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3/4 June 2014
The Board of Trustees met on 3/4 June 2014 in the Drawing Room, the Langham Hotel, Sydney. A summary of matters discussed in the open session of the Board meeting is provided below.
Confirmation of Minutes
The minutes of the 9 April 2014 meeting (PDF, 1574.6 KB) (opens in a new window) of the Board of Trustees were confirmed and can be downloaded from this page.
Main items considered by the Board
- Chancellor’s Report
- Vice-Chancellor’s Report
- Parramatta CBD
- Revised CGS/HELP Advance Payments for 2014 and the Impact on the UWS Budget
- The Academy
- Board Strategy Day
The Chancellor reported on the recent decision of the University to freeze fees for students enrolling and commencing in 2014 in order to provide certainty for students. The Foundation Council is working hard to develop a robust and innovative scholarship program across UWS and the Chancellor noted the Council members’ valuable contributions. The Chancellor is chairing a biennial governance conference in October entitled “Governing the University of the Future” and encouraged interested Board members to attend.
The Vice-Chancellor reported on the extensive coverage that UWS is achieving across all forms of media in response to the higher education reform package. The University has been ranked in the top 100 universities across the world that is less than 50 years old and this result is driven in part by our strong research output. Linda Taylor will be joining the University in August to take up the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and will play a key role in further developing the University’s international profile.
The Board discussed the recommendations of the panel that evaluated the tenders to deliver the project and agreed to proceed to the next stage of negotiations.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Scott Holmes, addressed the meeting to outline successes and challenges in the research portfolio at the University. Four key research themes have been identified for consultation and these include Education, Health and Well Being, Environmental Sustainability, and Urban Living and Society. Public funding for research is shrinking across the sector and the generation of research funds through innovation and engagement with the private sector will become more important.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Rhonda Hawkins, briefed the Board on the impact of the Federal Government’s proposed efficiency dividend on UWS. Government funding for 2014 will be down on budget, and expenditure will need to be carefully managed for the remainder of the year in order to minimise the impact of these changes.
The Academy has exceeded its 2014 target and now has more than 500 students in the program. More than 40% of the Academy students are first in their family to attend university and the students are from diverse backgrounds and ages.
The Board held its annual strategy day on 4 June. Presentations from senior staff of the University provided the backdrop for discussions and included the following topics:
- Our Future
- Update on our Strategy
- Our International Strategy
- Our Region and Beyond
- Scenario Planning
The Board agreed on a plan that confirms the strategic direction of the University for the coming years and the Chancellor thanked the Board members for their valuable insights and contributions.
OTHER REPORTS AND ITEMS CONSIDERED BY THE BOARD
- Our Future Action Program – Status Report
- Reports from Committees and an Advisory Council of the Board
- Staffing Matters
- Red Tape Taskforce
The Board’s next meeting will be held on Wednesday 10 September 2014.