A full Academic Senate meeting was held on Tuesday 23 October 2018. The agenda is on the Academic Senate website and papers are available on Truth. An extraordinary Academic Senate meeting was held on Monday 5 November 2018. The agenda is on the Academic Senate website and papers are available on Truth.
For a quick run-down, watch the Chair’s vlog and check out the Top 5 items discussed at the two meetings below:
1. Academic Senate Projects for 2019
A new approach to project planning was adopted in 2017 and has been continued this year. Projects are suggested and prioritised to ensure things get off to a running start the following year.
Workshops were held with Senators, Student Senators and Governance Services. 10 suggestions were received. Five of them were decided to be more suitable for Committees of Academic Senate and were referred to the appropriate committee. The following 5 suggestions, along with four continuing projects, were prioritised using an online ranking exercise.
The draft list can be found on the Academic Senate Projects website. Feedback from Faculties and Organisational units is welcome: Submit your suggestion to your Senate representative or use the feedback form on the Projects website.
2. Curriculum Architecture Update
I gave an update on the Curriculum Architecture checkpoint, which is the first step in the governance pipeline. There are 12 people who work on the checkpoint as well as the Course Learning Outcome support team. 65% of submissions take 24 hours to pass through the checkpoint, and 90% get through within 2 days.
There was a significant increase in the last two weeks of October in courses moving from FSQC to ASQC Working Groups. It is very clear that the whole community involved in the course submission process is working hard. We note the collegiality between all groups involved: departments, faculty academic and L&T professional staff, ADs Quality, the Curriculum and Planning Team, CLOser support staff, CA project team staff and program reviewers.
At the Academic Senate meeting of 23 October, we approved the academic case for 51 courses, majors and specialisation for 2020. At the extraordinary meeting on 5 November, we approved a further 70 courses, specialisations and majors.
3. Presentation from Executive Dean of the Faculty of Human Science
One of our goals this year was to increase opportunities for faculty presentations at Academic Senate.
Professor Simon Handley began by telling us what he did on the weekend – climbed 1504 stairs of the Sydney Tower Eye wearing 20 kilograms of firefighting gear – to raise money for research into Motor Neurone Disease. Whilst the climb is complete, donations are still open.
He reflected on his three years in the role of Executive Dean. A key theme was people. He spoke of the increasingly interdisciplinary nature and focus on people in the faculty. Among many stars in the faculty, he noted three recent achievements:
- Professor Jennie Hudson, who was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
- Selene Petit, who achieved second place in the Asia-Pacific 3-minute thesis competition
- Professor Ingrid Piller , who won the Anneliese Maier Research Award.
Simon also spoke of the success of the Students as Partners Program, where a team of students and teaching partners work together to improve the experience of students in a unit throughout the semester.
4. Student-led Business
At the October meeting, Alex Feofiloff, the Senate’s undergraduate student representative for the Faculty of Human Sciences fed back that he now understands a lot more about moderation and assessment as a result of his time on ASQC. He suggested a student-facing communication strategy is implemented to encourage more students to learn more about academic quality assurance at the University. This matter was referred to the Chair of SLTC to join work on the next ‘Festival of Assessment’.
We also thanked the student representative on the Discipline Committee, Emily Ward, who has already attended 23 hours of meetings since she joined in August. We are seeking a second student representative on the committee to spread out the workload and increase the student voice.
At the 5 November meeting we welcomed Aleksandra Nikolic as a new Senate postgraduate coursework student representative. Aleks is filling a casual vacancy. She introduced herself and joined in the discussion on Curriculum Architecture at her first meeting. Welcome, Aleks!
This item was scheduled for the 23 October meeting then postponed to 5 November to address some feedback that arose during consultation. At the 5 November meeting, Dr Mitch Parsell, Chair of SLTC, spoke about the paper, which outlines the difficulty that arises with the overlap between Session 2 and Session 3. So as not to disadvantage students, Session 3 will be removed from the calculation of Academic Progression.
Senators raised some feedback regarding support and opportunities for students who are on academic caution, conditional enrolment or suspension. SLTC is proposing a full review of the Progression Policy for 2019 and this feedback will be provided through the Chair of SLTC to feed into the future review.
Senators also had a discussion about possibilities for future offerings in Session 3, which the DVC (A) noted and will feed back to the Executive Deans and other members of the Executive Group.
The next Academic Senate meeting will be on November 27th at 9.30am. As always, the Senate welcomes you to observe the meeting. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you are coming.