Futures Project Report
Published: Tuesday 7th October 2014
Following the approval by the University Senate on 18 September, we are pleased to share with you the report on the implementation of the Futures Project.
The report provides details on the outcomes of the Futures Project, which was undertaken by the University from July 2013 as a proactive approach to significant changes occurring across the Australian Higher Education sector. To ensure the continuance of ACU’s strong position, the Futures Project undertook in-depth analysis of the University’s current situation and direction. As a result, three major activities were commenced as part of the Futures Project – a realignment of ACU’s academic structures, a Research Intensification strategy and a review of professional services delivery across the University. The benefits to be achieved through these activities were outlined in the original Futures Project Blueprint, and were also circulated to all staff on 19 December 2013.
The report assessing progress against these benefits indicates significant progress has been made.
Due to the realignment, ACU now has four faculties that align with ACU’s mission, strengths and areas of growing demand. Consistent school structures are now implemented across all Faculties, to support a stronger national approach, including an extension of academic supervision across campuses. The report very clearly documents that the scale of change has been significant. The efforts of staff in the Faculties in managing these changes along with Directorate staff undertaking system, space, data and other important changes through the Futures Implementation Working Group are very much appreciated by the Senior Executive Group.
New structures were also formed to support the implementation of a five-year Research Intensification strategy. New research institutes have been created in alignment with the University’s mission and identified areas of strategic importance: Theology and Philosophy, Common Good and Social Justice, Education and Health. The strategy seeks to enhance our research capacity and build ACU’s research reputation and network at the international level. Work to further strengthen research capabilities under this strategy will continue as part of the University’s normal activities and commitment to continual improvement.
The third activity commenced through the Futures Project was an analysis of professional service delivery across ACU. The ongoing work of this review has transitioned to the Service Matters Framework – which is being implemented by the Service Matters Improvement Team. The team is continuing implementation work to embed systems, processes and principles to support a strong service culture.
The benefits of the work undertaken throughout the Futures Project could not have been realised without the dedication and support of ACU staff. Times of organisational transition can be challenging for each of us, and I would like to thank staff for their input into the Futures Project and their willingness to support the changes that will ensure ACU’s continued success in an increasingly competitive environment.
Professor Pauline Nugent and Dr Stephen Weller.