Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Building up engagement and trust

Over the next few months and years I will be working with you on a program of renewal for CQUniversity that is reliant on real, meaningful engagement and focused on building-up our reputation based on demonstrated accountability and transparency throughout the University. Staff, students, alumni, community and government expect accountability and transparency from us and we owe that to them – the people and organisations who support us now and into the future, our stakeholders.

It is my role, and that of all of us really, to do a better job of telling people what we are working on and changing that will help us become more engaged with our communities, more efficient and effective in our use of public funds and more responsive to the teaching and learning requirements of our students.

In the current economic, political and regulatory climate, however, we can become easily preoccupied by the complexities of funding, our ‘compacts’ with government and numerous issues around the provision of higher education in regional and international contexts – all worthy and extremely important issues in their own right. Distracted at that level, though, we risk losing sight of issues of primacy that resonate in our communities such as quality and excellence, real choice and diversity, university autonomy and academic integrity.

These are some of the issues, at the core of CQUniversity’s Strategic and Renewal Plans, which – linked to clear performance indicators and targets – will drive accountability and, by extension, drive the direction in which we go.

Equally, this information will be used as our report-card to ourselves and to the community, providing each of us with clear and consistent information about our purpose and performance. It will also help prospective and existing students, staff and other stakeholders (including government) make better informed choices about CQUniversity.

By being more accountable we will build more trust within the University and among our external audiences. Along the way we will stimulate a lot of dialogue (and probably some diatribe, too). What’s important to me is that accountability is comprehensive across the University and that we are engaging each other in a conversation that will create greater understanding of how and why we operate and what we are doing to manage costs and add value to the student experience.

Let’s not view accountability as a Herculean task but as an opportunity to engage and build trust … and renew CQUniversity.

Scott

4 comments:

Geoff said...

Scott,
This engagement needs to be seen as an extension of already great things done in the community. The University's involvement in the Business Excellence Awards, including the Uni's sponsorship, a volunteer judge coming from Business, and attendance in, and participation in, the dinner at the end. This was great to see.

...Geoff Higgins

Anonymous said...

CQUni suffers from the same old boring programs year in year out... I'm so over... Engineering, Teaching, Nursing, Business or variations of these... The general public is wanting something fresh and exciting to study.

Vice Chancellor - CQUniversity said...

How can you be bored with engineering, teaching, nursing and business!! I think these are great programs - but I take your point we need some new programs. I think we will have some of these soon. But what programs would you like to see - more to the point what programs do you think our community want to see?

By the way Geoff I agree I think that we have to see engagement as an extension of what we are already doing. We are doing some great "stuff". However I want us to be a leader in this field - in fact to be the most engaged university in the country. We need to see to see engagement as a two way process with the university and our communities having common goals and aspirations.

All the best

Scott

OBLIVION said...

Hello Scott,

As a student I would like to see programs offered which fosters cross-discipline study. Although I commenced an engineering degree, I have found passion in sustainability, environmental and also biomedical. Even though they are all housed in one faculty, I find myself unable to showcase projects I connect with as they fall outside the currently offered discipline check boxes, even though Engineers Australia would recognize these competencies if I were to apply privately. It would be ideal if such barriers were removed, and it would also remove the frustration some students face in having to study some courses not in their field of interest just to get their papers. There is so much to be gained from getting these silos to talk to each other, and I think this blog is a great start. I must say I do like the new approach to student centered learning..

Best Regards.