The University of Newcastle's Council met on Friday 27 November 2009 at the Callaghan campus. This communiqué provides information about key matters considered by the Council.
Development of the City Campus
The Council was updated on the development of the city campus and noted positive support from the Minister for the Hunter, The Hon Jodi McKay MP. The Council will discuss further progress and planning at its February strategic meeting.
Strategic Presentation: Research
Professor Mike Calford, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), gave a presentation to the Council on research issues. The strategic presentation provided an overview of the University's research performance against the sector as well as key strategies being employed to continue to improve research outcomes. The success of the Priority Research Centres was highlighted as were significant research partnerships and changes in the Federal Government's agenda for research. The Council noted the positive impact of the introduction of international student fee waivers, implementation of incentives to encourage potential Honours and Research Higher Degree students and progress of the Ease of Research Project (EORP). Future emphasis on commercialisation, business liaison and development of collaborative industry and government partnerships was supported.
Vice-Chancellor's Presentation on 2009 Performance and Achievements
The Vice-Chancellor tabled a comprehensive report on the University's performance against the strategic plan in 2009 and highlighted progress in rolling out the risk management framework across the University and the definition of performance indicators for community engagement based on national benchmarking. It was reported that strategies to increase student satisfaction continue to be a major priority for the University and further work on campus master planning for the Callaghan campus will be undertaken in the context of the city campus development.
The Vice-Chancellor also gave a presentation that recognised the significant achievements of staff and students in 2009 as well as institutional celebrations such as the 20th anniversary of the Ourimbah campus and the opening of the University's facilities in Sydney.
The Council congratulated all staff and students on another excellent year at the University.
2010 Budget and Capital Expenditure Budget
The Council reviewed and approved the University's 2010 Budget and Capital Expenditure Budget noting that the Budget projects an operating surplus and that the University continues to face challenges associated with inadequate indexation, the Federal Government's growth agenda and pressures on capital investment and infrastructure. It was noted that a very significant program of work and capital expenditure have been approved for 2010 and beyond, a large proportion of which will be externally funded through Federal Government grants.
Hunter Uni-clinics Pty Ltd
The Council received the final report from Hunter Uni-clinics Pty Ltd, noting that the process for transfer of ownership to Community Healthcare Trustees Pty Ltd is nearly complete and the new organisation will be well-placed to further develop the range of essential community services delivered in Cessnock and the wider region.
The Council approved the conferral of the title Emeritus Professor on Professor Phil Foreman in recognition of his outstanding contribution and service to the University of Newcastle and the teaching profession.
Appointments to the Council
The Council welcomed confirmation of the following appointments:
- Continuing appointments for Ms Crystal Condous OAM and Ms Deborah Wright for a three year term of office as Ministerial appointees;
- new appointment of Mr Geoff Lilliss for a two year term of office as a Ministerial appointee;
- Ms Matilda Hunt for a one year term of office as the undergraduate student elected member; and
- Mr Benjamin Dean for a one year term of office as the postgraduate student elected member.
The Council also warmly thanked Mr Robert Williams, the outgoing undergraduate student member, for his commitment and conscientiousness as a Council member over the past year.
Establishment of New Programs
As recommended by Academic Senate, the Council approved the establishment of a range of new programs for introduction in 2010 including:
- Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science (Honours)
- Master of Information Technology (Professional) and Master of Information Technology (Advanced)
The Council noted the recent approval for the establishment of the Diploma in Languages and also approved the disestablishment of a number of programs with zero enrolments.
To follow up on a particular issue, please contact Mr David Donnelly, Deputy Academic Registrar - Governance and Academic Administration.