixed at the next Annual Meeting.

Finance

Each member university will bear the cost of attendance of its nominated representative at Council meetings. Travel expenses of the Office Bearers to Executive Meetings may be met by the Council. Attendance and administrative costs of the Executive Officer will be met by the Council. Such expenditure is to be reported to the Annual Meeting by the Treasurer and record of approvals kept.

All payments of money, with the exception of petty cash, shall be by bank transfer by the Treasurer and with the written approval of one other Office Bearer of the Council

The Treasurer will prepare a financial statement for presentation to the Annual Meeting. An appropriately qualified accredited financial auditor who is not a member of Council shall be appointed as the Council auditor at the Annual Meeting.

Transfer of Office

Books, assets and records of the Council, with the exception of Council affairs in the process of being finalised, will be handed over to the incoming Treasurer and/or new Executive Officer within twenty-one days of the end of the Annual Meeting of the Council, and the remainder will be transferred within two months of the same.

Voting Rights

The President will have both a deliberative vote and a casting vote at all meetings. It is expected that, when exercising the right to place a casting vote, the President will vote in favour of the status quo. When this is not so, the President will explain to the Meeting of the Council the reasons for the action taken.

Winding Up

In the event of conditions in which the continuation of the Council no longer interests or benefits members, a two-thirds majority of votes taken at the Annual Meeting may recommend to member universities the disbandment of the Council. Such a recommendation will be communicated to all such member universities and, after the end of at least four weeks and no more than eight weeks later, will be considered at an Extraordinary Business Meeting of member universities of the Council. If disestablishment is endorsed at that Extraordinary Business Meeting, the distribution of funds and other assets of the Council shall be according to financial contribution in the current year. The quorum for conducting business at an Extraordinary Business Meeting will be the next whole number greater than one half than the number of member universities of Council.

Amendments

Amendments to this constitution may be made only by a two-thirds majority of votes cast at the Annual Meeting of the Council. The text of proposed amendments will be presented in writing to the President six weeks before the Annual Meeting of Council so that they may be sent with recommendations from the Council Executive Committee to all member universities at least one month before the Annual Meeting. If a financial member in good standing cannot send a delegate to the Annual Meeting the Executive Officer or President will vote as proxy under their written instruction.