24 June 2009

The Board of Trustees met on Wednesday 24 June 2009, in the Boardroom, Building AD, Werrington North. A summary of matters discussed is provided below.

Confirmation of Minutes

The minutes of the 8 April 2009 meeting of the Board of Trustees were confirmed and can be downloaded from this page.

Main Items Considered by the Board

Response to 'The Australian' Article
Board Performance Assessment
Vice-Chancellor's Report
Campus Safety
Board Strategy Day Report
Research Framework 2009-2013
Executive Presentation - College of Health and Science
Investment Policy and Credit Risk Policy
Remuneration and Nominations Committee
Board Membership
Other Reports and Items Considered by the Board
Date of Next Meeting

Response to 'The Australian' Article

The Board expressed its concern about the damaging article Study warns of UWS decline in The Australian reporting on a research report sponsored by the NTEU entitled Overload.  Responses from several active researchers at the University indicated that the study was of poor quality. More importantly it has been used to disparage the region, the University, its students and staff. The Board expressed the hope that the Union would in future act in good faith and contribute to, rather than detract from, the University's growing reputation and that any research it sponsors in future conducted by University staff, adheres to the standards and protocols applied by the University to all of its research activities.

Board Performance Assessment

In closed session the Board reviewed the consolidated information from its biennial Performance Review Self-Assessment Survey and the Chancellor briefed the Board on the recent University governance review conducted by the NSW parliamentary committee.

Vice-Chancellor's Report

The Vice-Chancellor's report to the Board of Trustees included the following items:

  • UWS announces next Dean of Medicine
  • Associate Professor Ian Anderson wins Asia Pacific Young Scientist Award
  • Federal funding for UWS
  • Successful tender for Health Services Education
  • SMExcellence
  • Parramatta Community Justice Clinic
  • School of Medicine receives full accreditation status
  • Swine flu management update. For more information, please see Health and Travel Advice
  • UWS 2009 Open Forums
  • "What Matters?" essay competition. For more information, please see the Whitlam Institute website
  • Whitlam Institute fundraising lunch

Campus Safety

The Board noted the concerns raised about safety of international students, particularly Indian students in universities nationally and actions being taken at UWS. The Board discussed campus safety more generally and gave strong endorsement to the commitment, agreed at the Board Strategy Day in May, to plan, design and resource our campuses to create a safe and welcoming environment.

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Board Strategy Day Report

At its Strategy Day in May the Board had engaged in extensive consideration of the changes to the higher education environment; the student experience at UWS; the University’s teaching and learning plan; the University's research agenda and strategy; its organisational strengths and strategic choices for the next five years.

The Board approved the following strategic objectives:


We will pursue overall growth in pathways and award courses and research student numbers.

Student Services:

We will invest to improve the experience of students on campus and the accessibility and spectrum of student services, with a focus on first year.

Teaching and Learning:

We will build our capacity in multimedia learning and be a leader in the application of technology to multi-campus teaching and 'anytime anywhere' learning.

Research Investment:

We will boldly and selectively increase our investment in research concentration, based on evidence of potential and performance.

Research Growth:

We will accelerate internal funding to build research strength in the sciences and engineering, health and medicine.


We will

  • increase the numbers and quality of academic staff
  • dramatically reduce paid redundancies and paid early voluntary retirements
  • invest proactively to search for, find, develop, attract and keep talented and productive research staff and groups.

Engagement and Inclusion:

We will achieve national pre-eminence in regional engagement, social inclusion and educational opportunity.


UWSCollege will diversify and expand throughout our region, and possibly beyond.


Strategy - All campuses, with the exception of Nirimba, will become potential growth campuses with expanding academic offerings, subject to student demand and financial viability, and maximising the use of e-technology between sites.

Environment - We will plan, design and resource our campuses to create a safe and welcoming environment.

Infrastructure - We will use our teaching facilities more creatively, profitably and cost-effectively in preference to building.

Research Framework 2009-2013

The 2008-09 research review was conducted in the context of the University’s ongoing successful implementation of the 2004-2008 research strategy.

The Board endorsed the UWS Research Framework 2009-2013, which outlines the next phase of intensive growth and consolidation, ensuring that within the next five year plan, research excellence will not only characterise research concentrations but all Schools and Colleges.

Executive Presentation - College of Health and Science

Professor Beryl Hesketh, Executive Dean of the College of Health and Science, provided a presentation on the College's key strategies, significant challenges and achievements and key directions for the next three to five years.

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Investment Policy and Credit Risk Policy

The Board approved the Investment Policy and the Credit Risk Policy. These policies will be available on the Policy DDS in the near future.

Remuneration and Nominations Committee

The Board confirmed:

  • The appointment of Mr Stuart Nisbett as an external member of the Campus Development Committee for a two year term; and
  • The Committee’s endorsement of the appointment of Buse Komuksu and Jarrod Morgan as student directors of uwsconnect for two year terms.

Board Membership

This was the first regular Board meeting for Ms Gillian Shadwick and Mr Michael Antrum, who were appointed to the Board in April.

This was the final Board of Trustees meeting for Professor Anne Cusick, in her ex officio position as Chair of Academic Senate. She has tendered her resignation from that position effective from 1 August 2009. Professor Cusick has been Chair of Academic Senate, and therefore a Board member, since 2004. The Chancellor thanked Anne sincerely for her contributions to the Board and noted her skills, as Chair of Academic Senate, in achieving change in the academic sphere.  She remains Provost of Campbelltown Campus.

It was also the final Board of Trustees meeting for Jennifer Brown, who was elected as graduate member in October 2006. Her term ends on 30 June 2009. The Chancellor commended the commitment to environmental issues which Jenny had brought to the Board and noted that she will continue as the Chair of the University’s Greening Taskforce.  Dr Ken Langford is the incoming graduate member.

The Board discussed the Ministerial appointees whose Board terms end on 31 December 2009 and authorised the Board Standing Committee to make recommendations to the Minister.

Other Reports and Items Considered by the Board

  • School of Medicine:  Rural Clinical School
  • Strategy and Resources Committee
  • Audit and Risk Management Committee
  • Report from the Chair of Academic Senate
  • Joint Meeting of the Campus Development and Strategy & Resources Committees
  • Indigenous Advisory Council
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Staffing Matters
  • H1N1 (Swine Flu) Virus
  • New Student Organisation Progress Report 

Date of Next Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday 2 September 2009.

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