Welcome to Semester 1

I am excited to be writing to you as the new Provost and to welcome you to Semester 1, 2021 and the new academic year. 

I am sure this year will be energising, despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and regardless of what state or territory you reside in. Even with the ongoing challenges and the changes we have seen in the higher education sector over the past 12 months, I am delighted by the commitment of ACU staff to embracing new and improved technologies and integrating these into their work and teaching.

My background, as many of you know, is in digital innovation, online education, and industry-enabled curriculum with technology-enhanced practices. These are all areas in which ACU has been progressing over past years. In 2021, we will focus our attention on continued academic excellence as well as our innovation agenda, and I will be working closely with many staff across ACU as we deliver the university’s Strategic Plan. Our new Dean, Innovation and Industry Engagement Professor Myriam Amielh, who commenced at our North Sydney Campus this week, will play a key role in increasing engagement and innovation with industry for ACU as well as progressing our Innovation Strategy. She will be reaching out to many you as she discovers ACU.

As a newbie to ACU, I have been meeting many of you. I want to thank those staff I have already met who have been patient with my questions and who have welcomed me so warmly. While I embraced blogging and expanded my baking skills during lockdown in my hometown of Melbourne last year, it is a pleasure to connect face to face again with a new community of educators. It is the sense of community and the mission that drew me to ACU, and I look forward to meeting more colleagues in the coming months and visiting other campuses as the opportunities arise.

The start of semester will bring more students back to campus as part of a blended model of course delivery, combining on-campus and online learning. This model is still informed by educational best practice and is nimble enough to adapt to any further changes to our circumstances. Again, I thank you for ensuring that our students get the very best of what we have to offer.

This year as we commence our portfolio planning and focus on our key performance indicators of enrolments, retention, equity and quality in education, I am particularly interested in how we also enact our mission in our work. 

I am thrilled to be part of ACU’s academic portfolio and our wider community, and I look forward to working with you at this exciting and pivotal time.

Professor Belinda Tynan

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