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Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Education News

August DVCA Portfolio Update

By Jill Downie 29 August 2016 Teaching & Learning No Comments »

There are many great things to share in our portfolio. All areas continue to be very busy, achieving amazing things and I am very proud and grateful to you all.

My Curtin Heroes

I have recognised many Heroes in the last few months, celebrating with morning tea and a small token of my appreciation. In my mind, a Curtin Hero is someone who goes above and beyond their normal job to achieve something great for Curtin, a student or a fellow staff member. I value all Curtin staff very highly and know you all do the best job you possibly can to help our students achieve their best. It is important to take some time out to acknowledge and celebrate our colleagues who have been noticed by their managers or peers as doing something particularly special in their jobs.

A list of people, with a short description of their Heroism is here.

Portfolio Meetings

Regular meetings of the Academic Portfolio Leadership team are continuing, and proving very valuable in helping to build a strong and unified culture within our portfolio.

In June the group, which consists of my Directors and their first tier management team, discussed the retention strategy for the University, providing valuable input into the retention plan. We also heard about the move to Curtin Connect – the new state-of-the-art student precinct and inquiry centre in building 101/102. This will be operational in the new-year.

Our most recent gathering was a cultural immersion experience in the Swan Valley, led by Elder-in-Residence Associate Professor Simon Forrest. This was a wonderful experience for all those who attended and in particular those staff unfamiliar with the stories of the Noongar warrior and leader Yagan. I would encourage all staff who have not yet completed the Ways of Working (WOW) and other cultural awareness programs to make this a priority for the second half of 2016.

Our next leadership meeting will be held in September and will include a one-hour workshop on engaging with social media.  This is an important strategy to help spread the word using our own personal and professional networks about Curtin’s achievements and leadership in higher education.

You all would have received a calendar item for a joint portfolio get together on 31 August in Building 410. This is an opportunity for you to meet with colleagues in the Corporate Services area and to have a close up inspection of our wonderful new Medical School and learning and teaching building. A second joint portfolio event is planned for 12 October. These meetings provide an excellent opportunity to get to know our colleagues in Corporate Services and to identify potential for cross unit cooperation, so please endeavour to keep these dates free.

Senior Leaders Conference – Strategic Planning

The University Senior Leaders met for two days earlier in August for our annual Senior Leaders Conference. On the first day we heard from inspirational keynote speakers – Elena Douglas, CEO and founder of Knowledge Society; Paul Kelly, Editor-at-Large at The Australian; and Martin Stewart-Weeks, higher education expert and advisor. The rest of the time was largely focused on continued development of Curtin’s new strategic plan, as well as plans for Curtin’s renewed focus on advancement and philanthropy.

The draft Strategic Plan will be released to staff soon. In the meantime, development of the enabling plan initiatives has started. I am working with the Office of Strategy and Planning to bring together a small representative group from across the University to work on Learning and Student Experience Enabling Plan. My executive colleagues are doing the same in the other themes of the strategic plan.

Portfolio Culture Update

I was very pleased to welcome Raelene Tifflin to a meeting with my Directors to discuss our efforts to strengthen the culture in our Portfolio. As you will recall, Raelene is the inaugural lead of the Culture and Values Team (CVT). The role of the CVT is to facilitate and improve communication between portfolio staff and leadership in support of a strengthened portfolio and organisational culture. The CVT will achieve this by encouraging connections in communication and function between portfolio staff and leadership.

We had a great discussion and my Directors and I were grateful to hear Raelene’s feedback which was based on conversations she and other members of the CVT have had together and with individuals across the portfolio.  I value the CVT immensely and believe it has an important role in two-way communication. I look forward to meeting with Raelene again. Raelene will also be attending management team meetings across the portfolio to raise awareness of the team members.

Digital Futures – Implementation of AKARI Curriculum Management System

Implementation of the AKARI Curriculum Management System Release 1 within the Digital Futures program is progressing well. A huge amount of work is going into the planning and implementation of this system which will provide a single accessible repository for approved study package information at Curtin. In the short term it will allow us to automate University study package approval processes and workflows and ultimately will provide a flexible system for staff to view curriculum materials.

Presentations are currently being given to Faculty Learning and Teaching committees ahead of the first release of the system later this year. By all reports people are looking forward to having the system in place which will replace paper based manual processes. This will be a major development for the University.

My thanks go to the project team being led by Associate Professor Vanessa Chang and Project Manager Ruchika Goyal and others involved in Student Services, Curtin Learning and Teaching and the Digital Futures team.

Academic Board Monitoring Meeting – Learning and Student Experience

My thanks and congratulations to all those involved in presenting and preparing presentations for the 29 July Academic Board Monitoring Meeting, which focused on learning and student experience outcomes. More than 120 staff attended the meeting in the new Building 410 including the Vice-Chancellor and other executive members. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. If you were unable to attend, the full session is available on iLecture. Presentations include:

  • Key results on our university KPIs
  • Academic Integrity Program
  • Supporting student learning – aspiration, inclusion, success
    • EESJ and the AHEAD program
    • The Digital experience
    • Library support
  • Key outcomes in Curriculum developments and partnerships

Inside Curtin

The next episode of Inside Curtin will be screening at Wesfarmers Court daily at 10am and 1pm from 26 August. In it, Vice Chancellor Professor Debbie Terry talks to Curtin Student Guild leaders about being safe on campus and the services available 24 hours a day to anyone in need of help. There’s also a lovely piece with Dockers players giving our international students an introduction to AFL, and a piece with Associate Professor Simon Forest on the Indigenous Cultural Capabilities Framework and the on-country courses for staff and students. It also includes a chat between Provost John Cordery and Guild Education representative Sarah Franz on the student experience at Curtin.

Inside Curtin episodes can be viewed here and individual stories are available on the Curtin you tube channel, Inside Curtin playlist.

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