Dean's report

Dean Jim Watterston
Professor Susan Wright's retirement

This month sees the retirement of one of our esteemed colleagues Professor Susan Wright, Chair of Arts Education at MGSE and Director of the UNESCO Observatory of Arts Education. Susan’s successful leadership in practice and research in arts education has had global impact, in particular her work on children’s learning through artistic domains. We will be celebrating her distinguished career on Friday 27 July at studioFive.

Dean's Forum

Thank you to all the staff who attended the recent Dean’s Forum which focused on the new supervision structure for MGSE. For those staff who were unable to attend the forum, we presented a handout of the new structure and discussed the principles behind these changes. The crux of these changes is that we want to create a work environment where we build a strong collegiate team with supervision that supports our aspirations and endeavours and which results in a supportive, respectful rewarding culture. The cognate groups to which you’ve been assigned have the intention of giving every staff member a home at MGSE and the opportunity to be a part of a team; this does not by any means constrain staff from partnering across the Graduate School. I hope you’ve all had a chance to look at the new structure and if you have any concerns about the cognate group you have been assigned to, and would like to be considered for a change of group, please send a short rationale to our HR department. The new supervision is scheduled to commence in August 2018.

Pursuit story

The recent story in Pursuit on leadership styles by Gavin Slemp and Lara Mossman, from the Centre for Positive Psychology, was an interesting read and an opportunity for us all to reflect on the types of leaders we are in our workplace. As mentioned in My First 90 Days report I am convinced that authenticity, fairness and transparency are the key to good leadership and that positional power should never be confused with leadership. As the Pursuit article elaborates, intrinsic motivation is regarded as the highest quality form of work motivation because it tends to foster greater workplace wellbeing, proactivity, engagement, and performance. It is also more sustainable because when employees are intrinsically motivated, they are self-motivated.

2018 UQ Alumni Award

Finally, I would like to congratulate Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw AO who has been awarded the   2018 University of Queensland’s Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence award for his significant contribution and outstanding leadership in educational research and policy.


*Erratum Issue 11 – Professor Johanna Wyn was incorrectly referred to as becoming an MGSE honorary fellow when she will in fact be the Redmond Barry Emeritus Professor.