Updates on the Budget, Recovery Plan and our annual awards

Update from the Vice-Chancellor
8 October 2020

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to you with an update on some key announcements and updates for the university community:

2020 Federal Budget

As you may have seen, the 2020 Federal Budget was released on Tuesday evening. There was a lot of information to digest, but in a year of many stormy days, the Budget has offered one silver lining. There is a one-off-injection of $1 billion towards research funding across the sector coming through in research block grants - and ANU will receive some of this funding. This much-needed boost will ensure that much of the vital work that takes place in our labs and in our libraries all across the country can continue. We are expecting this funding to flow in January 2021. I will keep you updated as we get more information from the Department.

It will also mean we are able to save some jobs here at ANU. However, the extra funding doesn't mean we are out of the woods by any stretch. We are still in for a tough time and we will still need to reduce our staff profile due to falling revenue and COVID-19, but it would now appear the reductions can be smaller than we thought before the budget.

There were further announcements about additional higher education short course placements and additional Commonwealth Supported Places in national priority areas. We are awaiting further detail so we can determine exactly how these might assist our community. I will publish information when it is available.

Timeline for ANU Recovery Plan

I understand that the ANU Recovery Plan process has many layers so I wanted to clarify the timeline, and when you can expect updates or information.

Today, we will publish the Consultation Outcomes and Response paper from Stage 1 of the ANU Recovery Plan. You can read the paper here: https://www.anu.edu.au/files/guidance/10-08_Consultation_Outcomes_and_Response_Paper.pdf.

On *Tuesday* 13 October, we will release an additional three documents:

  • ANU Recovery Plan;
  • College and Portfolio Recovery Plans; and
  • ANU Service Performance Framework (which sets out principles and tools for improvements in service delivery at ANU).

I will also be hosting an all staff meeting on Tuesday 13 October. You can register here.

From 14 October, there will also be staff forums held for local areas (Colleges and Portfolios). A list of local area forums will be published on our website as they are confirmed, and you will be invited by your College Dean or Portfolio head to participate.  I encourage you to attend, ask questions and contribute to your local area Recovery Plan.

ANU Recovery Plan Consultation Outcomes and Response paper

During the Stage 1 consultation period, we received 143 pieces of individual feedback, which included 181 suggestions and 924 questions.  We addressed 915 questions raised during the forums or sent via the ANU Recovery website and direct email. Thank you to everyone who contributed ideas, made suggestions to current activities or processes, or asked questions. My intention is to be open and transparent, and the high engagement from staff demonstrates our community's willingness to address these challenges together.

The Consultation Outcomes and Response paper is available on the ANU Recovery website. The document addresses feedback in three ways:  

  • Ideas and suggestions to be considered by the University and the relevant College and Portfolio as part of the Recovery Plans;  
  • Ideas and suggestions that are currently offered and supported by the University; and
  • Ideas and suggestions that are unable to be supported.

Vice-Chancellor's Annual Awards  

Finally, this year has been like no other and it is now, more than ever, important that we recognise individuals who are making extraordinary contributions. One of our core values is to celebrate our community and to acknowledge the achievements of our colleagues. I know there are so many people deserving of recognition and I am confirming that we will proceed with the 2020 Vice-Chancellor's Annual Awards and the 2020 Chancellor's Awards. Nominations are open, and will close on 30 October. You can view more information here.

Unlike previous years, we will be going virtual. I still want to bring people together - to say thank you, and to acknowledge their role in our community, at an event with all of our peers. And I know many of you will have colleagues, or work with teams that you would like to highlight and thank too. We will also be celebrating our 25 and 40 year service awards, recognising those who have dedicated the majority of their career to our campus.

I'll provide additional updates next week.



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