The process of incorporation began at the September 2017 CAUL AGM where members unanimously supported the resolution that CAUL take the necessary steps to become an incorporated association. This included drafting a new constitution, a process that began in mid-2018. After consultations with CAUL members the new constitution was approved at a Special General Meeting on 8th February 2019, along with approval for the CAUL office team to lodge the application for incorporation.
This is a significant milestone in the history of CAUL, reflecting the growth and maturity of CAUL as an internationally recognised national representative body in the higher education sector. CAUL has existed as a national organisation since the first officially recorded meeting of Australian university librarians in 1928, later formalised with the formation of the Committee of Australian University Librarians in 1965. In 1992 the Council of Australian University Librarians was established as an unincorporated association in recognition of CAUL’s desire to be an active and influential advocacy organisation.
What does incorporation mean for CAUL?
On the surface not much will change. Incorporation is part of CAUL’s continuous development as a national representative body that applies modern standards and best practice in its management and operations. Incorporation means that CAUL now exists as a legal entity with its own rights and obligations separate from its directors and members. This provides CAUL directors and members with a range of protections, and reduces the risk of personal or institutional liability.
The most noticeable changes are that:
- CAUL is now officially the Council of Australian University librarians (incorporated) or CAUL inc. but can continue to be referred to as the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).
- CAUL's membership now officially recognises CONZUL members. Members of CONZUL are eligible for Associate Membership of CAUL under the new Constitution.
- The Executive Committee will be known as the Board, the President as Chair and the Deputy President as Deputy Chair.
- CAUL’s new Executive Director (Dr. Rob O’Connor) is the inaugural Public Officer, a position consistent with his role as a spokesperson for CAUL. Needless to say you will be hearing and seening a lot more of Rob as he settles into the role - he has been with us now for 13 (working) days!