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Structure and organisation of the faculty

The term `Faculty of Arts' is used both in a broad descriptive sense and in a strictly legal sense. In the descriptive sense, it is used to include all students enrolled for arts degrees and all staff, including academic, administrative, technical and clerical, attached to the departments and centres of the faculty and to the Arts faculty office. The departments and offices on the Clayton campus are housed chiefly in the west wing and south wing of the Robert Menzies School of Humanities, with a noticeboard on the ground floor indicating the location of departments and staff. On the Caulfield campus, the Faculty of Arts is located on the fourth floor of block B, (room 41), on the Gippsland campus the office is in room 2W283, while on the Peninsula campus the faculty can be found on the fourth floor of building A.

The Faculty of Arts is one of the largest in the university in terms both of student and of staff numbers. In 1996 on the Clayton campus there were over 4000 undergraduates, the majority of whom were full-time, and nearly 1200 graduate students. Its teaching staff numbers over 250 full-time and part-time members, together with sessional staff. The Faculty of Arts also offers courses on the Caulfield, Peninsula and Gippsland campuses.

There are fifteen departments in the faculty: Anthropology and Sociology; Asian Languages and Studies; Classics and Archaeology; English; Geography and Environmental Science; German Studies and Slavic Studies; History; Japanese Studies; Linguistics; Music; Philosophy; Politics; Romance Languages; Social Work and Human Services; and Visual Arts. Each department has a head of department, who has administrative and academic responsibilities for that department. Most departments have one or more professors, who have particular responsibilities for academic leadership. Each department has responsibilities for teaching and research in one or more disciplinary areas of study. Some departments contain sections which assume responsibilities for a discipline.

The faculty also has a number of centres, headed by a director and advised by staff who teach or research within that centre. Most of these staff are also members of departments. The centres which offer undergraduate or graduate teaching programs are American Studies, Australian Studies, Human Bioethics, Bibliographical and Textual Studies, Development Studies, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Drama and Theatre Studies, European Studies, Police and Justice Studies, Religion and Theology, Women's Studies and the Koori Research Centre. Other centres of the faculty are, East Asian Studies, Japanese Studies, Malaysian Studies, South Asian Studies, Migrant and Intercultural Studies, Language and Society, and Southeast Asian Studies. Where centres undertake teaching responsibilities for an area of study, it is normally an interdisciplinary program involving staff and subjects from a number of departments. An exception is the Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies which has responsibilities for a disciplinary area of study. There are also some centres wholly within departments. Two institutes have coordinating responsibility for activities which involve various departments and centres. These are the Monash Asia Institute which houses six centres related to Asian Studies and the Institute for Critical and Cultural Studies.

In its legal sense the faculty is a statutory body of which all full-time members of the teaching staff are members. The major academic responsibilities of the faculty are vested by legislation in the faculty board, a smaller body of about ninety including all heads of departments and schools, other departmental representatives elected on a proportional basis, and nine student members, two graduate and seven undergraduate, elected in November of each year by the students enrolled in the faculty. The faculty board normally meets about every six weeks from March to November. Except in certain matters on which it has power to act, it makes recommendations to the university's Academic Board or through the Academic Board to the Council.

The organisation of teaching and research rests with the heads of the departments, who act in consultation with other members of their departments and within the framework provided by the degree regulations and any other conditions which may be agreed upon from time to time by the faculty board.

The faculty board is concerned with questions which affect more than one department, with interpreting and amending the regulations, and, in particular, with new developments within the faculty. It has certain committees, some of which have power to act on behalf of the board when an immediate decision is needed. These committees include:

1 the Committee for Undergraduate Studies, which advises the board on all matters relating to undergraduate students as they arise, including questions of student workload and matters concerned with assessment; approves admissions to fourth-year honours courses and advises the board on matters concerning the honours degree; acts for the board in cases involving use of discretionary powers conferred on the faculty by the degree regulations and considers proposals for the introduction of new subjects and courses;

2 the Committee for Graduate Studies, which advises the faculty on all matters relating to graduate students as they arise, including admission of candidates to higher degree programs; scholarship selection; examination of theses; formulation of policy and approval of new programs and subjects. In addition, the committee acts for the board in cases involving the use of discretionary powers conferred on faculty by the degree regulations, is concerned with the admission of candidates for graduate diplomas and the awarding of higher degrees and diplomas;

3 the Admissions and Exclusions Committee, which acts as a subcommittee of the Committee for Undergraduate Studies in controlling the selection of new undergraduate students and considers the cases of students who become liable to be excluded for unsatisfactory progress.

Finally there are various service and administrative components within the faculty. The faculty office consists of the offices of the dean and the faculty registrar, the Resources Office, the Computer Services Unit, and the Language and Learning Unit. The Language Centre provides services and facilities for the teaching of languages within the faculty.

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Handbook Contents | Faculty Handbooks | Monash University
Published by Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168
Copyright © Monash University 1996 - All Rights Reserved - Caution
Authorised by the Academic Registrar December 1996