Statutes and Guidelines

Statutes of
The Nordic Association of University Administrators

1. Objective

a. The Nordic Association of University Administrators (NUAS), established in 1975, seeks to strengthen and develop the relationships between Nordic institutions of higher education. NUAS undertakes determined coordination and development efforts in matters of shared Nordic interest to strengthen the competencies of the administrators and spread knowledge of good administrative processes.

b. NUAS, in collaboration with the Association of Nordic University Rectors’ Conferences (NUS), places special emphasis on the Nordic educational community and on the creation of preconditions for joint approaches in international contexts.

c. NUAS’ mission is to help establish a strong operative network within the administration in the higher education sector. NUAS’ activities shall be based on relevant topics and administrative challenges with an aim to facilitate the exchange of experience and learning.

2. Membership

a. Membership can be granted to Nordic universities and university colleges, and is entered into by the administrative head of the institution (the director). Applications for membership are considered by the member institutions from the applicant institution’s country. To qualify for membership, an institution must possess tuition and research competencies at the university level, as well as having research training programmes (i.e., the right to confer doctoral degrees).

b. The director represents the institution at the General Assembly and must appoint a contact person for NUAS. The NUAS contact is responsible for forwarding information from NUAS to the appropriate parties within their member institution.

3. Funding

a. NUAS’ core activities are funded by the member institutions through membership and seminar fees. Financial gain is not the purpose of NUAS’ activities; activities shall be budgeted according to the break-even principle.

b. Finances should be managed in such a way as to accumulate a capital amount which is sufficient to cover one year of operational costs, exclusive of external funding, should the need arise. This equity functions as a reserve for unforeseen expenses and loss of income.

4. Organization and governance

The General Assembly
a. NUAS’ highest decision-making body is the General Assembly, which consists of directors of the member institutions or of representatives appointed by the directors to represent their institution. Each member institution has one vote.

b. The General Assembly convenes every second year. Its period of operation is two calendar years.

c. At the General Assembly, the report of the Board of Directors, the profit and loss accounts, and the balance sheet for the last two-year period shall be submitted for approval.

d. The General Assembly also decides the operating plan and budget for the next two-year period on the basis of proposals from the Board of Directors.

e. The General Assembly determines NUAS’ statutes and amendments to these on the basis of proposals from the Board of Directors.

f. The General Assembly appoints two auditors and one deputy auditor.

The Board of Directors
a. NUAS is headed by a Board of Directors composed of two representatives from each of the Nordic countries except Iceland, who has one representative. The directors (or their appointed proxies) of member institutions from each country are responsible for naming the individuals who will represent their country on the Board of Directors. Representatives from Faroe Islands and Greenland (one per country) have observer status.

b. The members of the Board of Directors are elected for a period of four years. The directors (or their appointed proxies) of member institutions from each country are responsible for ensuring necessary rotation in the Board of Directors.

c. The Board of Directors appoints its chair and vice-chair from within its ranks and decides the location and organization of NUAS’ secretariat.

d. Within the financial framework laid down by the General Assembly, the Board of Directors decides NUAS’ budget and implements the biennial Operating Plan and Budget as decided by the General Assembly.

e. The Leader Group elects up to four members from within their group to sit on the Board of Directors. These representatives are also elected for a period of four years. However, Board of Directors members elected by the directors (or their appointed proxies) of member institutions from each country shall always form the majority.

f. The goal of the Board of Directors is to arrange directors’ seminars (meetings for all directors of member institutions) to facilitate the exchange of experience and information on current trends in higher education.

g. The Board of Directors is responsible for evaluation of NUAS activities and statutes, and for updating the statutes as the need arises.

The Leaders’ Group
a. The Leaders’ Group of NUAS is composed of all Special Interest Group leaders.

b. Each Special Interest Group appoints a group leader who must be approved by the Board of Directors. Each Special Interest Group shall have a leader.

c. Group leaders are appointed for a period of four years, with an opportunity for a four-year extension.

Special Interest Groups
a. For planning and implementation of activities within NUAS, there are Special Interest Groups for key issues. The NUAS chair shall seek to ensure that, as a rule, Special Interest Groups comprise at least two representatives from member institutions in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, and one for Iceland.

b. In consultation with the directors (or their appointed proxies) of member institutions from each country, the NUAS group leaders and the Board of Directors are responsible for ensuring necessary rotation in the Special Interest Groups to achieve diversity of academic competencies as well as regional and gender representation.

c. The Special Interest Groups are responsible to the Board of Directors. The activities of the groups aim to achieve exchange of experience, networking, and further education. In coordination, groups shall arrange at least two multidisciplinary seminars during each period of operation. The groups may arrange specialist seminars.

The General Secretary
a. NUAS is a Nordic collaboration project whose secretariat is located at and managed in accordance with the legal and financial framework of the host institution. The Chairman of the Board and the General Secretary jointly sign documents on behalf of NUAS.

b. The General Secretary implements the Board of Directors’ decisions.

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Administrative Guidelines

Membership

  • Membership applications are sent to the General Secretary.
  • The General Secretary forwards applications to the Board of Directors’ representatives from the applying institution’s country for approval.
  • The application is approved if the applying institution meets membership criteria.
  • Membership status is confirmed with a letter from the NUAS Secretariat.

Special Interest Groups and Group Members

Purpose
The Special Interest Groups carry out activities within their respective fields that contribute to learning and the accumulation of experience for administrative staff at member universities and within the sector.

Individual group goals are documented in the biennial NUAS Organizational Plan. Special Interest Groups are also tasked with arranging inter-disciplinary seminars in cooperation with other groups and may organize specialist seminars.

Composition
Special Interest Groups shall, whenever possible, be comprised of two members from NUAS institutions in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden with one member from Iceland. When this is not possible, groups may include additional members from the same country. In addition to nationality, groups should seek to balance membership with regards to geographical placement, institutions, competencies, and diversity.


Member Selection
Suggestions for members from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Finland can come from inside of the group. Suggestions are sent to the General Secretary and are subject to acceptance by the Board of Directors’ members from the nominee’s country and the executive administrative officer of the candidate’s institution.

New members representing Denmark in a group are nominated via Universities Denmark. Requests for new members from Denmark are sent via the General Secretary to Universities Denmark who follows up the request.

Special Interest Group members are inducted for a four-year term, which may be extended by an additional four years.

Participation
NUAS depends on active participation. Group members are expected to participate in at least 75% of group activities. If a group member is no longer able to participate in activities at the expected level, the group leader can request replacement for that individual.

The Group Leader’s Role

The Group Leader is the group’s spokesperson, leads the group’s work, and promotes and coordinates cooperation with the other groups within NUAS. NUAS is a dynamic organization with the aim of adjusting to the needs of—and changing requirements on—its members. It is, therefore, important for a Group Leader to monitor and, not least, contribute to NUAS’s continued development.

Information flow is vital for group cooperation and cohesion, and intra-group communication policy—including the use of appropriate IT solutions—should be discussed and agreed upon by the group’s members. Additionally, the Group Leader is responsible for conveying information from the Board of Directors to group members and reporting about their group’s ongoing work to NUAS.

The Group Leader is responsible for:

  • Maintaining full group membership and nominating candidates to the group as needed to fill vacancies (as noted above, Denmark has its own system for nominating group members).
  • Making sure that the group’s activities are performed in accordance with NUAS statutes and guidelines.
  • Assuring that the group is committed to common goals.
  • Preparing presentations of the group’s work for the Board of Directors
  • Monitoring their group’s coordination with other planning groups.
  • Guiding the group so that its activities contribute to the development of NUAS.

Good meeting  planning, especially deciding and disseminating the meeting time and place well in advance, is crucial to the success of a meeting with many participants. Practical details (e.g., accommodations, arranging common meals, providing local information, etc.) are also important to the meeting’s success. The Group Leader should strive to spread these tasks between group members and to vary member’s tasks from meeting to meeting so that group members have the chance to gain diverse experience and so that the Group Leader is not overtasked.

The Special Interest Groups are Responsible for:

  • Conducting activities that promote learning and experience exchange among administrative staff at member institutions.
  • Ensuring that conferences are conducted in accordance with the conference plan and within the budget.
  • Developing the network and contributing to the organization’s efficient operation.
  • Cooperation between themselves and other NUAS Special Interest Groups.
  • Contributing to the organization development of NUAS.

Leaders’ Group

The Leaders’ Group is composed of all Special Interest Group leaders.

The leader of the Leader Group is elected from within the group to a four-year term and is responsible for making sure that the Leader Group performs its duties.

The NUAS Board may, at its discretion, replace group leaders in the event that a group does not complete planned activities within the designated timeframe.

Responsibilities of the Leader Group include:

  • Group leaders are responsible for ensuring that group activities are conducted in accordance with the NUAS by-laws and organizational plan.
  • Nominating candidates for membership in the group as needed (see Member selection).
  • Making certain that there is cooperation between the different NUAS Special Interest Groups.
  • Ensuring communication between the Board of Directors, Special Interest Groups, and the relevant external networks.
  • Assisting the General Secretary in developing NUAS as an organization
  • Contributing to the NUAS Organizational Plan and Organizational Report on a biennial basis.
  • Preparing and sending issues to the Board of Directors for decision.

The General Secretary

The General Secretary is responsible for:

  • Day-to-day leadership of NUAS, producing the meeting schedule for the organizational period, and following the guidelines and directives given by the Board of Directors.
  • Making sure that NUAS accounting conforms to pertinent laws and regulations and NUAS assets are managed in a satisfactory manner.
  • Preparing issues to be considered by the Board of Directors together with the Chairman of the Board and the Leader Group.
  • Participating in the proceedings of the Board of Directors.
  • Assisting in the coordination of Special Interest Group activities.
  • Board of Director meeting administration—scheduling, sending invitations, and ensuring that sufficient information is available to consider issues to be decided.
  • Keeping records of Leader Group and Board of Directors meetings.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors’ responsibilities include:

  • Producing the following documents for the General Assembly meeting:
    • Report on the previous period’s Organizational Plan
    • Financial statements, approved by an auditor, for the previous two-year period
    • Organizational plan for the coming two-year period
    • Nomination of candidates for the two auditor positions
  • Ongoing operations within the framework set at the General Assembly.
  • Running NUAS efficiently and in accordance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Monitoring to ensure that activities planned by the Special Interest Groups are carried out.
  • Following up the secretariat.
  • Making decisions on contributions to Special Interest Groups according to NUAS guidelines.
  • Holding at least two physical meetings per year in addition to any tele- or video meetings that may be held.
  • Ensuring the proper organization of NUAS and making decisions on creation and dissolving Special Interest Groups
  • Contacting perspective group members’ institutions and confirming their participation with the Administrative Executive (does not apply to Denmark).

General Assembly

Required at the General Assembly meeting:

  • Ratification of the Organizational Report and financial statements for the previous two-year period.
  • Adoption of the Board of Directors’ proposal for the next organizational plan and budget.
  • Agree on the membership fee for the next two-year period.
  • Consideration of changes to the NUAS bylaws proposed by the Board of Directors.
  • Appointment of two auditors and one substitute auditor.

Disposition of Funds

Allocation of funds for development activities

Special Interest Groups can apply for funding for development activities. Applications should be sent to the General Secretary who forwards the application to the Leader Group. The Leader Group assesses the applications and prepares a recommendation for the Board of Directors who is responsible for the allocation of funds. The deadline for applying for funding is set by the General Secretary such that necessary processing can be done in advance of the Board of Directors meeting.

Criteria for allocation of funds are as follows:

  • The activity is innovative and tests out something new
  • The activity and associated learning have value for more than one group

Additional considerations for the allocation of funds take the development phase of a Group into consideration—newly established Groups may need resources for activities of a different nature compared to the activities of established Groups. A Group’s activity history is also taken into consideration.

Administrative guidelines for organizing NUAS activities

Division of responsibilities in connection with NUAS activities (seminars/conferences/workshops etc.)

For an activity to be organized under the aegis of NUAS, the institution(s) responsible for the practical organization must enter into a contract with NUAS.
NUAS activities are available exclusively to employees at NUAS member institutions.

The host institution has the following responsibilities:

  • Administration of participant registration and fee payment.
  • Organizing practical details such as venues and [local] transportation.
  • Helping to organize the social programme.
  • Together with the Special Interest Groups, taking responsibility for budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting after the conclusion of the event.
  • Notifying NUAS a minimum of six months in advance in the event that the activity cannot be held. In the event that the host institution notifies NUAS of their inability to fulfil the contract relating to the event less than six months before the planned event date, the host institution will be held responsible for the costs associated with planning, cancellation or moving the activity.

Responsibilities of the Special Interest Group(s):

  • The formal conference content
  • Contact and agreements with presenters, facilitators, etc.
  • Providing administrative support to the host institution as needed
  • Creating a website for the activity together with NUAS and linked to nuas.org.
  • Together with the host institution, taking responsibility for budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting after the conclusion of the event.
  • Ensuring that the NUAS seminar fee is paid.
  • Completing the final activity report to NUAS (program, participant lists, and accounting) within six months.

The NUAS General Secretary is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the contract between NUAS and the host institution is signed.
  • Presenting reporting from the activity to the Board of Directors.

Seminar fees

  • NUAS activities shall be budgeted in accordance with the NUAS bylaws and shall not be organized with the intention of generating financial profit.
  • All participants shall pay a fee to NUAS with the exception of activities where the Special Interest Group makes up at least 50% of the participants.
  • The fee payable to NUAS will be included in the activity fee and will be transferred to NUAS by the host institution. The fee is 200 DKK and applies to all NUAS activities.
  • The NUAS group responsible for organizing the activity is exempted from the program fee but must pay for travel and lodging.

Guidelines for remuneration related to NUAS activities
Administrative employees at a NUAS member institution may not charge fees for lectures in connection to NUAS activities. Academic staff may, however, receive remuneration.

Presenters from outside of NUAS shall be remunerated according to individual agreements. Payment of high fees must be approved by the Chairman of the Board. Travel and lodging expenses may be covered if necessary. Conference fees shall be waived for presenters.

Administrative guidelines for organizing activities for the NUAS Programme for Leaders in Administration

The goal of the NUAS Programme for Leaders in Administration is to provide a development program for present and future leaders at Nordic institutions of higher education. The programme’s focus is on developing leadership skills and providing an opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing.

Host institution responsibilities:

  • Contribution of one person with relevant expertise to the working group.
  • Providing input to presenters.
  • Coordinating the practical aspects of the arrangement (e.g. venues, refreshments, transport, etc.).
  • Organizing the social programme.
  • Assisting with budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting related to the programme.

NUAS Board of Directors responsibilities:

  • The formal conference content
  • Decide the participation fee and budget for the programme
  • Ensure that there is a coordinator for the formal conference content and a practical/logisitics coordinator
  • Marketing the conference through their network
  • Administration of the programme

One of the goals of NUAS is to engage with similar organizations outside of the Nordic region with the goal of establishing cooperation, deepening knowledge exchange and understanding, and developing an international network.

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