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Curtin University
Note to staff

11 April 2016


I am very pleased to advise that both of the WASM Wombats students injured in New Orleans recently are now out of ICU and their condition continues to improve in hospital.  Parents of both students are now in New Orleans and are being supported by Professor Sam Spearing and another senior Curtin staff member who happened to be in New Orleans at the time.

Most of the Wombats team have left New Orleans and moved on to other destinations as part of their holiday travel, with a small group returning to Perth yesterday.  Although they were not hurt in the incident last week, they have been through a difficult and stressful experience.  I am pleased that members of our Support Services and Risk teams were at the airport to greet them and to let them and their families know of the ongoing support available through the University.   Vice-President Corporate Relations Val Raubenheimer, who led the University’s response to the incident, was also there to greet the students and speak to the families.

In the midst of our focus on New Orleans last week, I was delighted to welcome Professor Seth Kunin to Curtin.  Seth took up his position as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, International on 6 April 2016.  He is already busy meeting staff both within Curtin International and more broadly and he will be visiting our campuses in Singapore and Sarawak later this month.

Development of our new Strategic Plan

The University is now developing a new Strategic Plan to guide us through 2017-2020. The plan will outline our approach to strategically and sustainably positioning Curtin for future success.

To help shape this plan we will be holding engagement activities to enable staff, students and other key stakeholders in the Curtin community to express their views on the University’s current and future positioning. Your feedback will help us develop a Draft Strategic Plan to go to Council for approval in August 2016.

An online forum will open on Tuesday 26 April to kick-start the consultation and engage with Curtin staff and students at all campuses. Several face-to-face activities with individual portfolios, faculties, faculty advisory boards and councils, and special interest groups will run concurrently.

The online forum will be hosted on a dedicated webpage that will include the full calendar of events and background documents on the new planning framework. Further details and a link to the webpage will be provided shortly.

Your input is extremely valuable in developing our priorities and I encourage you to participate.

Minister visits Curtin

With Professor William Hart, Dr Janice Bell, Minister Birmingham and Acting Chancellor Sue Wilson

With Professor William Hart, Dr Janice Bell, Minister Birmingham and Acting Chancellor Sue Wilson earlier today

The Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, visited Curtin University today and announced the appointment of well-known medical practitioner and medical training expert Dr Janice Bell as Chair of the Curtin Medical School External Advisory Board.

The Board will provide critical input and guidance as the University establishes its Medical School, which plans to have its first intake of students in 2017. I am delighted Dr Bell has accepted this appointment and look forward to working with her on the development of the School.

Dr Bell has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Western Australian General Practice Education and Training since 2004 and was previously a National Manager for Continuing Professional Development with GP Education Australia. She was appointed as an Adjunct Professor to the University in 2012.

As part of his visit Minister Birmingham toured the Medical School building that will be completed by Semester Two this year, and participated in a smoking ceremony conducted by Elder-in-Residence Associate Professor Simon Forrest, to prepare the building for occupancy prior to the official opening.

Curtin’s recent ranking performance

Curtin has featured on two international university rankings this April – the U-Multirank and the Times Higher Education (THE) 150 Under 50.

U-Multirank rates institutions on a range of indicators in the areas of teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement. Unlike most other ranking systems, the U-Multirank does not provide a list of the top universities, instead presenting the data through an interactive website which allows for the creation of personalised comparison tables. Curtin has been rated as ‘very good’ – the highest rating – for its international joint publications, and ‘good’ for research publications, citation rate, top cited publications, and regional joint publications.

Curtin also maintains its presence on the THE 150 Under 50 with a ranking of equal 92nd in the world and 14th in Australia. The 150 Under 50 employs the same methodology as the flagship World University Ranking (WUR) through which it assesses universities on research, teaching, citations, international outlook and industry income. Curtin maintains its position as second in Australia for its international outlook which is measured by on-campus diversity and publications with international co-authors.

For further details, please see the Office of Strategy and Planning’s summary paper of Curtin’s performance on U-Multirank.  A summary paper on our performance in the THE 150 Under 50 will be available later this week.

World’s Greatest Shave

Our annual World’s Greatest Shave fundraiser was recently held and I am pleased to announce that more than $32,000 has been raised from the event so far, with donations still coming in.

I would like to thank all staff and students who were involved in this year’s event. Ninety staff and students shaved or coloured their hair with 30 volunteers shaking tins for donations.

In the 15 years Curtin has fundraised for the Leukaemia Foundation more than $300,000 has been donated. Curtin Community Projects will also be hosting Princess Margaret Hospital Day activities on campus on Thursday 5 May. Please contact Maureen Meredith if you would like to get involved.

Community Development Coordinator, Maureen Meredith (centre) with students Victoria Gelmi and Danika Wellington at this year’s World’s Greatest Shave.

Community Development Coordinator Maureen Meredith (centre) with students Victoria Gelmi and Danika Wellington at this year’s World’s Greatest Shave.



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