Council News – Meeting: 29 May 2020

2 June 2020

Council News  

Meeting 3/2020 - 1 May
 Meeting 4/2020 - 29 May 

Meeting 3/2020: COVID-19
Council scheduled an additional meeting on 1 May 2020 to further consider the progress made in the University's response to COVID-19, the development of a Financial Health Strategy and the Charter to guide the deliberations of the new COVID-19 Committee of Council.

At this meeting, the Council also re-appointed Ms Naomi Flutter as the Pro-Chancellor until 30 June 2022, and also approved Committee appointments. 

Meeting 4/2020
Council considered a full agenda, though with a continuing emphasis on the management of COVID-19, and especially a phased, carefully planned return to campus for staff and students following two months of distance from the University and from one another.  Council also considered a comprehensive report about the Expenditure Control Framework developed to manage the University's cashflow for 2020 and beyond. 

In noting all of the COVID-19 related updates, Council expressed its appreciation of the enormity of the situation still facing the University and remains committed to protecting the wellbeing of students, staff and research, as well as the financial position and reputation of the University.  

Vice-Chancellor's Report
Council considered a report prepared by the Vice-Chancellor which focussed on staffing matters, managing COVID-19 (including a recent staff forum attended by over 1000 people), and the return to campus strategy.

2019 Annual Report
Council approved the Annual Report for 2019 for presentation to the Minister, and then Parliament.  This outcome followed extensive consideration of key components (such as the Annual Financial Statements and the Performance Statements) by the Audit and Risk Management Committee earlier in the year.     

Council Membership - internal elections
Internal elections will be proceeding in mid-2020 for the three academic staff positions on Council as scheduled under current legislative arrangements (that is, the ANU Act 1991), with new two year terms to commence on 30 September 2020.   Information about these elections will be made available by July 2020.   

Council Membership - first and last meeting
The meeting was the last for Mr Peter Yu, appointed by the Minister for Education on 1 July 2016 for four years.  Mr Yu, the Council's Indigenous representative, will be joining the ANU in the Executive role of Vice-President (First Nations) from 1 July 2020.  In this capacity, he will also become the Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS).    

Ms Caterina Giugovaz commenced her two-year term as the new Professional Staff representative, having succeeded Mrs Claire Shrewsbury on 26 May 2020.    

Other matters
Council also considered a range of other significant matters, including:

  • Waiving all honorariums for external Council members for 2020;
  • The ANU Foundation Board Membership;
  • CECS Re-imagine Progress Report;   
  • The Student Safety Report;
  • The Staff Work Health and Safety Report; and
  • Summaries of Council Committee and Academic Board activity since the last meeting.              

National Reconciliation Week

After the Council meeting, the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor celebrated ANU Indigenous staff and students as part of this year's virtual National Reconciliation Week panel event.   The event was joined by Council and Executive members, staff, students and members of the public.    

Next Meeting

Council next meets (by video-conference), on Friday 31 July 2020.


The Hon Julie Bishop