|Another week has passed by in a blink and yet so much has happened (granted in my small sphere). The hiatus across higher education is a topic of current national interest as the sector will likely shed some 21,000 jobs (more than the 9,000 projected loss from Qantas, for example) by year end as a result, for the most part, of long term overexposure to the international student market and the need to retrench as the pandemic progresses. None of this is something that any of those within the education community can be happy about. UNE is but one of the many wrestling with our past whilst juggling to ensure our future. It creates new layers of grief and anxiety on top of the challenges all have faced and continue to manage as the whole COVID experience roles forward.
It will be no surprise that my week has been monopolised by the work to resolve our financial position, plan for 2021 and what follows, and make sure we complete the drafting of an appropriate Time for Change proposal. The plan is to circulate the plan for consultation next week. In the middle of all of this, I have been involved in a couple of academic integrity matters, discussed benchmarking and performance monitoring, and enjoyed discussions with a range of different external authorities about the utility of various performance and assurance models which might be better applied to support universities of our kind going forward.
Assurance models also featured in discussions around our current and possible new business systems. The prompt this time was the need to support various outstanding pieces of work around the recognition of different staff groupings, in terms of our obligations to manage and reward all staff in a fair and equitable manner and in accordance with our Enterprise Agreements. The complexity of historic data and the shifting grounds of employment law require us to be vigilant and responsive in dealing with these matters and I am obliged to give a shout out to the staff in HR and Finance who have worked through some complex outstanding issues.