A full Academic Senate meeting was held on Tuesday 19 February 2019. The agenda is available from 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. Welcome to New Elected Members of Academic Senate.

This was the first meeting of our newly elected Senators and I’m excited to have them on board. They all come with valuable experience and knowledge, and I know that they will make significant contributions to Senate and its Committees over the next two years. Members of Senate are expected to:

  • act in good faith in the best interests of the University
  • contribute the time needed to study and understand the papers provided
  • contribute to the implementation of the Senate communication strategy
  • apply good analytical skills, objectively and with sound judgement;
  • bring their talents, insights and views of other members of the University community to discussions
  • be the point of contact between the University and the faculty/community
  • express opinions frankly and ask questions that go to the fundamental core of the issue
  • work collaboratively with other members of Senate

The Faculties of Arts, Business & Economics, Human Sciences, and Science and Engineering each have 3 elected members; the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has 2 elected members. We also have a non-Faculty electorate member, and we will soon move to fill the position for an elected member from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander electorate. I strongly encourage you to find out who represents your Faculty/Office and to bring any matters to their attention.

2.Curriculum Architecture and Curriculum Management System 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) acknowledged the incredible amount of work completed in 2018 and advised that work has now commenced on transferring the data to the new curriculum management system (CMS). The PVC Programs and Pathways, Professor Sean Brawley, gave a demonstration of the new CMS and advised that a communication package is currently being developed for staff that will guide users through the new system. Communications to students are also under development.

I’m greatly looking forward to the launch of the new Curriculum Management System because it will give us access to data that we haven’t previously had. The data will inform our decision making and result in improvements for both staff and students. A huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes, so watch this space!

3. Senate Project – Freedom of Speech, Inquiry and Assembly

This is one of Senate’s projects for 2019 and will involve reviewing existing policies and documents to assess their effectiveness in protecting and promoting freedom of speech, inquiry and assembly. This is a timely review given that last November, the Federal Minister for Education, The Hon Dan Tehan MP announced that the rules and regulations protecting freedom of speech on university campuses will be reviewed by former Chief Justice of the High Court Robert French (the French Review). A working group will be formed and I encourage you to submit an expression of interest to chair.senate@mq.edu.au if you’d like to get involved. The working group will review and discuss the recommendations of the French Review (when available) and make appropriate recommendations to Academic Senate in response. This project is sure to generate a lot of discussion and debate, and I will continue to update you on its progress.

4. Senate Project – Shared Academic Governance 

I provided an update to members on the Shared Academic Governance project, which will continue into 2019. This project aims to move decisions that are currently sitting with Senate to the Faculty Boards. There are several streams of work being undertaken to support implementation from Session 2 this year, including:

• An operational working group developing resources and templates

• A working group of ASQC examining risks

• A working group of ASQC to provide oversight of the development of a curriculum manual.

Over the last few weeks I have met with Executive Deans to discuss this transition plan and relayed any concerns to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the working group. The new CMS is critical for the successful rollout of this project, and therefore we will be working closely with Project Beacon to develop the communication package surrounding these changes.

5. Mudang-Dali: Indigenous Connected Curriculum Framework

Dr Leanne Holt, Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Strategy, presented the Indigenous Connected Curriculum Framework, Mudang-Dali, to members of Senate. Dr Holt explained that they have been working on this framework for over 12 months with the aim to provide guidelines on embedding indigenous connected curriculum that ensures consistency and sustainability. The Vice-Chancellor expressed the Executive Group’s support for this project and commended the work of the Office. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) noted the need to have a wholehearted acceptance of this approach and encouraged members to take this document to their colleagues and obtain feedback so that it can be endorsed at our meeting in April. More information on Indigenous strategy and initiatives can be found on the website.

The next Academic Senate meeting will be on 9th April at 9:30am. As always, the Senate welcomes you to observe the meeting. Please email senate@mq.edu.au to let us know you are coming.

Meeting dates are advertised on the Senate website, in This Week, and on the Campus Facebook page.

Posted by Marie Herberstein

I am a biologist and work on the behaviour of spiders and insects here at Macquarie University. I am currently the interim Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic).

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