- Official Launch Livestream
- The History of UWS
- Your Stories
- - Miriam Mikol, Key Administrator
- - James W. Guthrie, Network University Mentor
- - John Aquilina, Politician and Protector
- - Owen Carter, Transitioneer
- - Ralph W. Rawlinson, Planner
- - Brian Smith, Founding Vice-Chancellor
- - Ian Turbott, Foundation Chancellor
- - John M. Ward, inaugurating Acting Vice-Chancellor
- - Betty M. Andersen, Innovative Nursing Educator
- - Ronald E. Parry, On Her Majesty's Public Service
- 25 years in 25 weeks
Miriam Mikol, Key Administrator
Religious sister, educator, Chifley & UWS administrator 1987-1999; Secretary General of the International Union of Superiors General; Provincial Chapter facilitator, Western Europe.Born in Chicago, USA, Sister Miriam Mikol (a religious sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth order) ‘missioned’ to Australia in 1966 as a secondary mathematics and commerce teacher. Her first postings were to Marayong in Sydney's western suburbs, after which she had a distinguished career as a lecturer and administrator with Catholic Teachers College, North Sydney, the Catholic College of Education Sydney, the NSW Higher Education Board (HEB) and the NSW Higher Education Commission. A result of her work was the establishment of a database on the educational needs of Western Sydney. Through the HEB, her exposure to the western suburbs increased. She chaired and was a panel member on the assessment of many New South Wales College of Advanced Education (CAE) teacher education and nursing programs, including at Nepean, Macarthur and Hawkesbury. She was also an external adviser to Nepean CAE for many years before joining the staff at what became the University of Western Sydney.
When the Minister formed an Interim Council to establish a university in Western Sydney under the name ‘Chifley University’, she was seconded with two others (Peter Martin from the HEB; and Ralph Rawlinson, former chairman of the NSW Education Commission) as part of the planning committee for Chifley University out of the Interim Council’s offices on Macquarie Street, Parramatta. Mikol and Rawlinson spent most of their time negotiating with the other educational stakeholders in the area, and with the sponsor of the development, University of Sydney, to describe the needs and projected programs for the new University. She participated in the negotiations for the Werrington North site, and in aggregating the land for Werrington South, and with the University of Sydney in order to identify planning directions.
When the Chifley University Interim Council was closed at the end of December 1988, Mikol transferred to a position in ‘special projects’ at the Nepean campus, bringing to bear the understandings and databases developed in the Chifley program on the new developments. She would be a particular influence on data-driven decision-making approaches to research development. For Mikol, part of the problem was getting quality information, retaining and maintaining information that had been gathered during the Chifley development years, and coordinating it for planning purposes. Her development of the DIMPS (Development and Information Management Planning Services) office at UWS Nepean provided Jill Maling, Head of Nepean, with access to competitive information often before other universities were capable of understanding the range of information they had access to under the increasingly rigorous reporting requirements of the Commonwealth. “It was quite ahead of the sector.” Nationally and internationally, Mikol remained active in the study and formation of Higher Education policy, contributing to publications by university organisations and with the OECD.
In 1999, Mikol was reassigned to the coordinating body for global religious orders in Rome (the International Union of Superiors General). From 2007, she was made Coordinator of the Leadership in Mission Project Management Board, in which capacity she travelled across Holy Family’s global network and developed (with Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement) a Master of Science degree in Community Leadership.
The value of Mikol’s contribution to UWS in its early years — largely carried out in a spirit of community service and on often ‘invisible’ technical projects — can easily be forgotten. Her precise, data-driven approach, however, was very important in the development of defensible policy options, from her time with the HEB, through her period with Chifley University Interim Council, and her employment with UWS Nepean. It is probable that few others at the time had her in-depth demographic knowledge joined to a commitment to community service, a sense of mission, and mastery of the language and concepts which informed contemporary Australian higher education. If one includes her internationalism, Mikol begins to sound like precisely the sort of senior academic leader which universities desperately needed coming into the 2000s. By then, however, she was in Europe, encouraging her Order to embrace the global age. She was a leader before her time, and an important centre for consistency in the UWS community from the point of its very conception, through to the period of unification at the end of the 1990s.
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‘Chapter 2010,’ http://www.nazarethfamily.org/eng/17_07_2010, accessed 25.5.2011.
‘Local Appointed to Key Job in Rome’, http://cathnews.acu.edu.au/908/index.html.
‘Sr. Miriam Joseph Mikol lives the international spirit of the CSFNs’, Nazareth Connections, vol. 3, no. 1 (Spring 2009), p. 8.
Allen, John L. ‘Round tables in Rome’s religious life’, National Catholic Reporter, 1 March, 2002.
Knight, Jane and Hans de Wit, Quality and Internationalisation in Higher Education, Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1999.
Maloney, Kelley, ‘SLPA’s New Master’s Degree for Catholic Sisters Begins in Rome’, Duquesne University Times (January 2009), p. 5.
Mikol, Miriam, Interview with Carol Liston, UWS 20th Anniversary History Project, UWS Archives.
Ravasio, Rose, ‘New Master’s Degree Combines Faith, Service and Leadership’, Christian News Wire, http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/439757116.html, accessed 25.5.2011.
Sobehart, Helen C., Women leading education across the continents: sharing the spirit, fanning the flame, University Council for Educational Administration; Duquesne University; American Association of School Administrators, Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009, p. Iii.
 ‘Sr. Miriam Joseph Mikol lives the international spirit of the CSFNs’, Nazareth Connections, vol. 3, no. 1 (Spring 2009), p. 8.
 ‘Local Appointed to Key Job in Rome’, http://cathnews.acu.edu.au/908/index.html,
 John L. Allen, Jr., ‘Round tables in Rome’s religious life’, National Catholic Reporter, 1 March, 2002
 Rose Ravasio, ‘New Master’s Degree Combines Faith, Service and Leadership’, Christian News Wire, http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/439757116.html, accessed 25.5.2011; Kelley Maloney, ‘SLPA’s New Master’s Degree for Catholic Sisters Begins in Rome’, Duquesne University Times (January 2009), p. 5.
 ‘Chapter 2010,’ http://www.nazarethfamily.org/eng/17_07_2010, accessed 25.5.2011; Helen C Sobehart, Women leading education across the continents: sharing the spirit, fanning the flame, University Council for Educational Administration.; Duquesne University.; American Association of School Administrators, Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009, p. iii.