Acting VC’s Update – Upholding our values

20 Oct 2023

Hello everyone, 

This week the Vice-Chancellor is visiting New York, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles where he is attending a number of ANU events, meeting with alumni and partners and exploring opportunities in technology and philanthropy. So, as Acting Vice-Chancellor, I am providing this week's update. 

It feels like everywhere we look, from close to home to around the world, there are sad and confronting things going on.From the outcome of the Voice to Parliament referendumto the heart-wrenching conflict happening in the Middle East, we are living in a world marked by division, uncertaintyand pain.  

In times like these, it feels increasingly important for us all to stand together, united as a communitywhich celebrates inclusivity, openness and respect - and one that rejects harassment and discrimination. Instead of letting challenges dishearten us, let's embrace positivity and strength to uphold the values of ANU. 

Next week is our last week of Semester 2 and I'd like to say thank you to all our staff for the enormous effort you have put into teaching and supporting our students. To our students, all the best for your final assessments, I trust you have learnt a lot from your studies.I'd like to give a special mention to our students who are studying with a disability. As we reinvigorate our Disability Action Plan, I've been learning a lot about the challenges these students face everyday at ANU. One way that we can all enact the ANU values is to listen to what students studying with a disability need for success. For example, graciously and unreservedly allowing students extra time for their assessments and other adjustments as outlined in their EAP can make a big difference. 

Go8 - Accord Panel final report

On Wednesday this week I attended the Go8 Board meeting at the University of Sydney on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor. Discussions were focussed on the pending final report from the Accord Panel and concerns about what appears to be a lack of attention to research and development. The Go8 is advocating that Australia should have a sensible system of university funding that acknowledges the full economic cost of teaching, research and equity without significant cross subsidisation. While I strongly support this position, I recognise Australia would need a long term and well thought out transition plan to enable the sector to reach that goal.  

Our 2023 Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Fellows 

I am pleased to be able to announce some exciting news. Four members of the ANU community are among thedistinguished cohort of 33 Fellows elected to the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) this year.  

Congratulations to Professor YunLiu FTSE, Professor Anna Moore FTSE, Mikaela Jade FTSE and our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt AC FTSE FAA FRS. It is wonderful that you each have been electedand your lifelong achievements acknowledged.  

Have your say on the proposed Enterprise Agreement 

From next Monday 23 October, eligible staff will be able to cast their vote on the proposed Enterprise Agreement. This Agreement places ANU in an excellent position to deliver our strategic goals, give great outcomes to our students, and importantly, give real wage growth and benefits to ensure ANU continues to lead in the sector, and be an employer of choice in Australia.  

The Agreement provides a range of competitive entitlements for our staff including a competitive salary schedule, leave enhancements, pathways to more secure employment, flexible work arrangements and enhanced conditions for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, as well as our sector leading casual employment conditions. I encourage you to vote next week - and to vote yes.For more information about the proposed Agreement and staff ballot process, please visit the Enterprise Bargainingwebpage. 

2023 Order of Australia Lecture 

And lastly, I'm so looking forward to my colleague Professor Kiaran Kirk AM delivering this year's Order of Australia keynote on Monday 6 November. The topic is yet another humanitarian issue of which ANU is at the forefront - global health. In his address Professor Kirk will reflect on the contribution ANU has made, and continues to make, to the development of measures to prevent and treat infectious diseases, including bacterial infection, viral diseases such as smallpox, and the parasitic disease, malaria. 

This is a free event but tickets are required, so don't forget toregister and secure your spot. I look forward to seeing you there. 

Have an enjoyable weekend. 

Best wishes,