Terms of Reference
UCC Equality Committee
Name of Committee:
The name of the committee shall be the UCC Equality Committee.
Membership and Meetings:
The Committee is composed of both staff and student representative bodies and University members who have direct responsibility or expertise in equality matters. These include the Student Union, the Staff LGBT Network and Staff Union representatives, and colleagues from the Department of Human Resources, Buildings and Estates, and Student Experience Access Offices (International Office, Disability Support Service, UCC PLUS+, Mature Students Office). In addition each College and the UCC Staff Research Association (UCCSRA) should have one representative on the committee. The committee will also include the Director of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit. Where the Chair is a member of a College, there should be an additional representative from that College on the Committee.
In order to aid its operation, the Equality Committee may arrange for subgroups to consider specialist issues and bring forward recommendations to the Committee. The membership and duration of these sub-groups shall be determined by the issue in question. The Chairperson shall be nominated by the President. In attendance for specific items of business: Relevant University Officers/Staff shall attend as requested by the Committee.
Management of Meetings:
The agenda will take full account of the issues and the concerns of all committee members. No individual committee member will have precedence over another and it will be the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that all members have equal opportunity to shape the direction of the activities. Agendas will be forwarded to members in advance of meetings to allow for their input.
The committee will meet no less than four times a year. The committee will organise its work to ensure that it makes the most effective use of the time, skills and knowledge of members. The diverse range of skills, experience and knowledge of the members and Chair will be employed to contribute to the effective running of the committee.
The quorum necessary for the transaction of business shall be 50% of membership plus one.
Terms of Reference:
The Committee shall have responsibility for:
- driving the equality agenda in UCC ensuring equality is a key consideration in all plans developed by the four colleges and the University as a whole;
- playing an advocacy role in all of the nine areas relating to the Equality legislation as they impact on UCC’s community by highlighting and discussing inequalities in the University;
- formulating strategy on Equality for the university and providing guidance and direction for the achievement of the objectives identified in the University Equality Strategy in accordance with the University’s Risk Register and Accountability Framework;
- acting as Steering Group to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Unit, with an oversight role and advisory function on the Unit’s activities and policy direction;
- bringing to the attention of the University Management Team developments in national and European equality policy that have implications for UCC;
- making recommendations to the University Management Team on addressing inequalities in the University and make suggestions on positive action measures;
- submitting an annual report in conjunction with the EDI to UMTS; to Governing Body and to the Colleges EMTs on the progress of the Committee;
Principles of committee management:
- The committee will uphold a commitment to openness and accountability at all levels. In support of this, the committee will encourage and enable engagement of key stakeholders in the Equality Committee activity where appropriate.
- The committee and individual members should act according to high ethical standards and ensure that no conflict of interest arises between their personal and professional roles and those of the committee.
- In so far as possible, members will seek to make decisions by consensus. Where consensus is not possible, extended discussions should try and facilitate compromise and/or alternative solutions. Matters may also be put to a vote where attempts to reach consensus have failed.
The Committee reports directly into the University Management Team (Strategy) on a yearly basis in advance of its annual report to Governing Body. In addition, it is recommended that the annual report – which will be part of the EDI Unit report – would be forwarded to College Executive Committees for noting.
Period of Office: The period of office of the Equality Committee shall be co-terminus with Governing Body. The committee shall have the right to co-opt new and/or temporary members should a need arise because of leave or based on emerging issues
Support and administration for the Equality Committee shall be provided by a Senior Executive Assistant appointed to support both the EDI Unit and Equality Committee.