Key 7: The Professorial Board 1854/Academic Board 1978


The Professorial Board, as its name suggests, consisted of all the professors, sitting as a deliberative and executive body of the University. The Professorial Board made recommendations to Council on matters of academic policy, and concerned itself with the content, conduct of lectures, examinations and the day to day management of students. Its responsibility for both teaching and examining gave considerable scope to individual professors to shape the future development of the University and, while relations with Council could be fraught and a source of considerable debate and dissension, collectively the professors’ views carried considerable weight with Council. The Board also concerned itself with the general organisation of the University and the general conduct of the various faculties as they were established. In the records of the Professorial Board and its committees can be found the general outline of the academic history and development of the University and of the relationship between the University and its students. The correspondence with this body and its reports provide valuable insight into the processes by which the University responded to new developments in scholarship, community demands and staff and student needs. In 1978 the name was changed to Academic Board to take account of changes in the statute to allow members of the academic staff other than professors to become Heads of Department.

Professorial Board meeting c1919
Professorial Board meeting c1919
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1039]

(Left to right, the last four named being those in the front row right)
Bainbridge (Registrar), Nanson, Allen, Tucker, Spencer, Masson, Lyle (retired), Moore, Osborne, Skeats, Berry, Ewart, Payne, Boyce Gibson, Scott, Woodruff, Laby, Atkinson, Laver, Smyth, Strong (acting)