Academic Board Digest for the meeting of 16 September 2020
The following membership changes were noted:
- the appointment of Professor Christian Lorenzen as Deputy Chair, Academic Board, with effect from 20 July 2020 for a two-year term
- the election of Professor Noah Riseman as Professorial Representative for the Faculty of Education and Arts, with effect from 31 August 2020 until 31 December 2021
- the election of Professor David Greene as Professorial Representative for the Faculty of Health Sciences, with effect from 31 August 2020 until 31 December 2021.
Report from the Chair of Academic Board
The Chair highlighted the following points:
- On behalf of the Academic Board, congratulations were extended to the Provost on his appointment as ACU’s fourth Vice-Chancellor from January 2021. The Board looks forward to its involvement in implementing the Vice-Chancellor’s vision for ACU in the 2020s and beyond.
- The two newly elected Level E Faculty Representatives, Professor Noah Riseman from the Faculty of Education and Arts, and Professor David Greene from the Faculty of Health Sciences were welcomed to the Academic Board.
- In accordance with Recommendation 3 of the External Review Report, confirmed and unconfirmed minutes of Academic Board sub-committee meetings, although noted in the agenda, will no longer be included in Academic Board meeting papers, but available instead in the Diligent resource centre.
- The Academic Board meeting dates for 2021 have been finalised and are now available.
External Review Report
The Academic Board discussed prospective changes to its sub-committee structure, in response to the External Review Report’s recommendations. To aid development and implementation of a new sub-committee structure Academic Board committee chairs are to provide amended Terms of Reference and membership lists for review at the next Academic Board meeting on 25 November.
Vice-Chancellor and President’s update
The Acting Vice-Chancellor addressed the following matters:
- He congratulated the newly appointed Academic Board Chair and the new Professorial Representatives from the Faculties of Education and Arts and Health Sciences for their recent appointments to Academic Board.
- Further amendments to the Higher Education Support Act include increases to the new student fee bands.
- The Acting Vice-Chancellor was invited to address the Inquiry into the future development of the NSW tertiary education sector chaired by Mark Hebblewhite, and to comment on a range of matters, including the effect of the pandemic on the student experience.
- Positive developments have taken place for the Blacktown campus. Stakeholders at a morning tea held in the Blacktown region included federal and state political representatives.
Office of the Interim Provost
The Interim Provost spoke to the following highlights:
- The enrolment planning process for 2021 had involved a transparent and broadly consultative process concerning the range of processes underpinning enrolment design. A 3% increase in student load is anticipated.
- The Interim Provost thanked members of the ACU community who had contributed to the development of the Education Strategy, observing that it had involved a series of thoughtful and tactical responses.
Academic Board recommended the Education Strategy and the Advancement and Alumni Strategy to Senate for approval.
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) responded to questions about his report:
- With reference to the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) current investigation of the ERA, ACU will comment on the effects of the different methodology used in citation and in peer review disciplines.
- ACU will recommend a reduced set of publications be submitted in light of the consideration of how many publications ERA assessors can be expected to read, given the high volume of submissions creating an immense amount of work for the institutions and for the assessors.
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Coordination)
Academic Board recommended the ACU Belonging Strategy 2020–2023 to Senate for approval.
Academic Administrative Committee
Academic Board approved:
- Amendments to the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy
- Amendments to the Recognition of Prior Learning Procedures
- the Common Academic Calendar and Study Periods 2021
- the Common Academic Calendar and Study Periods 2022
Academic Board provided feedback on:
- Academic Credit Recognition – proposed amendments to the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015
Courses and Academic Quality Committee
Academic Board approved the following Course Changes:
Office of Planning and Strategic Management (OPSM)
Academic Board noted:
- The ACU Quarterly Performance Report
- The Students’ Perceptions and Experience of Online Learning
Academic Board endorsed:
- The Student Experience and Outcomes Report