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
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.