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

Published On November 20, 2020 | By Alana | General News, Latest News, News, Notes from the VC's Desk
A (very) warm day with blue skies and a light breeze. Just had lovely morning tea with UNE staff on the Ingrid Moses Courtyard with staff who are celebrating the challenges of year and staff getting ready to leave UNE to start the next stage of their life journey. Quite something to hear the stories of people who have worked here for 20, 30 and 50 odd years.

The majority of Council are here also – the first time in a year! The new strategic plan ‘Future Fit’ was up for discussion and the 2021 budget; a heavy lifting day for Council. I have also been involved in the AARNet Board meeting with cybersecurity a big part of the discussion, a UNE Foundation working group and participation in a global seminar on Digital Education have kept me busy and challenged – a great combination. I was also a guest at the Armidale Rotary Club’s November meeting; they were an engaged and welcoming group who shared their passion for UNE and what we do for the region.

I also had a great meeting with the HASSE Professoriate this week about our future priorities and then an engagement with the new President of the recently founded UNE Chapter of the Australian Association of Universities Professors. I think this is an exciting new development and I look forward to working with this group to strengthen the academic identity of this University.

The first of the ‘Thank You’ morning teas, held today in the Ingrid Moses Courtyard.
‘Thank You’ Events

Due to staff feedback regarding limited numbers on-campus next Friday, we have brought forward the date of the second ‘Thank You’ event to Wednesday 25 November at 11am in the Ingrid Moses Courtyard.

The last of these events will proceed at 11am on Friday 4 December. 

Please RSVP for catering and COVID-safe planning.

Another big chunk of my week was consumed by being a member of the University’s tender committee considering applications and receiving presentations to help us develop the economic impact case for our new STEM precinct – conceptualised as a ‘precinct without walls’ supporting region and place. The future of our next generation STEM facilities and those which might be developed to support the wider regional ambitions is an emerging but critical conversation. 

Much time was also consumed in one to one meetings with senior team colleagues as we landscaped the tasks to be prioritised for the remainder of the year alongside the implementation of Time for Change. The call for EOIs against the now vacant positions is in progress and there is much to be done in this space to move us forward this side of 2021. There is also much activity around our core HR systems architecture as we move to the new structures and set up the new business frameworks for the future, with relevant delegations and governance processes. 

Help us celebrate the Graduands of 2020 by sharing a message of congratulations. It will take less than 60 seconds and mean the world to a cohort that is graduating after a remarkable year! https://www.unelife.com.au/grad-congrats
After a week focusing mostly on internal matters it was a surprise to lift my head up and see that US elections remain unresolved despite clear evidence of democracy in action and an outcome. The Booker Prize outcome was a surprise (not a fan of the winning tome). Plans for the weekend involve a visit to NERAM, lunch out on Sunday and serious effort expended to tidy up the piles of papers that now decorate both home and work offices. I admit to some anxiety about my ability to truly live in a ‘paper free’ world…

Whatever your plans, I hope you enjoy the weekend break.

Sincerely,

Professor Brigid Heywood

Vice-Chancellor & CEO

UNE

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