|In the middle of all of this I have been busy with the ballot processes for the Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement. I am sure all are aware that UNE strongly endorses this agreement and, as a final reminder, recommend all eligible staff to vote in favour before the ballot closes at 5pm today.
Other tasks this week included discussions around budgets as the 2019 Financial Statements are finalised, signing off the draft 2019 Annual Report and focused effort on our 2020 budgeting position given the impact of bushfires, drought, virus and other factors that are all making life difficult. Our student numbers are down and the current situation is going to require careful resource management.
My time was also committed to a review of the Madgwick Campus project where decisions around platform architecture are required at a moment in time where we are also framing the wider requirements for a holistic virtual campus model to better serve our domestic and international markets. I also had a meeting with NRL representatives to discuss how we might progress an educational partnership for their athletes and supporters – I am quite excited about this new venture!
The opportunity to develop a large scale regional research institute model featured in my discussion with a group of peer colleagues from across the sector; this was good timing as the UNE Research Committee also invited me to join their meeting this week. We had a good discussion around the strategic drivers for research which UNE needs to embrace going forward. Other topics which commanded my attention this week included the development of our new academic workload model and the software support needed to systematise the process and ease the reporting burden on staff, our project management framework and what needs to improve here, and the development of a policies audit to assist in the framing of our response to claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The safety of our community must be the number one priority.