8 December 2016 Meeting Outcomes


News and updates from UON’s Council Meeting: 8 December 2016

Following the Council meeting of 8 December 2016, notification of Mr Robert (Bob) Kennedy's reappointment to Council from 1 February 2017 has been received.

The Chancellor recently attended the inspirational Univer-Cities Conference 2016. The conference explored how universities with strong medical origins are different to others and the opportunities this presents for the cities and regions they call home.  Building on the inaugural 2013 Conference held in Singapore, the international forum continued the conversations on the transformational role universities play in driving a city’s economic, social and cultural development. In relation to university-city relations, the Chancellor took the opportunity to acknowledge the strong support from Newcastle Lord Mayor, Councillor Nuatali Nelmes.

Newcastle Innovation Awards ceremony

The Chancellor recently attended the annual Newcastle Innovation Awards ceremony and of the presentation of the inaugural Chancellor's Award for Innovation to Dr Yolanda Surjan. Yolanda’s research investigates the translation of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) to veterinary practice. Yolanda is aiming to develop a medical device that will increase cure rates for horses with skin cancers without the need for general anaesthetics and surgery. Three Excellence in Innovation Awards were also presented to UON researchers.

The Vice-Chancellor provided an update on strategic issues, including the Premier's upcoming visit to Newcastle on 12 December 2016, the Commonwealth Government's developing position on higher education reform, and the progress of the University Organisational Design project.

The Council discussed the Higher Education Standards Panel report “Improving the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions", and emphasised the importance of continuing to measure the University’s success in supporting equity and diversity in education.

The Vice-Chancellor also provided a health and safety update, which detailed a reduction in the number of injuries. The Council noted the important role of leadership in driving continuous improvement.

UON Brand Presentation

The Director Marketing and Communications gave a presentation outlining the work that had been undertaken to refresh the UON brand. The team shared their intention to use best endeavours to deploy the first part of the proposed campaign by March 2017.

STEMM Update

Laureate Professor John Aitken, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Faculty of Health and Medicine), and Professor Brett Ninness, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment), led a discussion with the Council identifying significant opportunities for the University to be involved in solving industry problems with an enhanced innovative interdisciplinary approach.  The Pro Vice-Chancellors illustrated the possibilities with exciting current examples of multifaceted team-based approaches.

Annual Review of Delegations of Authority

Following the annual review of delegations conducted by the Nominations and Legislation Committee, Council noted the amended Schedule of Operational Delegations.

University Governance Framework

A University Governance Framework progress report was presented by The Chancellor. The key goal is to create a clear and simple framework that enables appropriate checks and balances and assists the Council  to focus on matters where it had chosen to reserve its authority. Discussion focused on the significant work in progress to reorganise and refresh the University's policy suite, commencing with a rationalisation of rules. The foreshadowed intention to propose a revised governance framework including a new and comprehensive Governance Rule in March 2017 was supported.

Academic Senate - President's Update

The Senate recently discussed the AFR Higher Education Summit and the Committee of Chairs of Academic Boards/Senates, as well as the NeW Futures Series Paper: Global Partner of Choice.

Post Implementation Reviews

Post implementation review reports on NIER and the Sydney Precinct were presented and discussed. NIER's continuing strong performance was due to being grounded in academic excellence and aligned with government and industry priorities. It was noted that NIER continues to be recognised as a sector-leading model.

Professor Liz Burd, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), spoke to the Sydney Precinct report outlining how the Sydney strategy had evolved and facilitated the development of an innovative approach to program design, focussed on an enriched and flexible class-room experience.

Summary of Council's formal resolutions

Strategic Matters

ITEM: Chancellor’s Report
Council resolved to note the verbal update from the Chancellor

ITEM: Vice-Chancellor’s Report
Council resolved to note the report from the Vice-Chancellor on strategic issues and activities

ITEM: UON Brand Presentation
Council resolved to note the UON Brand Presentation.

Council resolved to note the verbal STEMM Update.

Major decisions and discussion

ITEM: Annual Review of Delegations of Authority
Council resolved to note the amendments to the Schedule of Operational delegations to be made by the Vice-Chancellor arising from the annual review of delegations conducted by the Nominations and Legislation Committee.

ITEM: University Governance Framework Progress Report
The Council resolved to note the update on work to implement a revised governance framework for the University.

ITEM: By-law Update
The Council resolved to approve the University of Newcastle By-law 2016 and seek the approval of the Governor.

Matters for Discussion

ITEM: Academic Senate - President's Update
The Council resolved to note the President of the Academic's Senate's verbal report in relation to the Academic Senate meeting held on 30 November 2016.

ITEM: Industry Opportunities Update

The Council resolved to note this updated report on potential industry opportunities for research collaborations.

ITEM: Post Implementation Review - NIER
The Council resolved to note the NIER Post Implementation Review.

ITEM: Post Implementation Review - Sydney Precinct
The Council resolved to note the UON Sydney Program and Premises Expansion Post Implementation Report.

ITEM: Council Membership - Ministerial Appointment Update

The Council resolved to note the verbal update on the Ministerial appointment to Council.

ITEM: Academic Senate Matters for Council Consideration

The Council resolved to:

  1. approve the:
    1. amendments to the Rule Governing Admission and Enrolment [000966] to change the Leave of Absence authority from Pro Vice-Chancellor to Program Convenor;
    2. amendments to the Rule Governing Courses and Assessment [000993] to remove clause 16.2 in accordance with updates to the Student Appeal Process;
    3. amendments to the Rule Governing Awards and Programs [000958] to remove the delegations for approval of credit from the Rule; and
    4. authority to the University Secretary to make all necessary amendments to the Delegation Schedule: Academic Governance and Support to reflect these changes; and
  2. note that the Vice-Chancellor and the Dean of Graduate Research under delegated authority [A1.26] have approved the Higher Degree Research candidates for conferral of the degrees listed in documents RTSC16.114, RTSC16.131 and RTSC16.132.

Next Council meeting

Friday 10 February 2017.