Council News – Meeting: 6 December 2019

13 December 2019

The Chancellor - Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC

The 455th meeting of the ANU Council was held in the RC Mills Room on Friday 6 December 2019. 

It was the Chancellor's 63rd and final meeting in the Chair before his retirement on 31 December 2019.  On the joint motion of the Pro-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor, Council unanimously resolved to formally record that Professor Evans, after a decade of extraordinary service to the ANU, will leave the role of Chancellor on 31 December 2019 as one of the great, most influential and committed ambassadors to have served the University.  

Vice-Chancellor's Report

Council considered a detailed report prepared by the Vice-Chancellor focusing on senior staff appointments, the Global Institute for Women's Leadership, Indigenous engagement, the Indonesia Initiative, Scholarships, Respectful Relationships and a recent visit by the global CEO of Microsoft. 

Council also noted that the Vice-Chancellor was invited to appear on the ABC program Q&A on Monday 9 December and that, on Tuesday 10 December 2019, the Rt Hon Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, will receive an honorary doctorate at the University's first 'Grand Graduation Ceremony'. 

Strategic Presentation - Research and Innovation

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Keith Nugent, presented a summary of 2019 research performance highlights and challenges confronting the University.  Council noted the presentation and also that research excellence will be a strategic item for discussion at the Council Planning Day next February. 

New Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy

For over two years since the release of the Australian Human Rights Commission report: Change the course: National report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities (2017), the University has been responding to the recommendations in the report.  In completing this work, the ANU has also recently released the new Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy, against which the University will now report to Council, beginning in April 2020.

College of Health and Medicine - TRANSFORM

The Dean, College of Health and Medicine, Professor Russell Gruen, presented a Concept Brief designed to reposition the University as a leader in medicine, population health and psychology.  Called TRANSFORM, its essential vision is to advance the health of nations by focussing on research capacity and excellence; distinctive educational experiences; local, national and international influence; and a collegiate collaborating community. 

Council endorsed the development of a detailed business case being developed for presentation to Council by December 2020.

Other matters

Council also considered a range of other significant matters, including: the 2020 University Budget, the Internal Audit Work Plan for next year, student enrolments, and summaries of Council Committee and Academic Board activity since the 3 October meeting.        

Next Meeting

Council next meets at the ANU in Canberra on Thursday 13 February, followed by its annual Planning Day, concluding on Friday 14 February 2020.


Ms Naomi Flutter