Council, together with the rest of the ANU community, was distressed by the damage caused by the flooding of the Acton Campus on Sunday 25 February 2018. At its meeting, Council received a full report on the impact and response. The impact on the campus, while severe, was thankfully less consequential than would have been the case if the flooding had hit the University during the week.
After its formal meeting on 6 April, Council members toured the buildings affected by flooding to see the damage first hand. Council commended all ANU staff who managed a complex and difficult crisis with great skill, and who are managing the clean-up with the same professionalism and commitment; and appreciates the patience and resilience of all staff and students affected by the flooding and its aftermath. The Vice-Chancellor's commitment to put in place a collection rebuilding strategy for the Chifley Library has the support of Council.
Council's strategic discussion topic for the April meeting was Academic Board. The recently re-appointed Chair, Professor Jacqueline Lo, updated Council on her vision for the Board's future, and the importance of the Board in ensuring sound academic governance in respect of key strategic risks and issues for the University.
Socially responsible investment
In July 2013, the University adopted a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Policy, with clear Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) benchmarks. At the time, we became one of only a handful of universities worldwide using responsible investment to advance our objectives on social and sustainability issues.
Significant progress was made in ensuring the carbon intensity of our investment portfolio remained well below industry benchmarks in 2017. This was achieved while ensuring a solid return on the investment portfolio.
Council will continue to evaluate its investment portfolio for carbon intensity and socially responsible investment practice, whilst meeting its obligations to achieve a high and stable return on its investments. These efforts are a part of an overall commitment to making ANU a more sustainable university, and to contribute to the overall goal of global carbon emission reduction.
The 2017 report is available here http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-socially-responsible-investment-policy-2017-report
Council vacancy - Academic Staff Member (The Faculties)
Professor Jan Provis from the ANU Medical School has announced her intention to retire from the University with effect 1 July 2018. This will result in a casual vacancy in the elected Council member position of Academic Staff Member (The Faculties).
Under the Australian National University Act 1991 (hence the dated language attached to the title of this vacancy), an election held now would limit the appointee to serving the remaining three months of Professor Provis' term. Council has therefore determined the vacancy will remain unfulfilled for the short remaining period, but an election will be held following normal timeframes, to fill the position to serve the next term from 30 September 2018 to 29 September 2020.
ANU 75th Anniversary Project
In 2021 the University will celebrate its 75th Anniversary. To assist in commemorating this achievement, a 75th Anniversary History Project has commenced. The Project centres on the creation of a book and matching digital resource that will be broadly divided into themes: People, Ideas and Place. The content will allow users to access a layered and integrated representation of the University's history, including virtual or real-time navigation of the campus.
Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC