The University of Newcastle's Council met on Friday 22 May 2009 at the Central Coast campus. This communiqué provides information about key matters considered by the Council.
Report on External Review of Academic Senate
Professor Judyth Sachs, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Provost) at Macquarie University and Chair of the External Review Panel, presented to Council the final Report from the External Review of Academic Senate. The Report contains seven commendations and 28 recommendations to assist the University in revitalising the Academic Senate. The Council accepted the Report and endorsed its release for consultation. The Vice-Chancellor and President of Academic Senate have been asked to present feedback to Council at the July meeting with the aim of informing the development of an implementation plan for Council's approval.
The Report from the External Review of Academic Senate is available on the University's website at the Council website.
2009 Federal Budget Outcomes
The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer briefed the Council on key outcomes of the 2009 Federal Budget - noting the announcement of $35 million for the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Building and the Government's range of higher education initiatives in teaching, research and student support.
The Council discussed the potential impact of the 2009-2010 Budget announcements on the University's 2010-2012 financial projections. More detailed strategic planning discussions will be held in the coming months as the Government releases more details of funding to the higher education sector and the University develops its budget for 2010.
Re-appointment of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Services)
The Council approved the re-appointment of Dr Sue Gould as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Services) for a further five year term commencing on 6 July 2009. The Council warmly acknowledged the vital contribution that Dr Gould has made to the University of Newcastle in recent years.
City Campus Development - Working and Reference Groups
At its March meeting, the Council endorsed an aspiration to significantly expand the University of Newcastle's city campus. Following on from this, the Council considered and approved Terms of Reference for a Council Working Group to continue to provide advice on the development of a significantly expanded Newcastle City Campus.
In addition, Terms of Reference for the UON City Campus Development Reference Group were approved with the Chancellor, Conjoint Professor Trevor Waring AM, to chair a high-level, strategic advisory group consisting of senior University and community leaders.
Your Voice Action Plan - Final Report
Council considered the final report on the Your Voice Action Plan noting that 78% of actions have been completed, 15% have significantly progressed and only three actions remain to be progressed satisfactorily. Outstanding actions will be monitored by Executive Committee at the end of the year.
The Your Voice Action Plan - Final Report is available on the Human Resource Services website.
Status of Response to AUQA Audit Report
Council considered a status report on actions being taken since the release of the AUQA Audit Report in June 2008. The University is required to submit a 12-month progress report in June 2009, with a follow-up visit from the AUQA Panel Chair scheduled for July 2009. The report is available on the University's Planning, Quality and Reporting website.
Equity and Diversity Report
Council considered a report on the University's Equity and Diversity initiatives and achievements. The report highlighted the University's success in: delivering teaching and learning initiatives for students from non-English speaking backgrounds; ongoing support for students and staff with disabilities; being awarded a Citation as an Employer of Choice for Women for 2009; improved representation of women at senior levels of the organisation; and continued efforts to work with Indigenous students as well as high school students through a variety of programs.
The Equity and Diversity Report is available on the University's Council website.
Evaluation of Administrative Changes Since 2005
Council considered a report on the Evaluation of Administrative Changes at the University of Newcastle since 2005. The Evaluation Team found that the change management program resulted in a significant shift in the way the University approaches its business. The report highlighted that continuous improvement (phase three) is critically important to embedding change and ensuring long-term improvement at the University. The Evaluation Team identified two priorities - customer satisfaction and living within our means - as the defining features of how the University and its staff operate. An action plan to guide activity for the next 12 months has been drawn up.
The Summary Report on the Evaluation of Administrative Changes since 2005 is available on the Council website.
Dr Sue Gould