Council News – Meeting: 28 May 2021

28 May 2021

Council News  

Meeting 3/2021

28 May 2021

The ANU Council's third meeting of the year took place in the RC Mills Room, Chancelry, ANU Campus, on Friday, 28 May 2021.

Council members considered a wide range of important strategic matters, as follows:    

Vice-Chancellor's Report
Council discussed a report prepared by the Vice-Chancellor focusing on the ANU Below Zero initiative, the federal budget, parliamentary engagement, and the state of the Higher Education sector in 2021.

ANU 2025 
The Vice-Chancellor presented a progress report on the Strategic Plan - ANU 2025 and its four pillars:

  1. The University's national mission
  2. Delivering a student experience equal to the world's best
  3. Transformative research
  4. An equitable and inclusive - a fair - university of choice.

Following wide-ranging consultation within the ANU communtiy, the University will continue to progress the document to its final stages, with a view to presenting ANU 2025 to Council for approval on 30 July 2021.

Policy on Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom
In recent years the ANU Academic Board has led the University's policy development with respect to academic freedom. Beginning with the Academic Freedom Statement of 2018, and then the adoption in 2019 of the French Model Code for the Protection of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in Australian Higher Education. 

Whilst the ANU already has a strong culture of freedom of speech and academic freedom, the Model Code recommended that these protections be embedded in an institutions' regulatory or policy framework. 

As a result, an Academic Board Working Group was established in December 2020 and has developed the Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression Policy. As part of a broad consultation process, the final document was approved by Council at the meeting.  

Other matters
Council considered other significant matters including: the University's connection to its alumni, staff and students, project reports, the Socially Responsible Investment Report for 2020 and summaries of Council Committee and Academic Board activity since the last cycle of governance meetings in March and April 2021.         

National Reconciliation Week    
Council members attended a range of activities this week, including the burial pole ceremony, Reconciliation Action Plan launch, and the annual National Reconciliation lecture, which was delivered this year by the Pro-Chancellor, Ms Naomi Flutter.    
Next Meeting
Council next meets on Friday 30 July 2021.