Status:     Endorsed by the 1st University Council Meeting in February 2004

1          Code of Conduct and Ethics

1.1       Introduction

1.1.1 The Royal University of Bhutan in its pursuit for academic excellence in teaching, learning and research, pledge to foster a culture of trust, respect, integrity and fairness; co-operation and collegiality; and accountability for decisions and outcomes.

1.1.2  The Council of the Royal University of Bhutan is constituted under the Royal Charter (2003) of the Royal University of Bhutan and is the ultimate body responsible for the key policies, strategic plans and overall performance of the University.

1.1.3  Members of the Council, by virtue of their offices, are required to carry out their duties and responsibilities to the University and the society with good faith, honesty, skill, care and diligence.

1.2      Purpose

1.2.1  This Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Council of the Royal University of Bhutan provides an ethical framework for actions and behaviour of the members, in the context of their duties and responsibilities under the law. This should be read along with the Royal Charter and the Statutes.

1.3      Duties and Responsibilities

1.3.1    All  members of  the Council  have a  duty to act at all times  with trust  and to serve in the best interest of the University.  No member should override their duty for personal interest and advantage over the interest of the University.

1.3.2   All members must act honestly in performing their duties, with reasonable skill, in good faith and in the interest of the University. This requirement to act honestly is imposed for the public interest and to which the University is committed.

1.3.3   All members are responsible for exercising care and diligence when using their powers and discharging their duties as the actions and decisions have the potential to affect the lives of individuals. Members who ignore their responsibilities are in breach of their duty.

1.3.4     All members in accordance with the Council’s policies owe a duty of confidentiality to the University.  Any member with a personal interest must disclose this in accordance with the Standing Orders section 10. 

1.3.5    All  members  must  act in the best  interest of the  University and must not engage in activities that would bring the University into disrepute. The reputation of the University must be protected to maintain a high level of integrity.

1.3.6    All members of the Council have the commitment  to serve in the best interest of the University and any problems/issues are open to discussions within the Council meetings. Outside of the meeting, all members must be united and fully supportive of decisions made by the Council.

1.3.7   Public comments on behalf of the Council, concerning matters discussed or resolved by the Council shall be made by the Chairman or his/her representative and not by any other members of the Council.

1.3.8  The  Council  will review its performance on an annual basis to ensure its responsibility for good governance of the University. 

2         Standing Orders

2.1      Holding of meetings

2.1.1      An  ordinary meeting of the Council is to be held not fewer than 4 times in each calendar year. 

2.1.2    A  special meeting may be convened for the consideration of any urgent business by the Chairman or in his/her absence by the Vice Chancellor.

2.1.3     A special meeting shall be convened by the Secretary to the Council and shall be held within 14 days of the request.

2.1.4   Notice of the time and place of the meeting of the Council, and a copy of the business papers are to be delivered to each Council member at least 7 days prior to the meeting.

2.1.5    A member  of the Council must not initiate any matter for discussion or move any motion in respect of the matter, at a meeting of the Council unless the Secretary of the Council is informed in writing not less than 14 days before the meeting.

2.1.6     Proceedings of the meeting of the Council are to be taken to be validly conducted.

2.2      Motions

2.2.1     The Chair has discretion regarding the acceptance of motions.

2.2.2      All notices of motion accepted by the Chair shall appear on the business paper for the meeting concerned.

2.2.3      A motion by which notice has been given, must be seconded before there can be any discussion.

2.2.4      A point of order accepted by the Chair takes precedence over all other discussion.

2.2.5      Amendments shall be considered prior to a vote on the substantive motion.

2.3      Voting

A motion shall be declared carried if it receives a simple majority of votes cast. In the event of a tie, the Chair has a right to casting vote. If the Chair declines to exercise a casting vote, the motion lapses.

2.4       Decisions 

Decisions of the Council shall be made on the result of a vote on:

2.4.1     a motion prior notice of which has been given on the business paper or

2.4.2     a formally proposed and seconded motion arising from the business of the meeting

2.5       Right to address the Chair

2.5.1    Prior to the closure of a debate a right of reply shall be allowed only to a mover of a substantive motion or amendment and such reply shall close the relevant debate.

2.5.2      At the discretion of the Chair a speaker may be asked to yield the floor on a point of information.

2.6      Contribution by invitees

2.6.1   Persons can be invited to the University Council meeting by the secretariat based on their expertise and relevance to the discussion.

2.6.2     At a meeting of the Council, a person who is not a member of the Council may contribute to an item on the Agenda only if invited to do so by the Chair by a resolution of the majority of the members present at that meeting.

2.7      Quorum

2.7.1     A majority of the total number of members for the time being of the Council constitute a quorum.

2.7.2    If, at any meeting of the Council, a quorum is not present, all business that should have been transacted at the meeting shall be stood over until the next meeting, and shall take precedence at that meeting.

2.7.3     The forum shall constitute a minimum of 12 members out of the total number of members (19).

2.8      Confidential matters

2.8.1  Distribution of the Confidential Agenda shall be restricted to members of the Council and the Secretary. The Council may permit whoever else it considers necessary to be present at meetings during the consideration of confidential matters.

2.9      Agenda items

2.9.1     Notice of items for discussion shall be conveyed by letter to the Secretary 14 days before a meeting.

2.9.2  The agenda for each meeting shall include an item “Question Time/Any Other Matter”. Under this item Council members may direct questions with or without notice through the Chair to the Vice Chancellor or the university representative. The Chair shall have absolute discretion in determining whether or not the questions will be accepted.

2.9.3   If the member of Council to whom a question –without –notice is directed is unable to provide an answer either at the meeting or before the next meeting the question shall be included as a question – with - notice in the business papers for the next meeting.

2.10       Disclosure of interest                

2.10.1  At any meeting of the Council where an item to be discussed has the direct personal interest or involvement of a member must immediately be declared by the member. The Council must thereupon determine whether or not that member may be present during any discussion of the item.   The member shall not vote on the item.

2.11       Suspension of standing orders

2.11.1    In exceptional circumstances the Chair may move the suspension of standing   orders.

2.11.2   A resolution of the suspension of a standing order shall require a two-thirds majority of the members present.

2.12       Attendance          

2.12.1    All members of the Council are expected to attend all the Council meetings.  In case of any member not able to attend a meeting, the secretariat must be informed in writing not later than five days prior to the meeting.


The Statutes of the University set out the powers of the University Council to be as follows:

       The Academic provision of the University

1.1      To award  degrees, diplomas and certificates to all students who have registered with the University and have fulfilled the requirements set down by the University for that award; and to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall planning, co-ordination, development and supervision of the academic work of the institution, and of the quality and academic standard of the educational provision offered in the name of the University. 

The Council shall fulfill this function by delegating responsibility to the Academic Board of the University.

1.2      To consider proposals from the Academic Board for the introduction of, or discontinuance of any degree, diploma or certificate programme.

1.3     To  determine  the procedures and rules for the election of members to the Academic Board other than those holding membership ex officio and to set out the responsibilities of members and standing orders for the operation of the meetings of the Academic Board.

1.4   To consider recommendations from the Academic Board for the establishment of Committees of the Academic Board or joint Committees of the Council and the Academic Board.

1.5        To grant Honorary awards on the recommendation of the Academic Board.

2        Powers and responsibilities of the Academic Board

The Statutes of the University set out the powers and responsibilities of the Academic Board to be as follows:

2.1    The Academic Board will exercise the functions delegated by the Council under the provisions of these Statutes.

2.2    It is the primary  academic  authority of the  University  and  shall be  responsible for academic affairs, including academic standards, research, scholarship, teaching and courses at the University, subject to the overall responsibilities of the Council and of the Vice-Chancellor.

3        Functions of the Academic Board

The primary functions that fall within the remit of the Academic Board include the following: 

3.1     determining the award structure of the University

3.2     programmes

3.3     library and IT provision within the University

3.4     quality of programmes

3.5     assessment and examinations

3.6     admission and registration of Students

3.7     resources and planning

3.8     student support systems

3.9     programme operation and management                       

3.10   research

3.11   research degrees

3.12   scholarships    

4        Role of the Academic Board in Considering Assessment Results

4.1   The Academic  Board has the final authority to grant awards of the University to students who have satisfactorily fulfilled all the requirements specified for the granting of such awards. The mechanism whereby it exercises this authority is in ratifying the decisions made by the Board of Examiners on the performance of students registered on programmes leading to awards of the University.

4.2     The Academic Board shall:

4.2.1  Ratify, or exceptionally refer back, decisions from Boards of Examiners on the award to be granted to each student on completion of the programme.

4.2.2  Consider  any  individual  cases  where  there  are   significant   disagreements   within  the   Board   of Examiners.

4.2.3   Be able to, but shall not normally, consider the grades or progression of individual students.

4.3    The focus of the Academic  Board's consideration of the results will be on special  cases and on overall programmes rather than on individual students.  It should pay particular attention to the consistency of practice across the University (whereas the emphasis in Boards of Examiners will be on consistency of judgement across all the students in a given programme); and should make decisions in the light of the University’s general assessment policy and regulations, standards and good practice established in the University and elsewhere.


4.4    The Academic Board may advise Boards of Examiners on future conduct in the light of the information available.

4.5   Revised or re-considered recommendations from Boards of Examiners may be dealt with, by a special meeting of the Academic Board with membership agreed by the full meeting of the Academic Board where the decision to refer the recommendations back was taken.

4.6     The Academic Board shall be given such information as is necessary to fulfill its functions.


Status:     Approved by the 1st Academic Board Meeting in July 2004

1         Ordinary Meetings

1.1    A  minimum of three ordinary meetings of the Academic Board shall be held each year at such day and such time as the Academic Board shall determine. The dates of meetings shall be circulated before the end of the preceding semester. 

1.2    The frequency of the meetings will be revised in future by the Board based on the programme need and demand by the University. 

1.3     These meetings shall be held three weeks prior to the University Council Meeting, to allow for the decision of the Board to proceed to the University Council.

2         Ordinary Business

2.1     The ordinary business of the Academic Board shall be composed of such items as are deemed necessary by the Academic Board to fulfill its statutory functions.

3         Extraordinary Meetings

3.1     Extraordinary meetings may be called on the instructions of the Convener or on a  requisition signed by not less than six members. Such meetings shall require a minimum notice of ten working days.

4         Chair

4.1     The Vice  Chancellor will normally convene and chair the meetings of the Academic Board but may, with the approval of the Academic Board, delegate this to another member of the Academic Board either for specific meetings or for longer. 

5         Quorum

5.1   The  quorum  shall be one half of the members.  In the absence of a quorum, no business shall be transacted.

5.2    If within half-an-hour from the time appointed for a meeting a quorum is not present, the Chair, or in the Chair’s absence the Secretary, or a member of the administrative staff nominated by the Secretary, shall adjourn the meeting to the same day in the next week, at the same time and place, or to such other day and at such other time and place as the members who are present may determine.

5.3     At the adjourned meeting the business for which the original meeting was convened may be completed in the absence of a quorum.

6         Notice of Meetings

6.1    The  Secretary to the Academic  Board  shall  issue  to  members  notices of ordinary  meetings  of the Academic Board at least fourteen days before the day of the meeting, specifying the time, place, day and hour of the meeting and the business to be considered.  The notice shall be issued in electronic format and in hard copy.

6.2     Where such notice is not given, the meeting may only proceed after the suspension of standing orders.

7         Agenda

7.1     The Secretary shall draw up the agenda in consultation with the Chair, except in the case of Extraordinary meetings, and shall circulate a written agenda to all members at least fourteen days before the due date of the meeting.

7.2   Any member of the Academic Board may propose items for the agenda of Ordinary meetings of the Academic Board or one of its committees by writing to the Secretary at least twenty-one days before the due date of the meeting.  The Secretary shall decide whether or not the items should be placed on the agenda.

7.3     No business shall be taken that does not appear on the agenda.

7.4    The agenda may include items of reserved business that will not be discussed in the presence of student members or observers.

7.5   Meetings will be scheduled for duration of three hours, may extend beyond this period, but should not exceed six hours. They may be preceded by informal meetings and discussions.

8         Order of business

8.1    The  agenda  of ordinary meetings of the Academic Board shall commence with 'Apologies for Absence' followed by 'Determination of Other Competent Business' under which the Academic Board shall determine whether to include under 'Other Competent Business' such items as are notified for this purpose to the Secretary at least 24 hours before a meeting.

8.2     In addition, "Items for Information" will form a separate  section and will not be discussed by the Academic Board unless a member requests discussion under the item "Determination of Other Competent Business".

9        Notice of Proposals 

9.1     No proposal not directly arising out of the business to be discussed at any meeting of the Academic Board, unless with the consent of two‑thirds of the members present, shall be taken up without notice being given to the Secretary to the Academic Board at least twenty-one days before the meeting at which it is to be submitted. The Secretary to the Academic Board shall send a copy of such a proposal to every member of the Academic Board with the usual notice of the meeting at which the proposal is to be discussed.

10      Order of Voting

10.1    Where any amendment to any proposal is put forward, then voting shall take place in the following way:

10.1.1   where there is a single amendment to a proposal, the voting will take place on that amendment

10.1.2   where  there  are a series of amendments, voting will take place on each agreed amendment in turn in the order in which they have been put forward; those amendments will then be consolidated into a single proposed amendment and that single amendment will, in turn, be voted upon

10.1.3    the proposal (amended as appropriate) will then be voted upon.

11      Voting

11.1   When a vote is held, each member shall have one vote, except that the Chair shall have a deliberative and, in the event of a tie, a casting vote.  All voting shall be by simple majority.

12      Dissent from Decision

12.1   No‑one shall be entitled to enter his or her dissent from any decision, except at the meeting at which it has been passed; but any member not present may, at the next meeting have his or her dissent recorded.

13      Changing a Decision

13.1   No  proposal, nor any amendment to any such proposal, shall be moved if it involves a reconsideration of any question or proposal that has been decided or adopted by the Academic Board at any time within the preceding six months unless it is moved by the Chair; or it is signed by at least one-third of the total members of the Academic Board.

14      Papers and Minutes

14.1  Agenda, papers  and minutes, apart from reserved areas of business (where the circulation is more restricted) are circulated to all Academic Board members.  They are not intended for public scrutiny prior to their discussion at the Board. 

14.2   Minutes of a meeting of the Academic  Board shall normally be published within fourteen working days.  The minutes shall be sent to members prior to, or along with the notice calling the next meeting; and shall be submitted for confirmation as a correct record. 

14.3   After  they have been confirmed a record of the minutes of the Academic Board (excluding the minutes of any items of reserved business), and selected papers from the Board’s business shall be held in a manner that will allow them to be referred to by full-time members of the teaching staff and by registered students of the University, either in the form of hard copy placed in the Library or by placement on the University web site.

14.4   The Secretary shall be responsible for the preparation of the minutes.

15      Election of members by Academic Staff

15.1  Where elections to membership of the Academic Board are required, the following procedure or such alternative as is approved by the Vice-Chancellor shall be followed.  Elected members shall be elected in the following manner where notice will be issued to all those eligible to stand or to vote in that constituency, setting out the:

15.1.1  name of the appointed returning officer

15.1.2  timetable for the process including the date for return of nomination papers

15.1.3  date for issuing the list of candidates and the ballot paper

15.1.4  date and place for the submission of completed ballot papers

15.1.5  arrangements for the opening of ballot boxes and the counting of votes


16      Committees of the Academic Board

16.1  The Academic Board may from time to time set up such standing committees, 'ad hoc' committees and Working Parties, as it deems necessary. The membership and remit of these committees shall be governed by the resolutions of the Academic Board.

16.2   Any committee set up by the Academic Board shall, insofar as they are relevant, conduct their business under the same standing orders, except that the time scale for the issuing of papers for meetings shall be ten days rather than twenty-one days.

17      Interpretation, Amendment and Suspension of Standing Orders

17.1   Standing Orders shall be interpreted by the Chair, whose decision shall be final.

17.2   In case of urgency, any one or more of the Standing Orders may be suspended at any meeting, as regards any business at such meeting, provided that not less than two‑thirds of the members of the Academic Board are present and voting shall so decide.

17.3   These  Standing  Orders may be amended  by the Academic  Board  at any  meeting, provided notice has been included in the agenda for the meeting, by resolution of not less than two thirds of the members present.


Contact Us

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Royal University of Bhutan
PO BOX 708
Motithang: Thimphu: Bhutan
Tel: 975-2-336454/336524/336526
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