Notes from the VC’s Desk: Direct from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brigid Heywood this week

Published On August 14, 2020 | By Alana | General News, Latest News, News, Notes from the VC's Desk
On a manic Friday in what should have been a short week, I am still sitting with a large pile of paper work (yes paperwork!) holding me hostage at my desk!

I have had endless conversations by phone with ‘important’ and ‘influential’ people trying to make sure the UNE story and what is important in a regional context is communicated with purpose across a number of frontiers. In spite of COVID, or because of it, government decision processes are accelerating as we navigate towards 2021 budgets and manage reform, budget submissions, recovery, job ready graduates, graduates ready jobs, regional innovation and student opportunity.

Relief appeared in the form of an amazing Zoom encounter with UNE alumni as part of the UNE 21+ conversations! UNE alumni joined us from around the world (literally) to share their thoughts and engage with the process. Their strong positive commitment to UNE and desire to add value was just AMAZING!

I encourage you to remain part of the conversation and to have your say on the new questions at the UNE 21+ Join the Conversation website, which will be live until the end of August. 
I have also been part of a series of workshops with the design teams who are diligently working on the draft Time for Change organisational plan. Given I spend most of my time worrying about what we need to do to secure the payroll savings, I felt privileged to be in the room as ideas flowed, the hard discussions were put on the table and possible futures were coloured in. Under the considerable duress of these challenging times, all stood up for UNE and our future without forgetting that a ‘chart’ is but shorthand for people and we must find a way to do this well.

A visit to the fracture clinic was less of a highlight but interesting never the less; my wounded wing is mending slowly and I must be careful in my ambitions for a quick recovery. As always the staff at the hospital were supportive, engaging and nurturing all at the same time. The fact that they managed to comment on repair rates and life course chronologies without actually describing me as a mature post-menopausal women was, I thought, worthy of a gold star (is that too big a share?!). The watch word is patience and slow increase in exercises – apparently Malteasers have limited therapeutic value. I disagree.

Morning tea with the lovely group of Archaeologists from HASSE on the Ingrid Moses forecourt was another enjoyable reprieve this week; their recent success with ARC funding demanded celebration and recognition with a hot drink and Portuguese tarts.

My final reflection this week is how quickly one focuses inwards on local problems. The aforementioned conversations and connections with alumni both during the process and in their subsequent emails drew me back to a wider view of the world and the very, very, very many different kinds of problems and issues that the human race is facing at this time. I acknowledge openly that the perspective check was helpful and necessary.

Stay safe and stay well. I am not sure what I will do this weekend, but I note I have a glut of winter cabbage and a forest of broccoli in my little garden so ‘food’ will feature somewhere.

Sincerely,

Professor Brigid Heywood

Vice-Chancellor & CEO

UNE

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2 Responses to Notes from the VC’s Desk: Direct from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brigid Heywood this week

  1. Deb+Murray says:

    I very much enjoy your weekly updates. Thank you
    Regards,
    Deb Murray

    • Hamartia says:

      When words are invented or inserted to merely fill in space, interest and understanding is often lost. In this regard, the VC is becoming noticeably more personable of late, demonstrating that humility and simplicity can be effectively conveyed without making miniscule irrelevant ideas seem original and important. In other words, a high degree of skill in crafting academese is not necessary when interacting under tragic circumstances with everyday people on what is essentially a personal blog.

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