On September 1 the Queensland education Minister, Grace Grace, proposed an amendment to the Queensland University of Technology Act – the legislation that governs QUT – that would see the university’s top governing body reduced in size.
Under the proposed amendment, the QUT Council, which is the university’s top governing body, would be reduced from 22 members to 15.
If passed the changes will reduce the number of elected members from nine down to five, while doubling the number of members appointed by the council itself from two to four.
The number of elected academic staff will be reduced from three to two, while the number of elected professional staff will be reduced from two to one.
Under the changes, there will no longer be an election to decide who the alumni members will be, rather the council will decide on two QUT alumni to become members for a four-year term.
In her speech to the Queensland Parliament, Minister Grace, said the changes aim to support effective governance.
“The amendments are aimed at supporting effective governance while maintaining an appropriate balance of skills and experience on the council,” the Minister said.
“The reduction in the number of council members is in line with Universities Australia’s voluntary code of best practice for the governance of Australian universities, which states that a university governing body should desirably be no more than 15 members.”
The amendment will also see changes to how students are represented on the council. The number of elected student representatives on the council will remain the same however, it will be required that one student be an undergraduate and the other a postgraduate.
In a statement tabled to the Parliament the Minister said that she believes the amendment does not violate human rights.