Our recent week-long intensives brought the campus back to life with students seeming to be everywhere and, unusually for Armidale campus, queues in the café. As the VC said at the recent all-staff presentation we may need to open another café.

HASSE staff are busy as ever. Notable public presentations by Dr Gwyn McClelland in Tamworth in May discussing aromas of Asia, and Professor Alan Scott at the Wicklow this month in a renewal of the Skeptics in the Pub series provide a tiny sneak peek into the vast array of ongoing HASSE activities. Thank you for all each of you do to spread the word about the quality of our disciplines, HASSE being a great place to study, and the renown and expertise of our staff.

Arts and Humanities QS rankings

QS rankings released last week advised that UNE’s Arts and Humanities ranked in the top 500 for the first time. Two other Australian universities were ranked 401-500 for Arts and Humanities – Swinburne and ACU. 

Celebrating HASSE contributions to governance and service

Debate continues as to the best combination of activities required to ensure a high-quality university. I am definitely on the side of strong investment by our academic staff in focusing on excellence in their academic research and teaching. This includes choosing high quality destination journals and publishers for texts, and resisting the temptation to self-publish or publish in low level, non-indexed journals, alongside making the effort every year to apply for competitive grant funding. I advocate civility and collegial interactions as quality markers for all workplaces and am aware of the large body of international research on the pernicious impact on workplace culture when civility declines. I am also acutely aware that we cannot have a high functioning institution without meaningful and engaged governance. Therefore, in view of the crucial role of governance as a quality marker I want to acknowledge all of the HASSE staff who currently serve on UNE governance committees and thank them, along with our staff who served before. There are many university-wide committees with HASSE representatives. Focus on Academic Board reveals that HASSE has 12 academic representative positions and four positions held by HASSE Executive members – see below. Our most recent academic representative Professor Alan Scott has joined the Teaching and Learning Committee following Dr Sarah Lawrence stepping down. This committee work is vital to ensuring operational rigour, is key to UNE’s re-registration with TEQSA, and provides needed advocacy for HASSE research, courses, and disciplines. I thank everyone for the time, effort, and outcomes of this work.

Academic Board

Chair of Academic Board – Associate Professor Jennifer McDonell
HASSE Executive Dean – Professor Jane Edwards
Level E representative – Professor Adrian Walsh
HASSE D/E representative – Associate Professor Finex Ndhlovu
HASSE B/C representative – Dr Xiang Gao
HASSE B/C representative – Dr Tristan Taylor

Research Committee

Chair of the HASSE Faculty Research Committee – Professor Sue Saltmarsh
HASSE Faculty representative – Associate Professor Melissa Parsons

Curriculum Committee

HASSE Associate Dean Teaching and Learning – Associate Professor Nathan Wise
Senior ≥Level C HASSE – Associate Professor Rachael Adlington
Junior A/B HASSE – Dr Catherine Volpe Johnston

Teaching and Learning Committee

HASSE Associate Dean Teaching and Learning – Associate Professor Nathan Wise
Senior ≥Level C HASSE – Professor Alan Scott
Senior ≥Level C HASSE – Dr Kristy O’Neill
Junior A/B HASSE – Dr Sanaz Alian
Junior A/B HASSE – Natalia Tobin

HASSE staffing

As we pass quarter 1 2024 staffing movements are front of mind, the major one being that professional staff are now back in the HASSE fold. Welcome! Below are two tables the first with total staff across the faculty executive team and the two schools, and the second indicating professional staff appointments. HASSE has 156 staff total, 17 professional staff, 133 Level A-E academic staff across balanced and teaching focused roles, and 6 staff working in executive roles and/or on executive contracts.

Level Staff total Female Male
A 1 1
B 44 29 15
C 47 30 17
D 25 12 13
E 16 4 12
Professional 17 12 5
Executive 6 3 3


Professional Staff total Female Male
HEO4 6 4 2
HEO5 6 5 1
HEO6 3 2 1
HEO7 1 1
HEO9 1 1


Rest and restore

Depending on when this goes out I hope you will, or have, avail(ed) of applying for approval of a leave day the Friday after ANZAC day. I recently asked the Faculty Operations Manager to exhort you to use the opportunity to create a four-day weekend to socialise with family and friends and relax. Hopefully that encouragement has resulted in many of you taking the time out for a recharge.