Dean's Report

University Planning and Budget Conference

Last Wednesday Keryn Negri and I attended the annual University Planning and Budget Conference which focused on the Strategy 2030 Discussion paper and the University’s budget for 2020. The Vice-Chancellor reiterated his ambition for Melbourne to be recognised as a ‘top-flight’ university which led to a productive discussion around what this would mean in the context of the five emerging themes for Strategy 2030. Along with those present, we proposed several strategic areas the University could consider in the strategy including its relationship with students pre-university, the potential to expand its approach to admissions and to provide leadership in order to drive new policy approaches to senior secondary assessment. I look forward to keeping you informed as the emerging strategy continues to develop over the coming months.

Alongside the University’s other faculties and schools, MGSE’s operational budget was approved in principle. Our operating revenue remains relatively stable, although our expenses will increase in 2020 as a result of a timely and important increase in staffing. We have been successful in negotiating an increase in strategic funding to support the implementation of our strategic plan and a reduction in the projected gross margin. I am satisfied that our team has achieved a good outcome for MGSE for 2020.

Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Last week I also attended my first meeting, as a member, of the new Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy Expert Advisory Group which, over the next 18 months, will guide the formation of a national mental health strategy for children aged 0 -12 years. The Expert Advisory Group is chaired by Professors Frank Oberklaid and Christel Middeldorp who will lead the accomplished team members on this important and exciting task. I am honoured to be involved in the development of this long over-due strategy.

Melbourne Social Equity Institute

Recently, I have been involved in the Review of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute (MSEI) which has been an interesting opportunity to see first-hand how the University conducts its reviews, but more importantly to learn more about the wonderful work undertaken by the Institute. The MSEI has made a considerable contribution to addressing challenging social equity issues, provided significant cross-University and external leadership in the development of community engaged research and has engaged widely with government, industry and the broader community. Our review team was able to identify the significant achievements and acknowledge the wonderful work of the talented Institute team led by highly accomplished Professor Bernadette McSherry.

Global Deans Forum

Next week I will be in Shanghai to attend the Global Deans Forum which will be a great opportunity to work and link with over thirty Deans of Education from prominent universities around the world. My thanks are extended to Lorraine Graham and John Polesel who will share the Acting Dean role while I am away.