In my message to you earlier this week I referred to the far-reaching changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to our world and to higher education globally.
It has never been more important for publicly funded universities to demonstrate value-for-money by contributing to economic recovery via quality teaching and research aligned to national priorities.
We have already responded quickly to the government’s call for education to support economic recovery by establishing short courses. Now we must think broader and longer-term to reshape our Institution in preparation for a very different higher education sector in a post-COVID-19 world.
To this end, we are moving to realign our University from five faculties into four.
The schools comprising the current faculties of Business (BUS); Law, Humanities and the Arts (LHA); and Social Sciences (SOC) will be realigned to form two new faculties: Business and Law (BAL) and Humanities Arts and Social Sciences (HASS). The faculties of Science, Medicine and Health (SMAH) and Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS) will remain unchanged.
The new Faculty of Business and Law led by Professor Colin Picker will comprise schools currently hosted in the Faculty of Business (BUS) together with the School of Law and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security (ANCORS). I extend my thanks to Professor Chris Cook for guiding the Faculty of Business and assisting with its transition to a new faculty.
The schools of The Arts, English and Media; Liberal Arts; and Humanities and Social Inquiry will join with the schools and research entities currently housed in the Faculty of Social Sciences to form the Faculty of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) under the leadership of Professor Glenn Salkeld.
This realignment builds on existing strengths while promoting closer collaboration across teaching, research and engagement. The grouping of HASS disciplines and business and law schools into single faculties also more closely aligns UOW with groupings commonly found in other Australian and overseas universities.
Front line teaching and research positions will not be impacted by this realignment and students will be unaffected, with academic school structures remaining intact and current course delivery continuing as scheduled.
This realignment will generate an immediate saving by abolishing two Faculty leadership positions (one ED and one FEM). Further savings will need to be made, but these will occur progressively using established change management processes once the new faculties are established.
More information about this realignment will be available to all staff on the UOW Coronavirus Response Intranet site from tomorrow.
I urge you to consider this change a positive opportunity to be part of forging two new faculties that will enhance and strengthen the future of the University.
Professor Paul Wellings CBE