Message from the Provost

Published: Monday 7th March 2016

ACU Provost Professor Pauline Nugent with Fr Anthony Casamento CSMA at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA

Message from the Provost Professor Pauline Nugent: I recently travelled to the United States and Rome to conduct university business which was highly successful, often in collaboration with Professor Michelle Campbell, Executive Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences and Father Anthony Casamento, Director Identity and Mission.

Meetings were held with:

  • The Catholic University of America (CUA)
  • DePaul University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • University of Notre Dame, and
  • St. John’s University.

Significant progress was made with each university including:

  • discussions around ACU’s flagship Core Curriculum;
  • new innovative academic pedagogies (e.g. DePaul’s Global Learning Experience);
  • a keenness to cooperate with ACU at our Rome Centre and extending ACU’s Study Abroad activity to new markets (including Notre Dame’s Jerusalem campus); and
  • furthering the concept of an international academic collective amongst Catholic universities, which was one of the key outcomes of  last year’s 25th IFCU General Assembly and Presidents’ Roundtable.

A highlight was my visit with Professor Michelle Campbell to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. A partnership is being forged by ACU’s Faculty of Health Science to deliver intensive Exercise Science programs for Notre Dame sports’ coaches, that articulate to a Masters of High Performance Sport. This academic collaboration is expected to attract ACU students from Australia and internationally, for delivery in mid-2017. Father Casamento met with Notre Dame’s staff from the Centre for Liturgy regarding closer collaboration between ACU’s Centre for Liturgy, including the joint hosting of a research colloquium in Rome, sponsored by both Notre Dame and ACU. The development of post-doctoral internships in the ACU Centre for Liturgy was also further discussed.

I also attended the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) Annual meeting in Washington DC, which is the peak body that represents over 235 Catholic universities in the US and overseas. Fr Casamento presented a paper at this conference on ways in which to engage young people in the Catholic Identity and Mission, whilst enrolled at Catholic universities.

Meetings were also held with CUA Provost, Dr Andrew Abela and I, whilst in Washington DC regarding our Rome collaboration discussing; Centre governance, relationship management and joint academic collaboration. Fr Casamento spent two days with CUA’s Campus Ministry Director to establish plans for a campus ministry program at our Rome Centre.

I also had the opportunity to travel to our Rome Center and talk with staff about strategy, operations, academic outcomes to date, final renovations, (chapel fit-out and garden make-over) and the official Blessing of the Rome Centre on 25 September this year. I attended the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Italy (AACUPI), of which ACU is now a member, by virtue of our Rome Centre.

L-R: Dr Teresa Walsh, Assistant Dean of Evaluation and International Outreach, CUA, Rhiannon Holmes, Catherine Seagrave, ACU Students,  Professor Michelle Campbell, Executive Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, ACU, Professor Patricia McMullen, Dean and Ordinary Professor, School of Nursing, CUA, Monica Shahat and Zoe Flanagan, ACU Students at Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington DC, USA.