Today the University has released details of its changes to the School of Culture, History and Languages.
The release of this plan represents many months consultation, deliberations and planning by the staff and students at the School.
I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this process and I acknowledge that it has been a difficult time for the School and for the people involved. I would like to also express my gratitude to the Dean, Professor Veronica Taylor, and the School's leadership team for managing this challenging process.
What has struck me throughout this entire process is the overwhelming passion and commitment the CHL community has to excellence in teaching and research. This passion and the excellence that goes with it is recognised around the country and the world.
I am deeply committed to ensuring the School maintains its global reputation as the finest centre for Asia Pacific humanities, social sciences and languages.
The plan released today will ensure long-term financial stability for the School and its continued excellence.
Importantly it reaffirms our commitment to teaching the wide range of Asia-Pacific languages currently being taught, which are crucial to understanding the culture and history of our region.
As Australia's national university, ANU plays an important leadership role in making these languages available not only to Australian students but also to students from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Many universities around Australia have abandoned the teaching of many Asian languages and ANU acknowledges and accepts its leadership role to ensure these languages continue to be studied and taught.
The University will find new ways to grow enrolments and interest in the area so more students have the chance to study Asia Pacific languages.
Under the changes, a new name will be chosen for the School by staff and students and the academic departments will be reorganised into key areas including culture, histories, languages and environments.
The University expects the majority of academic staff in the School to be transferred to the new school and we will do everything we can to minimise job losses.
We anticipate fewer than 15 academic positions will be affected by the changes. Options for individual staff affected will include transfers to positions within University or transition to other arrangements, such as fixed-term pre-retirement or part-time contracts, to ensure that redundancies are kept to a minimum.
I invite you to read the full Change Implementation Plan which is available on the University website. Download the Plan [pdf 1.4kb]
I am certain that the changes will position the School for a strong and sustainable future while maintaining its international reputation as the world's finest school for Asia-Pacific humanities, social sciences and languages.