As we all continue to work remotely, I know that the news of an additional five days ‘recharge leave’ was greeted appreciatively by staff. This acknowledgement by the University of the cumulative strain of living through the COVID-19 pandemic is a welcome and practical initiative. As the Vice-Chancellor articulated in his email, this leave can be taken in a way that best suits you, for example as long weekends or all at once as a week. I strongly encourage you to use this leave in order to give yourselves the opportunity to recharge your batteries and to take some time out of your work schedules to concentrate on your wellbeing.
The University has also designed new student initiatives, based on feedback received from the student community, to increase support for our students, both domestic and international. A new raft of programs have been announced including an expansion of the Access Melbourne and Melbourne Graduate Scholarships programs, and an expansion of scholarships for international students. These programs are aimed at supporting students from diverse backgrounds to start or complete their education at the University.
Professional Services Redesign
This week sees the implementation of Phase Two of the Professional Services Redesign as part of the Pandemic Reset Program. This means the new operating model for University Communications and Marketing (UC&M) and Student Recruitment and Admissions (SR&A) is now in place. This restructure sees staff members, formerly working in MGSE, moving across to a divisional group, which in our case is MGSE, the Melbourne Law School and the Faculty of Business and Economics. The new Human Resources operating model will be implemented in a later phase in October. The new MGSE Professional Staff organisational chart and the roles in the new University structure are available for staff to view. These changes mean that some staff have left the University and others are transitioning to new roles. It will take some time for us all to become familiar with the new structure, and I would ask for everyone’s patience as we move through this transition. I would like to thank all the professional staff who have been involved in this process for well over a year. I have been greatly impressed by the professionalism and resilience you have shown throughout this process.
The senior leadership role of Associate Dean, International is now open for Expressions of Interest after Professor Lorraine Graham finishes up in the role. During her two years in the position Lorraine devoted much energy to this portfolio, focusing on the development of the MGSE international strategy, sustaining and developing new international partnerships, representing MGSE on the University International Advisory Group, and other committees, and encouraging the internationalisation of MGSE’s curriculum and teaching. Lorraine has done a stellar job bringing her expertise, passion and conviction to this important aspect of MGSE’s work and I extend my deepest thanks to her. I encourage academic staff, level D and above, to consider applying for this role and to seize the opportunity to lead in this key area for MGSE and the University.