VC’s Update – High level visits to campus and an update on the new Strategic Plan

11 November 2016

Hello everyone

I am writing this week's update from Indiana, right in the heart of the Midwest of the United States, where we've witnessed an extraordinary national election. What the Trump administration will mean for the United States and the world is yet to be seen, but ANU values its relationships with American institutions and will continue to build on our academic ties. Those of you who haven't yet read enough commentary on the US election might like to check out the analysis of many ANU experts on our US Election Live Blog.

Regardless of the big national events here, I have had a very productive few days meeting key people from Indiana University.

As I have said many times, international partnerships are extremely important to ANU and are therefore critical to our strategic direction.

I was delighted to be able to meet one of our very prominent and valued Alumni, Professor Michael McRobbie AO, who is the President of Indiana University.

Professor McRobbie has long been an inspiration to many at ANU in terms of his achievements and it was wonderful for me to be able to meet him in person. I would like to thank him for the warm welcome that he gave to me and the support that he has continued to provide to ANU.

While visiting his university I was privileged to be able to give a public address on my own research into the expansion of the universe, and I was also able to highlight the value of extending the already strong relationship between our two institution. This culminated in an agreement to offer a new dual Masters program from both of our universities.

In other meetings, I discussed our expertise in cybersecurity and possible collaboration opportunities this offers us with IU; looked at building on our already very strong links in the Pan-Asia Institute and School of Global and International Studies; and discussed a new program of exchange and collaboration between IU's Art and Media School and the ANU School of Art. This was extremely exciting and I look forward to being able to update you all with developments that have taken place in this arena in the future.

In news back home, this week started with a visit from Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, and our partners in the CO2CRC to campus on Monday to launch an X-ray microscopy laboratory at ANU. Following a $5 million upgrade, the renovated lab will help with the technologies needed to better store carbon dioxide. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen.

On Wednesday ANU ran the Reconciliation Lecture, which is a significant event in our calendar. This year we were extremely pleased to welcome to campus The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould PC, QC, MP.  She is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, MP for Vancouver Granville, a lawyer, advocate, and former Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations. This is the first time that we have brought in an international speaker for this lecture, which we decided to do as the issue of restoration affects us all.

I have been told that we had a huge response to the lecture and it went very well. Thank you very much to our Chancellor, Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, and acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, for hosting her on my behalf.

We also had a lecture from the former Chinese Foreign Minister this week, who came to discuss the state of Australia-China relations.

I am happy to advise you that the new Strategic Plan is progressing. We are expecting a draft to go to council for its meeting on 2 December 2016. We are planning to release the Plan at a State of the University Address that we will hold in February. A save the date will go out in the near future for this event, and I am greatly looking forward to being able to share the new plan with all staff and students of the University.

I would like to thank all of the people who were involved with the process. My executive team and I greatly appreciated the input that so many of you provided.

Have a great weekend



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Comment by David Lucas
9.30pm 23 Nov 2016

I am looking forward to seeing how Africa (especially the creation of a hub for African studies and research) features in the new Strategic Plan.