Last month has seen some major announcements made by the University leadership. We should all be aware now of the Vice-Chancellors announcement for an additional 60-70 new ongoing teaching and research positions which is a very positive development for the University. As the VC has said this will assist us to manage teaching workloads and help decasualise the academic workforce so that we can achieve our learning, teaching, and research goals. This will mean some significant changes to current workloads. I encourage you to talk with your Head of School about changes to workload and new staffing.
I also want to congratulate Julia Lynch and Katherine Herbert from the School of Business. They have taken part in an international collaborative publication with university colleagues across the globe. The book is titled Collaboration in Higher Education and is edited by Sandra Abegglen, Tom Burns & Sandra Sinfield. More details are on the BJBS Blog.
I would also encourage you to read Rubina Ahmed’s piece in the Faculty Blog on reflection writing and QUASAR. Her insight and approach to the reflection process is indicative of best practice.
On May 5th the University marked its mental health day for 2023. I wanted to take the opportunity to remind everybody about the importance of being supportive and respectful to each other. I wish I could simply say “be excellent to each other” but the truth of the matter is more serious than that and I think is best summed in a quote from 2016 Australian of the year David Morrison: “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” The University expects the highest standards of professionalism in our communication with students and with our colleagues. The impact of rude, disrespectful or dismissive communications with our students or our colleagues cannot be under-estimated and can have a profound negative impact on them.
I expect academics and management staff to practice by-stander intervention promptly if they observe any inappropriate behaviours. Additionally, students and academics must be better educated on appropriate conduct and given support and resources to improve interactions. Consequently, over the coming weeks the Faculty will be rolling out some further information from the University’s Safe & Fair Communities Unit in upcoming blog posts.
Over the coming weeks I will be on the road visiting a number of our different campuses and hoping to meet with staff at morning teas, which the Faculty office will be helping to organise, but also attending various events such as the foundation scholarship ceremonies and reconciliation action events. I am also keen to attend an AI Cyber Futures Institute event in Canberra at the end of the May.