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Murdoch University Senate

22 October 2008 - Senate Minutes


Present:

Mr Terry Budge (Chair)
Prof John Yovich (Vice Chancellor)
Mr Brian Aitken
Ms Janice Bowra
Prof Nick Costa
Mr Gerry Georgatos
Mr Russell Gibbs
Mr Reece Harley
Mr Garry Hunt
Mr Tony Iannello
Dr Marian Kemp
Mr Darren Munday
Dr Jacqueline Phillips
Dr Lyndy Scott
Ms Eva Skira
Dr Stewart Washer

Secretary: Mr Jeremy Rigg
Observers:

Mr Ian Callahan (DVC Corporate)
Prof Gary Martin (DVC Faculty, Enterprise & International)
Prof Jim Reynoldson (DVC - Research)
Prof Jan Thomas (DVC - Academic)
Assoc. prof Beverly Thiele (President, Academic Council)
Mr John Pike
Ms Clare Middlemas (for itm 7 only)
Ms Basha Stasak (for item 7 only)

Apologies

Dr Jacqueline Phillips


  1. MEMBERSHIP
  2. APOLOGIES
  3. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST (MURDOCH UNIVERSITY ACT s17A)
  4. VICE CHANCELLOR'S REPORT
  5. FACULTY REGULATIONS
  6. ANNUAL REPORT ON STUDENT LOAD
  7. REPORT FROM THE GUILD OF STUDENTS
  8. MINUTES
  9. ACADEMIC COUNCIL
  10. AUDIT & RISK MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
  11. LEGISLATION COMMITTEE
  12. RESOURCES COMMITTEE (PAPERS & DISCUSSION COMMERCIAL IN CONFIDENCE)
  13. OFFICIAL SEAL
  14. SENATE MEETING DATES 2008 AND 2009
  15. MATTERS FOR INFORMATION

1.MEMBERSHIP

The Chancellor welcomed Associate Professor Beverly Thiele to her first attendance at Senate as President, Academic Council.  Senate also congratulated and welcomed Ms Janice Bowra who had recently been re-elected to a further 3 year term to Senate commencing January 2009.

The Chancellor also welcomed Mr Paul Niardone to his first Senate meeting as a co-opted member, noting that Mr Niardone was an alumni of Murdoch and had served on the Advisory Board to the Murdoch Business School.

Mr Niardone noted that it was an honour to be able to serve Senate and thanked Senate for the opportunity to do so.

2.APOLOGIES

Dr Jacqueline Phillips.

3.DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST (MURDOCH UNIVERSITY ACT s17A)

Mr Georgatos noted in relation to item 7, that he is an employee of the Guild of Students. Mr Harley noted in relation to Item 6, that he is an employee of the Business School.

Mr Niardone made a standing declaration of interest as a member of the board of the Small Business Development Corporation, and as the Executive Director of Professional Public Relations (WA), which has from time to time been engaged by Murdoch University.

4.VICE CHANCELLOR'S REPORT

Prof Costa, Mr Callahan, and Ms Skira joined the meeting during this item.

It was noted to Senate that the Vice Chancellor would be leaving the meeting early in order to hold a briefing with the Hon Troy Buswell, who would be joining Senate for dinner immediately following the meeting.  This was an excellent opportunity for interaction with the Treasurer and Minister for Science and Innovation early in the term of the new government.  It was intended that the Vice Chancellor would brief him on key issues, including issues raised for Murdoch by the proposed new intersection on Murdoch Drive between the Fiona Stanley Hospital and the University, and the development of policy and strategy within the Science and Innovation portfolio.

The Vice Chancellor advised the Senate that Murdoch’s proposal to the Higher Education Endowment Fund, out of 55 applications, was one of only 14 to go to the second round, and the only one from a WA university to do so.

It was also noted from the media articles attached to the papers that the Higher Education sector remains a difficult operating environment, with a number of universities facing redundancies and deficits.  It appears that any Federal action to address the decrease of funding in real terms that has occurred is not likely to be taken before 2010.

The Vice Chancellor spoke to his report. Key points made during discussion included the following:

  • The Australian University Games was a particular highlight, with 124 athletes from Murdoch attending and winning 19 medals.  Our Sport and Recreation Manager, Adrian Fisher, and the entire Guild team are to be congratulated.

  • The recent Murdoch Lecture, presented by Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield CBE, was a success attracting a full house.

  • The Sustainability Expo held on campus, organised by the Guild’s Sustainability Representative and the University’s Environmental Coordinator, was successful in promoting the breadth of sustainability related activities at Murdoch to staff and students.

  • Murdoch staff were successful in receiving two of only ten awards awarded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council earlier in October.  The awards were made to Professor David Hill and his team for the Australian Consortium for “In-Country” Indonesian Studies, and to Dr Jane Pearce and Elizabeth Moore for the UniFocus program.  These awards include a $25,000 prize.

  • Professor Brian Nook was named the National Chiropractor of the Year 2008 by the Chiropractor’s Association of Australia.

  • Murdoch student Clare Burzenski won a bronze medal as a member of the Australian Women’s Basketball team at the Paralympics in Beijing.

  • Murdoch has received a number or marketing awards recently, including WA Australian Marketing Institute Awards for Brand Revitalisation and Education, and a 2008 WebAward for Best University Website.

Senate agreed to pass its congratulations to the recipients of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council awards, and to the corporate services team for their efforts leading to the recent marketing awards.

The Chancellor invited the Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Thomas, to speak briefly to her paper.  Professor Thomas highlighted the work done in relation to equity and social inclusion matters.

Resolved:
S/37/2008
That the Chancellor, on behalf of Senate, write to Professor David Hill and his team and Drs Jane Pearce and Elizabeth Moore to congratulate them on their Australian Learning and Teaching Council awards.
Resolved:
S/38/2008
That the Chancellor, on behalf of Senate, write to the staff of the Office of Corporate Communications and Public Relations to congratulate them on their contributions towards securing the recent WA Australian Marketing Institute Awards received by Murdoch.

5.FACULTY REGULATIONS

Prof Yovich left  the meeting during this item.

The Chancellor asked that the President of Academic Council, Associate Professor Beverly Thiele, speak to this item in relation to the process that had been followed since it had been discussed at the previous meeting of Senate. Assoc Prof Thiele noted that the approach taken by the Working Party following the input of Senate was to go back to basics in relation to ensuring the regulations aligned with the intent of the new structures, rather than to focus solely on the issue of representative presence on committees.

Assoc Prof Thiele further advised that changes were made to strengthen and clarify the decision making processes, including strengthening the role of the School Board, and clarifying the role of the Faculty Committees and Learning and Teaching Committees as advisory.  It was also noted that Senators Hunt and Skira attended the meeting of Council at which the regulations were passed.

After brief discussion, Senate resolved to approve the regulations as requested.  Mr Georgatos voted against the motion.

Resolved:
S/39/2008

to approve the Faculty Regulations as attached, which will replace the Faculty Regulations implemented under S/49/2007, in its entirety.

6.ANNUAL REPORT ON STUDENT LOAD

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Faculty, Enterprise & International) Professor Gary Martin, presented this report. Of particular note in relation to trends shown by the numbers presented were:

  • Murdoch’s percentage growth in student numbers in 2007 was the highest of all of the WA universities.
  • Commonwealth Grants Scheme students still comprise 61% of total load, with International Onshore and Offshore students comprising a further 15% and 14% respectively.
  • 2007’s main load growth was in International Onshore and Offshore students, at 12.5% and 71% respectively, with CGS growth only slight at 0.8%.
  • Effective promotion of our “Study Abroad” program in Germany has seen a significant increase in students from this country attending Murdoch.
  • While there has been a decline in the HDR load, this is in part due the “pipeline” of ongoing students meaning that fewer scholarships were offered this year due to existing funding commitments.  In addition, HDR load per FTE remains high for Murdoch (ranked 8th among the Australian universities).
  • Revenue growth profile and forecasts continue to highlight the importance of a focus on the International Onshore cohort.

The Chancellor thanked Professor Martin for his comprehensive presentation.

7.REPORT FROM THE GUILD OF STUDENTS

The Guild President, Ms Clare Middlemas, and the Guild Education Vice President, Ms Basha Stasak, spoke to their presentation. They advised Senate that the Guild has withstood the impact of VSU comparatively well, having the 2nd highest level of financial membership in Australia.  In 2008, they have undertaken a restructure and review in an endeavour to remain in a good position to continue to meet the challenge that VSU presents to their operations.

Highlights from the Guild’s support services in 2008 included a successful campaign to reinstate the Federal government Jobs, Education and Training Child Care funding program, as well as the level of assistance provided to students to directly address the challenges of poverty.

The presentation also included an overview of the Guild’s governance structure, events, clubs and sporting achievements, as well as the significant growth of the Guild’s program for recycling of computers for sending to third world destinations.

8.MINUTES

Subject to correction of some minor typographical errors, Senate confirmed the minutes of the meeting held on 27/08/2008 and confirmed the minutes of decision by circulation effective 16/10/2008. It also noted a report of action taken to implement previous resolutions of Senate.

Secretary's note: Mr Georgatos abstained from voting in relation to the 27/08/2008 minutes

9.ACADEMIC COUNCIL

Senate noted the minutes of the meeting of the Academic Council held on 17/09/2008. There were no recommendations requiring a Senate resolution.

Secretary’s note: All legislative amendments are dealt with under the Legislation Committee item.

10.AUDIT & RISK MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Senate noted the minutes of the meeting of the Audit & Risk Management Committee held on 5/08/2008. There were no recommendations requiring a Senate resolution.

11.LEGISLATION COMMITTEE

Senate noted the minute of the Legislation Committee (in a decision by circulation resolution) effective on 16/10/2008 and resolved in accordance with the recommendation of the committee as follows:

Resolved:
S/40/2008

to approve the attached amendments to the Postgraduate Coursework Regulations  (AC/103/2008, AC/119/2008 andAC/120/2008).

12.RESOURCES COMMITTEE (PAPERS & DISCUSSION COMMERCIAL IN CONFIDENCE)

Senate noted the minutes of the meeting of the Resources Committee held on 24/09/2008. There were no recommendations requiring a Senate resolution.

13.OFFICAL SEAL

Senate noted the official seal report provided in accordance with resolution S/51/2007.

14.SENATE MEETING DATES 2008 & 2009

Senate noted the meeting dates for 2008 & 2009.

15.SENATE MEETING DATES 2008

Senate noted the matters for information

The meeting concluded at 7:00pm