Senate matters - to us!
Bachelor of Industrial Design exhibition
Definitely worth visiting the NEWcastle Products exhibition at the Newcastle Museum to see some of the outcomes for the Bachelor of Design students.
Academic Senate, November 2012.
The outcomes and discussion for Item 9.0, Discussion, from the November meeting are briefly summarised below (see Academic Senate In Brief).
Third Party, Agent or Partner Arrangements - explored the issues and implications for the management of contracts with third parties, agents or partners under the Higher Education Standards Framework (2012). Senate identified the development of quality assurance systems for program delivery by third parties, and compliance monitoring, as critical. Senate resolved to refer the matter to the University Executive to establish a Steering Committee to fully examine the implications and actions required to ensure compliance from 2015.
Online Education: Developments and Implications - contributed to the discussions on open online education, noting that this disruptive technology is rapidly changing the Higher Education environment. The discussion highlighted the expected contributions of "'UoNline Plus' to the expansion and quality of online 'blended' (virtual+) approaches across 80% of the University's courses. Senate agreed to refer this paper to Teaching and Learning Committee to consider the implications, including the development of a distinctive UoN contribution in the open online education space.
Quality in Teaching, Learning and Research in a Multi-campus University - identified the importance of recognising that UoN is a multi-campus University with contributions from multiple sites to teaching and learning and, to research. The Teaching and Learning Committee, Faculty Boards and Research Committee will be asked to comment on how quality is therefore ensured in these activities. The Change Response Working Party will consider implications of a multi-campus UoN for membership categories of Senate committees.
But wait, there's more. As readers know by now, Senate discussions lead to outcomes, most eventually contribute to academic policy. Other topics discussed at the November meeting include the following:
- update paper from the Change Response Working Party called 'Rethinking Academic Senate Committees' with redrafted terms of reference for Academic Senate and its committees. Discussions with Chair stakeholders are planned for this year and, then with the committees and other stakeholder groups, early next year.
- update from the AQF Project Group included mention of masters coursework (level 9), the initial drafting and a request for response from PVCs. AQF Council is now approving a document that may provide useful guidance for us in this development phase prior to taking the document for broader consultation and discussion.
- gender equity plans. FEDUA PVC provided details of the Faculty's Gender Equity Action Plans, a very comprehensive approach to this topic.
- a summary of the Behrendt Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The work of the University was 'cited as an exemplar, particularly in the areas of whole-of-university approach to indigenous education and indigenous employment' (Doc AS12:137). An excellent outcome and congratulations to all present and past contributors to this success.
- academic policy - see below for details. Only one new manual to come - research!
Academic Senate Policy
Updated manuals for 2013 are now available:
- 2013 Program Management Procedure Manual - Coursework http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000967.html
- 2013 Admission and Enrolment Procedure Manual - Coursework Programs http://www.newcastle.edu.au/policy/000965.html
2013 Courses and Assessment Procedures Manual
Awaiting Council approval is for the Rules in this suite. Try online after December 7, 2012.
If your School or Discipline wants an update, particularly on the Courses and Assessment Procedures Manual content, contact Prof Val Robertson (email Anne.Symons@newcastle.edu.au or ring 49215332). And remember, if you find issues in manuals from typographical to confused content or very strange requirements, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference for Chairs of Academic Boards/Senates & Secretaries (CABSS), Adelaide 14-16 Nov
We had presentations from Hon John Dawkins (Chair AQF Council); Di Booker (AQF), Lucy Schulz (from TEQSA Regulation & Review) and others on different aspects of higher education. Great way to find out what is happening eg. new paper on nesting is due soon!
Two items with reports from working parties:
- The relationship between academic and corporate governance - once finalised, the draft paper may provide a basis for describing what an effective Academic Senate does; and
- The role of CABS and its future - the recommendation to incorporate the national group was accepted and planning has commenced. A very good move at long last.