Chapter 4: Enabling change
- A new model for academic organisation and governance
- The organisation of the University’s administrative services
- The University Economic Model
- Using the new structure as a vehicle for achieving change
It is a theme of this Green Paper that our current academic and administrative organisational arrangements create complexity and duplication; both fragment disciplinary communities and hinder cross-disciplinary research; and are excessively costly. Theseproblems are arguably exacerbated by our current approach to resource allocation. In the first part of this chapter we briefly outline the key features of a new model for academic organisation and consider its most appropriate pattern of governance; outline a new pattern of administrative organisation; and consider a new resource allocation mechanism that we have already begun to introduce. We will then consider ways in which we might use these more enabling structures to tackle core issues in the achievement of the University’s strategic purpose, in particular how we might tackle the problem of its appropriate size and shape. The test for any proposed structure is whether it helps us: to address more effectively than we do now the key issues of duplication and overlap in academic programs and administrative processes; to deliver better services and support for staff and students; and to generate the savings needed to enable the University to fund the borrowing required to service our infrastructure program. In the second part of this chapter, we return to consider our preferred model for academic organisation in greater detail, and in particular, to propose a pattern for its ‘vertical’ units.
Our preferred model of academic organisation has a simpler structure of ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ units than we do at present. By ‘vertical’ units, we mean units such as ‘faculties’ and ‘schools’. By ‘horizontal’ units we mean units such as ‘institutes’, ‘centres’ and even ‘networks’ that bring together members of staff who are characteristically members of a ‘vertical’ unit such as a ‘faculty’ or ‘school’.
Throughout this document, and particularly in this chapter, we shall often use these terms ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ units rather than terms such as ‘faculty’, ‘school’, ‘institute’ or ‘centre’. We also use the term ‘constituent unit’ to mean a smaller organisational unit located within a larger grouping. This is because we are agnostic about the use of terms such as ‘faculty’ or ‘dean’. In any restructuring it might be the case that some faculties, currently independent units, become constituent units within larger groupings. Should they then lose the title faculty? In our view this is not necessary. There are often cogent reasons to keep the faculty title and retain the position of dean, especially in many of the professional faculties where brand and effective outreach to a profession are critical. Decisions on nomenclature might be best left to the organisational grouping itself. Indeed some faculties already prefer the title school (‘Sydney Law School’) and more recently the faculties of Medicine and Nursing and Midwifery have sought to emulate this nomenclature (while retaining the title ‘dean’). The important issue is that battles over nomenclature should not derail the far more important academic, governance and administrative questions involved in any restructuring. Moreover, we note that, both nationally and internationally, the nomenclature used to describe different organisational units within a university is often inconsistent, not only between institutions, but frequently within the same institution itself.
The structure of vertical units that is explored as our preferred structure in the second part of this chapter, was arrived at after consultation with the deans of the existing faculties. The model that they, and we, prefer involves a College of Arts and Sciences offering the foundation undergraduate, postgraduate and research training programs of the University in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Alongside this College, specialist schools would offer education in one or more professional fields. Themajority of these schools would offer a cluster of related professional programs, many of which are currently offered in different faculties. This model of organisation for the vertical units is similar to, but in important respects significantly different from, one found in many North American universities. It combines several features of organisational structures more common in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, with the basic North American pattern of a College of Arts and Sciences and professional schools.
One important respect, though not the only one, in which our preferred model differs from the North American model is that we do not propose that the professional schools should offer only postgraduate education. The University has for a long time been an innovator in graduate-entry professional education. More than 10 years ago we became the first in Australia to introduce graduate-entry programs in education and medicine. Since that time, we have continued to develop programs offering graduate entry to a wide range of professions including architecture, education, engineering, dentistry law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and the allied health sciences. These programs have been widely emulated by other Australian universities and in some universities there has recently been a move to providing professional education programs only at graduate-entry level. However, the model of wholly graduate professional education is not one that the University intends to follow. We believe that there is value to tailoring our curriculum so that it provides multiple pathways into professions better to meet the needs of the different student populations that come to university. Undergraduate pathways to professional study are very popular among students, often in combined degree programs. These are perfectly valid and pedagogically sound ways of combining the virtues of a broader focus with studying for professional qualifications. Offering choices in respect of pathways for professional entry programs recognises the needs of different student groups and provides a wider range of options. Just as importantly, it reflects the fact that we have never understood professional education to be a program of training. As we shall outline in Chapter 5, our professional education programs both at undergraduate and postgraduate-entry levels are underpinned by the same core graduate attributes; they reflect the same commitment to ‘education’ in its broadest sense, and not mere professional ‘training’.
Our preferred model, then, contains the vertical units of a College of Arts and Sciences and various professional schools, most offering a range of undergraduate and postgraduate education. But it also consists of a clearer hierarchy of ‘horizontal’ units than we have at present. Centres and institutes and similar horizontal units are crucial if we are to draw together the vertical units of the University in effective collaboration around cross-disciplinary research and education. Indeed, we argue in Chapter 6 that there is a place for a small number of really large-scale horizontal units of this type similar in scope to the Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease mentioned in Chapter 3. Crucial to the success of the horizontal units is a better model for their governance. Work has been proceeding on an appropriate model, not least in preparation for the Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease, but also more generally, and a proposed approach to the governance of horizontal units is offered in Chapter 6.
As for the governance of the vertical units in our preferred model, the College or professional schools, this would be effected by means of a board chaired by a dean. Thisboard would consist in at least the heads of the constituent units of the College or school, but it might also include other representatives of those constituent units.
The position of dean of the College or professional school ought not to be confused with the position of ‘pro-vice-chancellor’ of a college that the University has known in earlier times. That position merely added an extra layer of leadership between the working academic and the Vice-Chancellor and his team, and had responsibility for setting the direction of the relevant college. But the position of dean of the College of Arts and Sciences or professional school, at least where the school is constituted of more than one existing faculty, would be constructed in quite a different way. In particular, the position would have three functions. First, the incumbent would chair the board of the College or school. Responsibility for the governance of the College or school would rest with the board: the dean would be the servant and would be bound by its decisions. Importantly, responsibility for the budget of the College or school would remain with its board. Second, the dean of the College or school would have explicit responsibility for encouraging cooperation between the constituent units of the relevant College or school, particularly around curriculum reform and academic planning. They would also have responsibility for fundraising with a focus on activities that could tie together the work of the different constituent units. In other words, they would be an agent for collaboration in education and research between those units, and their personal performance would be assessed in large part by the extent to which that had been achieved. Third, they would have responsibility for whatever administrative functions the College or school discharged under the system outlined below, but it is assumed that the administrative functions of the College or school would be relatively minor and the administrative staff of the College or school very few.
Crucially, the role of dean would probably be filled in a slightly different way in the College or each of the schools. In the second part of this chapter we propose that the Provost should usually be the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and that the dean of the professional schools might sometimes also be the dean of one of the constituent units, though it would perhaps more normally be an additional role independent of the constituent units. The deans of the professional schools would report to the Provost, not least to encourage cooperation between those schools and the College, particularly in the teaching of foundational material.
More generally, under Senate, the University would continue to be governed by two bodies, the recently reformed Academic Board and the body now called the Senior Executive Group (though the latter ought properly to be renamed). The Academic Board has responsibility for ensuring the appropriate maintenance of academic standards in the University by approving new courses and, we would propose, in cooperation with the Senior Executive Group, reviewing the work of the academic units on a regular cycle. TheAcademic Board also has the function, as an elected body, of offering comment on, and assistance with, the academic work of the Senior Executive Group. As outlined in Chapter 3, the Senior Executive Group consists of a regular meeting of the deans, deputy vice-chancellors and directors of some University services, and seeks to bring coordinated decision-making across the faculties and to operate as a type of University ‘council’. The membership of the Senior Executive Group will need to be reconsidered carefully once a new ‘vertical’ structure is agreed upon. The effectiveness of the new arrangements for Senate will also, of course, be continually monitored in Senate’s assessment of its own performance.
It is crucial to the success of this structure that greater clarity around resource allocation is achieved, both as regards the allocation of resources from the university-wide administration, and also within the College or individual professional school. The model that we are currently implementing for resource allocation is outlined below. But first, we should consider the issue of the structure of the University’s administrative services.
A new academic organisational structure requires reconsideration of the ways we deliver administrative services. As we have argued earlier, the trajectory at the University of Sydney, at least over the last 20 or so years, has been to devolve significant amounts of administrative responsibility away from the University’s central administrative units to academic units such as faculties and schools. Thus faculties offer a comprehensive array of administrative services and fund them out of their own budgets. Of course there are also major central administrative services, in part to coordinate, and sometimes supplement, the various faculty services; for example, student recruitment, the International Office, corporate communications, the Research Office, the Scholarships Office, the Student Centre, and core functions delivered through professional service units such as finance, human resources, infrastructure and information and communications technology. But our tendency over the past few decades has been towards decentralisation. In some periods of our history there have even been attempts to devolve these coordinating functions to units larger than the faculty, but smaller than the University (the experiments with divisions and colleges of the 1990s outlined in Section B of this chapter).
In the last five years or so, however, there has been an increasing awareness of the costs (both financial and in efficiency loss) of this decentralisation. Thus there have been significant efforts to develop a new relationship between central and devolved services under the rubric of ‘shared services’. On the basis of this concept the University has initiated a process of integrating (or in some instances reaffirming the central authority for) key services such as finance, information and communications technology, and human resources, staff recruitment and remuneration. Faculty and school staff in these areas have gradually been transferred to the budget lines of the central portfolios, with staff allocated to teams to support faculties and schools. The key principle underpinning this approach to administration was the evidence that a significant amount of all administrative work (over 50 percent according to an audit of a sample of standard processes in different areas) involved the processing of simple transactions such as journal transfers, procurement orders, requests to advertise and so on. Thus highly qualified administrative staff often spent too much of their day doing these simple transactions. The shared services solution was aimed at creating larger ‘back-office’ transaction teams, with appropriate economies of scale, and then allocating back to faculties staff at higher levels of responsibility with greater expertise who could offer faculties better strategic advice, policy formation assistance and administrative and operations coordination.
The principles behind shared services are sound but the implementation has been patchy. Some of this is due to the teething problems to be expected after the introduction of any new system. Outsourcing transactions to a private provider in the area of staff recruitment, for example, did not lead to an increase in the quality of service and some faculties believed that the quality had diminished considerably. Over time, however, some gains in efficiency and cost savings have been made, notably in the areas of staff recruitment and finance. There are further improvements in the quality and cost of a number of shared services still to be achieved. Nonetheless, overall, the shared services strategy has not achieved the quantum leap in quality and efficiency of administrative services originally envisaged. It is evident that there is some inherent tension between the shared services agenda and the strength of faculty structures. A considerable number of faculties, unhappy with the pace or quality of shared service support have shifted costs (and staff) to central budgets and then back-filled with new staff to ensure that the faculty still had its own staff to cater to the specific needs of deans, heads of school and faculty administrations. In other words, duplication and overlap has been exacerbated in some areas, a phenomenon which we understand to be characteristic of the early stages of this process in organisations with a history of devolution. In the context of strong faculty structures, where faculties are responsible for so many processes and are held accountable each year for their performance, it is natural that they should seek to have their own administrative support staff. The fact that some shared services have not been rolled out with sufficient attention to the specific circumstances or distinctive cultures of the different faculties has fostered an understandable suspicion in some quarters about the efficiency of shared services, driving the tendency to back-fill. What this means, however, is that overall the cost savings from shared services have not been as significant as at first anticipated.
Moreover, there are other dimensions to the provision of administrative services that do not fall within the ambit of shared services. For example, in Chapter 3 we outlined the difficulties of duplication and waste in relation to student administration and marketing. The shared services project has not yet attempted to deal with the duplication of functions that have traditionally been regarded as faculty business. In one important area, this problem may, in the medium term, find a technological solution. As outlined in Chapter 5, the Sydney Student Project, a major initiative in the introduction of a University-wide student administration information technology system, should reduce the burden on faculty and school offices. Students will still need academic advice from their faculties, but there will be an opportunity to think through the purpose and function of student counters. The critical point here is that the impact of technology change is an additional factor driving administrative transformation at the University.
But, more generally, we believe that the ‘shared services’ project is one that should be pursued rigorously across the range of University administrative services and that the question should be asked of each administrative function, including those traditionally regarded as faculty business, whether responsibility for the function best rests at a University-wide level or at some other level. Work has already begun on this project.
We would, however, offer one very important caveat. For many administrative functions, it is essential that academic leaders, such as deans and heads of school, feel adequately supported by locally available administrative assistance. Our existing approach to shared services has not always adequately recognised this. For this reason we strongly support a model of ‘distributed’ services for many types of administrative service for which responsibility appropriately lies with a central portfolio. Under this model, staff delivering services would have a hard line of responsibility to a central unit of which they would be part, but they may be physically located proximate to the offices of an academic unit such as the College of Arts and Sciences, a school, or a faculty, and more importantly, have a dotted line of responsibility to the head of that academic unit. Some services in the University, such as Development and Alumni Relations, are already implementing a model of this type. The crucial point is that the accountability and location of those providing administrative services of different types need not, and often ought not, simply to reflect the academic organisation of the University. There are important academic reasons for reorganising the academic structure of the University in ways outlined in the following chapter. There are important reasons for simplifying control over our delivery of administrative services. But the academic and administrative structure of the University need not, and indeed should not, simply mirror each other.
Many of the less happy characteristics of our current organisational life flow from a complexity of resource allocation at two levels: first in the way in which resources are distributed from the University to the faculties, and second in the way in which resources are distributed from the faculties to their various constituent units such as schools and departments. Resource allocation mechanisms create incentives for behaviour that may or may not be in the interests of the University as a whole. A good resource allocation mechanism will set the right incentives, incentives that can align behaviour with the interests of the University. It will also ensure that every level of the organisation, from the most local to the most University-wide, understands how its own behaviour influences either income or costs, and shares in both those income and cost effects. If this is not the case, then mechanisms for resource allocation may operate to undercut a unit’s ability to pursue effectively the shared agendas of the University.
The University is in the process of implementing a new Economic Model that has several key features. First, it assumes that the core business of the University is in education and research and treats only those units that engage in education and research as income-generating units. In that the University earns income from investments or from the business activities of various University-wide professional service units and portfolios, that income should in principle be committed to the development of our unallocated endowment. We have recently established a so-called ‘Future Fund’ as a repository for our unallocated endowment. This approach emphasises that the focus of the University-wide professional service units and portfolios is on serving the academic units of the University, and not on generating subsidiary income streams. Not a little complexity in our institutional life has been created by such ventures, few of which have created the income streams that were envisaged for them. The only exception to this principle is public funding for various University-wide initiatives within the responsibility of a particular portfolio that cannot be attributed to the work of any given academic unit. That funding should, in principle, remain with the portfolio for the achievement of the dedicated purpose.
Second, the model assumes that the income generated by a particular academic unit should, as a starting position, be fully returned to that academic unit. This principle should apply equally in the relationship of the University to its faculties and in the relationship of the various faculties to their constituent academic units. A model where academic units see, initially, the full effects of their work, will enable them to understand more clearly what activities generate the funds to sustain their operations, which will, in turn, encourage academic units to invest time and energy in activities (courses, units, short courses, summer school and so on) that they perceive bring a good return. It should also allow academic units to gain a clearer insight into the costs of any activity and thus enable them to perceive that some activities that look to be profitable are in fact unprofitable when one weighs the expenditure against the return. Thus transparency should promote a more informed and entrepreneurial culture, one where academic units can weigh up, more thoughtfully than before, the relative academic and financial merits of particular activities. In this way they can seek to maintain and improve the quality of the unit’s academic work in a financially sustainable way.
Two objections might be made to a model that begins the process of allocation with this assumption. The first is that this clear understanding of the income and cost effects of particular academic decisions might cause academic units to prioritise the profitable over the academically worthwhile, and endanger teaching and research in important, but unprofitable, disciplines. This problem is partly overcome by the process of income redistribution that is built into the model and outlined below. But the objection rests on the rather strange contention that we are better off not knowing which of our activities attract, and which consume, resources. We may, and should, frequently make the decision to subsidise loss-making, but academically important, activities. But when we do so we should fully understand the extent of the subsidy, and be sure that the object of the subsidy is something that we want to support in this way. The second objection to this model is that it might discourage the cross-disciplinary collaboration we so want to encourage by setting academic units in competition for resources. The answer to this is two-fold. First, the model may actually encourage collaboration by helping academic units to see that it is often cheaper to collaborate in the creation of a shared academic resource than it is to duplicate its creation. At the moment, academic units often see the income, but not the cost, effects of such duplication. One feature of the new model is that it should attempt to be as transparent about costs as it is about income. Second, the model assumes that there will be the reallocation of resources to projects of University-wide significance in a way outlined below. It is undoubtedly the case that the point of many of these University-wide projects will be to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration in accordance with the approach to research strategy outlined in Chapter 6.
The third feature of the model upon which we are working is that, where possible, costs entailed in the activities of a particular academic unit should be borne by that unit. This is one of the most difficult aspects of the development of the new model and one on which work is currently proceeding. It is not easy to categorise costs into different types. For example, it may be more effective to distinguish between, on the one hand, costs where the transaction costs of attributing them to the activity of a particular academic unit are sufficiently low to justify their direct allocation, and on the other hand costs where some proxy, such as a per capita charge, would be a more appropriate means of recovery. We are currently working on this aspect of the model to ensure that it neither renders the model excessively complex, nor obscures the level of costs incurred by a particular academic unit.
The fourth feature of the model is that it will involve charges levied on academic units for four purposes: to fund central portfolios and services; to create a strategic project fund to seed new initiatives of University-wide significance; to create a reinvestment fund to sustain our major infrastructure program (probably a levy for the use of space); and finally to support academic units that for a variety of reasons are deemed strategically important but unable to fund their operations either in the short term (in which case there will be a business rescue plan) or in the long term (because current higher education funding mechanisms do not make it feasible to make a particular area financially viable).
This new model should have a number of outcomes. Almost all of these arise from the increased transparency that it should lend to resource allocation within the institution. This will inevitably assist, not only in the day-to-day running of the University, but also in the strategic planning of individual units and of the institution as a whole. But we also believe that transparency in the allocation of the resources of a publicly funded institution is a good in itself.
One outcome of this transparency is that it will make more explicit than ever before the significant extent to which educational activities cross-subsidise research. This will enable us to more clearly indicate to the federal government the costs of being a research-intensive university. It will also afford the University an opportunity to assess the utility of various forms of cross-subsidy. This does not imply that cross-subsidies will cease or diminish. A failure to maintain appropriate cross-subsidies for research would be a disastrous outcome of greater transparency. It is essential for the international standing of the University, its global impact, its contribution to the public good and the quality of its research training and teaching that we sustain the health and wellbeing of our vibrant research culture. This will require significant cross-subsidy. Nevertheless, by making the fact of the cross-subsidy explicit, the new model will afford us an opportunity to insist that it is on the basis of demonstrated performance.
A second outcome is that the University will be able to identify, more easily, those areas of the University that are struggling financially. This will enable a more informed assessment of the underlying factors in this situation. Early intervention to arrest serious financial difficulties is essential. Thus we can engage in appropriate investigation to assess whether the key factors underpinning the financial state of a particular academic unit are largely within the hands of that unit (in other words the result of either poor revenue generation or inadequate cost control), or whether they rest in more fundamental challenges (such as the inadequacy of government funding or the unattractiveness of a particular discipline for fee-paying students). If the problem can be remedied, then we can partner with the academic unit to develop a business plan to eradicate the deficit over a period of time, justifying a temporary cross-subsidy. Other academic units will then know the reasons for the redistribution of resources. If the situation is not amenable to remedy within the realities of Australian higher education funding (local and international) then the University can have a serious conversation about the intrinsic worth of this academic activity (in terms of such criteria as academic significance, cultural significance, research impact or national and international contribution). If the assessment is positive then, this will justify long-term cross-subsidy and all parts of the University will have committed to sustaining this unit, know the reasons for it, and have some idea of the level of the cross-subsidy.
A third outcome is that the model will make explicit the fact that all academic units have to contribute to the creation of a reinvestment fund to finance major infrastructure projects and ongoing maintenance and refurbishment. There is some appeal to this contribution operating as a levy for the use of space. At present we have no equitable means for allocating and reallocating space to different parts of the University. Muchof the current allocation is based on historical patterns of occupation, and opportunism in the occupation of space. Thus we have some academic units that have become smaller over the years but still occupy an old space envelope, and others that have grown significantly larger but have no new space to support this expansion (threatening their capacity for further growth in areas such as research and research training). Spacecharges are unlikely to free up individual offices or small groups of offices (because the costs of supporting a small cushion for future expansion will probably not be prohibitive and prudent management suggests if one has space one should keep it). Nonetheless, it might give us a lever to reallocate whole floors (even multiple floors) if academic units see an opportunity significantly to improve their budget bottom line.
A fourth outcome is that the model should make central portfolios more responsive to the needs of academic units. Each year the proportion of faculty budgets allocated to support central services and portfolios would be up for renegotiation. In this context deans and heads of school would have an opportunity, in conjunction with the central budget team (consisting of the Vice-Chancellor, the Chief Finance Officer, the Provost and three deans) and the Senior Executive Group as a whole, to discuss whether charges for central services should be increased (to fund more services or more staff to improve the quality of the service), reduced or maintained at the same level. This is an area where robust exchange is likely, but a proper environment for assessment of performance is essential to maintain good central services and portfolios. Using annual budget discussions to focus this discussion is a useful mechanism to sustain quality.
Finally, the new Economic Model will make explicit, for the first time, that there is a defined strategic purposes fund to seed major new initiatives. Again faculty deans and heads of school will be part of a broader budget conversation, not least in the Senior Executive Group, about the core purposes of that fund and its size. At present the nature and extent of strategic funds is opaque, meaning some faculties draw on it more often than others because they have a tradition of using it, while other faculties are unsure of whether it exists and how to access it. Again greater transparency is the key for more informed decision-making regarding the strategic allocation of such funds.
The model for the reorganisation of the University proposed in this chapter has, therefore, three crucial parts. First, it depends upon a clearer structure of both ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ academic units. Second, it requires that University administrative services be reformed to reduce duplication and increase coordination along the lines of a ‘distributed’ services model. Finally, it requires rules as to resource allocation that are both clearer and better aligned with the overall good of the University. We believe that this reorganisation is essential if the University is to be positioned to face three crucial challenges: the challenge of curriculum reform and improving the student experience; thechallenge of maintaining and strengthening our disciplinary base, while building critical mass in key areas of cross-disciplinary activity; and the challenge of releasing resources to invest in staff in an era of greater international competition and to invest in our ageing infrastructure.
In particular, we are keen that the boards of the ‘vertical’ units of a simplified academic structure should be given the important task of applying our statement of strategic purpose as a test to what they do. For this reason, it is crucial that the ‘vertical’ units of the University be of a significant size. Within a smaller disciplinary community, it is all too easy for special pleading to preserve existing entitlements and for individual activities to avoid facing the logic of their academic and financial performance. Butwithin a larger decision-making group, informed by clear evidence of the academic and financial performance of constituent units, and with difficult decisions to be made about, for example, the extent of cross-subsidy that might be offered to one constituent unit by the others, the question of the extent to which a given activity contributes to the achievement of our strategic purpose becomes unavoidable. The key to planning our size and shape, and to focusing our activities on those that really do achieve our strategic purpose, is to empower cognate academic communities to hold one another accountable both in terms of academic quality and financially. At the University level, this can happen through the deliberations of the Senior Executive Group and, in a different way, the Academic Board. At the next level in the structure it should happen in the boards of the ‘vertical’ units (in our preferred model, the College of Arts and Sciences or professional school). It is this discipline of peer critique on the basis of clear information about both academic and financial sustainability that has been missing in the University during its period of enormous expansion over the past few decades.
It is important to emphasise that this process is likely to focus the activities of the University in two ways. First, over time, it will undoubtedly mean that we cease some of those areas of teaching and research that are unable to justify their place in an institution committed to our statement of strategic purpose. The best forum in which to test what, if anything, we should stop doing, is one involving a group of broadly cognate disciplines. There are undoubtedly some areas of teaching and research that would be better left to other universities and we are keen to advance our strategic planning in conjunction with other higher education providers. Second, the statement of purpose will give us a means, within the fora provided by these fewer ‘vertical’ units, for the more robust testing of proposals before we expand into new areas of activity. In both these ways, the tendency of the new structure should be towards focusing, rather than expanding, our activity. It is also within these units, with their particular understandings of the disciplinary context, that decisions can best be made, for example, about the relative balance of postgraduate and undergraduate programs, and international and domestic students, as each unit searches out the most promising students, in line with its need to be financially sustainable. A simplified structure involving fewer ‘vertical’ units seems crucial to the ongoing ability of the University to develop strategically.
In considering any possible model for the ‘vertical’ units of the University, three things need to be borne in mind. First, our current faculty structure is culturally strong but not inevitable. This is true both as regards the number and organisation of the faculties, and of the constituent units within the faculties. A quick comparison with other Australian universities confirms that fact. In the current higher education context, Sydney has more faculties than any other Australian university (Melbourne has 11, plus Melbourne Business School and the School of Graduate Research, Queensland has seven, the University of New South Wales has eight, plus the Australian Defence Force Academy, and Monash, the largest university in Australia, has 10). Similarly, arrangements within faculties vary considerably. For example, at the University of Sydney, geography and psychology are in Science, and criminology in Law. At Melbourne University, geography and criminology are in Arts, and psychology is in Medicine. In other words, there is nothing essential in our current structure: it has the virtue of existence but other universities of international renown lack many disciplines we offer, and arrange their disciplines and cross-disciplinary programs in very different ways. To venture reform in the structure of the University of Sydney is not to break with tradition, but to accept that the University has changed remarkably since its inception and may need to change further to equip it to remain a leading international institution of higher education. Moreover, any proposal for change should not simply reify the existing faculty as the basic unit of organisation. We should be prepared to look more radically at the appropriate arrangement of academic groups from across the University, even if this involves splitting some current faculties.
Second, the University has a recent history of reorganisation. We are aware in making these proposals that there have been successive efforts to reduce the complexity of our faculty structure, and to overcome the challenges created by that complexity: efforts to minimise overlap, to provide better coordination and to streamline administrative services and decision-making. Thus in 1991 the University was organised into four academic divisions, and in 1996, three colleges (Health Sciences, Science and Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences), before an abortive attempt in 2006 to create an unspecified number of clustered faculties under the direction of executive deans. This is not the place for a detailed historical analysis of those attempts, though we do believe that they were hampered in part by a failure to address appropriate governance, administrative and resource allocation arrangements. In particular, earlier reorganisations effectively left existing faculty structure and functions in place, and imposed an additional level of administration and decision-making. We believe that the arrangements outlined in the first part of this chapter avoid that pitfall. The fact that the University has failed to achieve a satisfactory solution to the problem of organisational complexity is a sobering reminder that reorganisation poses genuine risks. It is clear that we are operating in a context in which cynicism is high. If reorganisation were to fail again, or to introduce a structure that faculties sought to subvert rather than embrace, then this could put back the institution many years. However, the question of a large and complex faculty structure would not go away. That reorganisation has been attempted before is testament to the recognition, strongly acknowledged in our consultations, that the current structure is unsustainable.
Third, while we strongly commend to the University a structure involving a College of Arts and Sciences and professional schools, the precise shape of the College and individual schools is something that should be the subject of debate during the consultation process. In the following section we propose what we believe to a desirable configuration, and raise specific questions about that structure for consideration. Butthe eventual shape of the College and schools must be determined primarily by academic considerations and we are keen that during the consultation period both individuals and academic units collectively consider the possible advantages of different configurations. Of course, some structures are more justifiable than others, but our discussion of the preferred model evinces our awareness that there are several possible combinations of disciplines that could be effective to create critical mass in currently dispersed disciplines, facilitate curriculum reform, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and enable administrative efficiencies.
In arriving at a preferred model for the academic organisation of the University, we considered four possible models. Each of these was discussed with the current faculty deans and each was the subject of financial modelling. The first three were: a ‘divisional’ model common in Australia, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe; a model involving a College of Arts and Sciences and professional schools common in North America; and a model similar to this second, but with the addition of a division devoted to research and research training found, for example, at the University of Chicago.
Our preferred model is a distinctive structure that draws on elements of both the North American system of a College of Arts and Sciences and professional schools and the UK and European divisional system. We believe that it recreates the Rev. Dr John Woolley’s foundational vision for the structure of the University. The major elements of this model are outlined in the following two paragraphs and explained further throughout this section. Remember that we have no attachment to any of the names that have been given the vertical units of this description and that an important issue for the further development of the model will be the units to which terms such as ‘faculty’ should be attached.
First, the new structure would contain a College of Arts and Sciences. This would consist in either three or four faculties (Arts, Science, and Education and Social Work; Arts, Social Science, and Science; or Arts, Social Science, Education and Social Work, and Science). In either case, we argue that the general social science activities of the Faculty of Economics and Business (such as the disciplines of Economics, and Operations Management and Econometrics (‘Econometrics’), the Graduate School of Government, and the Centre for International Security Studies) should move to the College within a general social science grouping, as should the Agricultural Economics group from the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Agricultural Science activity of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources might also move into the College. Each of these possibilities is discussed further below.
Second, under the preferred model, there would be five professional schools. These would consist in a School of Business, a School of Law, a School of Creative and Performing Arts, a School of Medical and Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Health Sciences), and a School of Engineering, Design and the Built Environment (Engineering and Information Technologies, and Architecture, Planning and Design).
One possible version of this proposed organisational structure is represented in Appendix 10, with some preliminary analysis of different revenue streams. This analysis indicates that all but one of the units would have a sound financial basis, and a plan for the support of that unit would have to be developed under the principles of the University Economic Model. Each of the elements of our proposed model should be considered in turn.
The College of Arts and Sciences is a crucial (and perhaps the most radical) piece of this proposed structure, and the benefits and shape of the College as a proposal merit further explanation. First, many of the faculty deans saw it as a powerful educational message to send out to the wider community: one that embraced the principle of a generalist education as foundational, while remaining committed to a focused, responsive and research-enriched education in key professions of national and international significance. Moreover, the College model embraces a vision that seeks to bridge the divide between CP Snow’s ‘two cultures’, bringing together, in potentially fruitful alliance, science and the humanities and social sciences, creating opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration in research and teaching. We believe this is a vital foundation for building relevant curricula, research training and research programs in the 21st century.
Second, some of the most significant problems of current overlap and duplication are apparent in these generalist faculties. A College structure will provide a basis for greater collaboration and possible amalgamation of currently disparate units to generate greater critical mass in such key fields as sociology, social policy, linguistics, ethics and history and philosophy of science.
Third, the College would ideally provide a forum for curriculum reform, a single point of administrative contact for students, and a simplification of degree resolutions to improve the student experience. This would greatly enhance our education offerings by tackling the problems associated with our generalist degrees outlined in Chapter 5.
Fourth, a College that incorporated key social science disciplines from Arts, Education and Social Work and some elements of Economics and Business, affords the University a greater opportunity to enhance its standing and impact in the area of the social sciences. As outlined in Chapter 4, the University has a significant number of social scientists, but they are widely scattered across many faculties and as a consequence there is overlap and duplication in curricula and research, key gaps in social science expertise because of these overlaps (particularly in some quantitative social sciences) and a lack of research collaboration. Creating a larger grouping of social scientists, particularly bringing together sociology, political science, anthropology, education, social policy, social work, and possibly economics and econometrics, would afford more opportunities than at present to generate critical social science capacity.
Fifth, a College model might also allow an opportunity to build greater capacity in the life sciences. Again this is another field of considerable strength at the University, but one that is not achieving its full potential. As outlined in Chapter 3, much of our life science capability is spread across the faculties of Science (in two schools – Biological Sciences and Molecular and Microbial Sciences) and Medicine (especially in the School of Medical Sciences). While a College might allow some reconsideration of the relationship between Biological Sciences and Molecular and Microbial Sciences, it does not resolve the question of whether there should be greater integration of these two schools with the School of Medical Sciences in Medicine. From the perspective of life sciences at the University, such integration has considerable merit. Nonetheless there are a number of issues to consider in assessing the feasibility of this idea. One of the questions for further consideration is whether Medical Sciences should transfer to Science to help create a large life sciences school in the College structure. An alternative might be to transfer Molecular and Microbial Science to Medicine. In either case, it is essential that grouping the health disciplines together into a professional school does not isolate them from the life sciences in the College and that ways of maintaining, and indeed strengthening, the links between the two be explored. In particular, the function of the ‘horizontal’ units such as the Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease will be crucial in this regard.
It is important to acknowledge that a generalist College structure leaves some questions unanswered. One of the most pressing is the best context for the Faculty of Veterinary Science. On balance we do not see it as feasible to have a separate professional school of veterinary science. Although the faculty has a strong professional training focus, it has a small student base and considerable research linkages, and potential teaching linkages, with the faculties of Science and Medicine. The question that we need to resolve in the next phase of consultation is whether it would be better to place veterinary science in the College as a part of Science, or in the School of Medical and Health Sciences. Factors in favour of a Science grouping are the strong research links with Science, in particular Agricultural Science (assuming that it too moves to Science under this model) and Biological Sciences. More importantly, there will be even more teaching and research collaboration with both these schools as the University develops the Camden Campus over the next few years (the Faculty of Veterinary Science will concentrate much of its teaching in the final two years of the degree at Camden). On the other hand, there are also major research collaborations with Medicine that might become stronger with the development of the Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Thedecision on where best to situate Veterinary Science is an interesting question for the development of the model.
A second question is the rationale for the transfer of parts of the Faculty of Economics and Business to the new College structure. The answer with respect to the Graduate School of Government and the Centre for International Security Studies is reasonably straightforward. These centres are largely political science units and with the transfer of Government and International Relations to Arts in 2008 it seems logical to collect these key political science, public administration and international relations groups together.
The issue of Economics and Econometrics is more controversial. On the one hand, there are traditional linkages between these disciplines and the business disciplines in the current faculty. The business disciplines benefit from the broader social science training and larger theoretical and conceptual basis these disciplines provide. Many graduates in economics go on to have careers in business. On the other hand, many of the business disciplines have appointed economists relevant to finance, marketing and accounting over recent years and thus have in-house economics and econometrics expertise. Ittherefore seems important to us both that the University retains expertise in some types of economics within the Business School, and also that it brings the quantitative skills of the economists into closer contact with the work of the social sciences more generally by bringing our economists and other social scientists together into the College structure.
A third question is whether one of the constituent units of the College should be a new faculty, drawing together its social scientists. There are arguments for and against such a proposal. In favour, is the notion that a separate faculty might raise the profile of our work in these disciplines, and lead to greater coherence and collaboration between them, harnessing the disparate entities that we have in the social sciences to drive research and teaching. It would also facilitate strong relations with the external public policy community. This argument would have more weight if Economics and Econometrics were in the College. Those who argue against a separate faculty of social sciences claim that it might introduce what they see as an artificial division between the humanities and social sciences. One of our strengths at the moment is arguably the porosity of the boundary between these two fields. For example, there are emerging teaching and research strengths (including cross-appointments between departments) in human rights and democratisation, which cut across disciplines such as government, sociology, history and philosophy. It might seem odd that we should, at the very time at which we are seeking to break down faculty barriers, potentially create new ones. One solution might be to have a large school of social sciences or two schools (Social and Political Sciences, and Economics) within the Faculty of Arts. We could also add to the profile of the social sciences by incorporating the term into the title of the College. This remains a question for further consideration.
Regardless of the final shape and configuration of the social sciences in this proposed College of Arts and Sciences, the creation of a more substantial and more coherent social science grouping within the College offers considerably more critical mass in this field than before. As a consequence, the rationale for the establishment of the Institute of Social Sciences is somewhat weakened. One consequence of going down this organisational route is that we would probably close the Institute of Social Sciences, theaims of that institute being, in part, met by the College.
A fourth question, related to this third one, concerns the Faculty of Education and Social Work. This could either be a professional school or a part of the College. In either case, there is some argument that parts of the faculty should be brought together with other social science and humanities disciplines in the College. As for the question of whether the faculty should be a part of the College or a separate professional school, we believe that it should be within the College. This is not least because all its courses require students to take some units of study within the faculties of Arts or Sciences or the social science disciplines of the Faculty of Economics and Business.
As for the question of whether any constituent parts of the faculty should move within the College to the Faculty of Arts or any possible social sciences grouping, we believe that this should be a question determined by the College itself. The Faculty of Education and Social Work has a major professional focus, producing qualified teachers and social workers, meeting vital national labour force needs. However, both situate this professional practice education within larger social, political and cultural contexts, which is why this faculty has strong affinities in both education and research with other major generalist faculties. It is for this reason that many parts of this faculty replicate disciplines offered elsewhere in the University (history, sociology, linguistics, psychology, social policy and others). Moreover, some of the leading social scientists in the University are in Education and Social Work but students in other faculties, notably Arts, are unable to access this expertise because the curriculum framework in Education and Social Work is not conducive to large numbers of enrolments from other faculties. There may therefore be a strong incentive to amalgamate many of these overlapping disciplines in the College, bringing together the groups from Education and Social Work with other social science and humanities groups from around the University.
There would, however, be important potential risks to adopting such a strategy. Creating larger disciplinary groupings, which then offer service teaching back into education and social work degrees, might fracture the immersion of these social scientists in the actual practice of education and social work. At the moment the integration of social science, humanities, pedagogy and practice-based learning creates a cutting-edge curriculum in these areas. Service teaching might undermine this relationship. The issue is therefore how we balance the imperative to reduce duplication and overlap with the need to keep our education and social work training at the forefront of developments in these fields. There is no easy answer. One possible solution is to structure a system of conjoint appointments across the College, where many staff in the larger social science groupings are 0.5 in one of the schools in Arts or Science and 0.5 in Education and Social Work. This would create a larger pool of scholars engaged with developments in education and social work, while still building capacity in the social sciences more generally. This is a consideration that merits much greater deliberation. We propose that the faculty should be included in the College in its current form, and then the issue of the relationship between the social sciences and humanities inside and outside the faculty be addressed in greater detail.
One final question regarding the proposed College concerns its academic leadership. As outlined in the first part of this chapter, we propose that the College should be governed by a board, the composition of which is to be agreed. This board would be chaired by the Provost who would, at least for the first few years of its operation, also act as Dean of the College. In some manifestations of the college of liberal arts and sciences model, there is a college dean and no deans of constituent units such as Arts or Science. We could exist, as do many North American universities, with a series of heads of school reporting to the Dean of the College. For a number of reasons we have not taken this option. Science and Arts have strong brands and great traditions and undermining those would be fraught with risk. Moreover the complexities of contemporary research and teaching in the humanities, social sciences and sciences requires a mastery of very specific technical, theoretical and conceptual languages. Given the multiple constituencies with which any university to deal, it would be difficult to find one person who could speak with authority across all these audiences. In the North American context, heads of schools and departments undertake much of this communication work, and this is feasible in the Sydney context. Nevertheless, in the Australian higher education system traditional hierarchies favour the decanal role over that of head of school, in terms of public perception and participation in broader cross-sector lobby groups. Given these considerations, we propose that the constituent units of the College should retain their clear identities as constituent units, with deans as the major leadership position for each. The Provost, as chair of the board of the College, will have the opportunity both to work with the board for the reforms outlined as necessary in the College, and to create links between the College as a whole and the professional schools.
The professional schools
In addition to a substantial College of Arts and Sciences, we have proposed five professional schools of varying sizes. A key criterion for the formation of these schools has been academic coherence. In general we are strongly opposed to the creation of omnibus schools or divisions for the sake of creating units of sufficient and relatively uniform size where the linkages between the constituent parts are tenuous. Nonethelesswe are also well aware that many faculties have multiple possible linkages. The professional schools map could be drawn up differently. Our reasons for proposing each of these professional schools is laid out in the following paragraphs.
As for the School of Business, over the last decade the Faculty of Economics and Business has developed a world-class business grouping. It is possibly the leading business school in the country and one of the best in the region, a fact recognised by its prestigious international accreditations (for example EQUIS and AACSB). Much of the student and staff growth and research performance of the faculty in the last decade has been driven by the business disciplines (accounting, finance, marketing and work and organisational studies). The international business school market is becoming increasingly competitive and the faculty will have to respond to rapid changes in the marketplace over coming years. This will be more feasible if it is a focused School of Business rather than a comprehensive economics and business faculty, with multiple missions and constituencies. Even if Economics and Econometrics remained in the faculty, the faculty needs to focus even more on highlighting the business school dimensions of its strengths in order to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. There would be merit in changing the name of the faculty even if economics and econometrics remained.
Incidentally, in making the proposal for a more focused business school, we are not suggesting that the school should change from a comprehensive educational mission reaching both undergraduates and postgraduates to a graduate school of the type favoured by some North American, UK and mainland European, and Australian universities. In this market, a graduate school does not offer adequate economies of scale or a sufficiently diversified student and staff base to be world-class. Most of the best of the Asian business schools are comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate faculties. In our view a comprehensive business school is the best model for ensuring that our business disciplines achieve their potential in terms of research, teaching, professional education and international standing.
As for the School of Law, there is a temptation, given the size of the Faculty of Law, to consider amalgamating it with another faculty. On balance we do not think this is in the best interests of Law. This in part relates to the specific attributes of the Sydney Law School as it has evolved over the last century. Ours is a faculty that has very strong linkages into the legal profession and particularly the major Sydney law firms. Ithas particular strengths in doctrine, although these are supplemented by expertise in broader legal studies, including criminology, legal history, and legal philosophy. The strong doctrinal focus of the faculty suggests that a place in the College of Arts and Sciences would be inappropriate and there is no other professional school into which the faculty logically fits. In some universities, law finds its place in an academic unit with business, but this amalgamation is often artificial and would particularly be so at Sydney given the traditions of our Law School. On balance our principle of academic coherence suggests that Law should retain a separate professional school identity. The interesting comparison here, of course, is with the Faculty of Education and Social Work. The difference between the two faculties is that, on balance, work in the general social sciences is a more important part of the work of the Faculty of Education and Social Work than it is a part of the work of the Faculty of Law.
As for the School of Medical and Health Sciences, it would be a grouping of Sydney Medical School, Sydney Nursing School, the Faculty of Dentistry and the Faculty of Pharmacy. We also propose that the Faculty of Health Sciences join this grouping, although while ever it remains at Lidcombe, substantial administrative services would still need to be delivered at that campus. Each of these faculties plays a major role in producing the future health workforce for the nation. All share a curriculum with a strong clinical training component. In some instances their facilities in hospitals are co-located. All share a curriculum that has elements of foundational life sciences. All(except Pharmacy) have close relationships with area health services (althougheven for Pharmacy a relationship will increasingly develop with the growth of hospital pharmacy as an area of practice). Thus there is much to be gained by bringing these faculties into a closer alliance. There are potential economies of scale both in teaching and administration. There are also further potential research collaborations that can be facilitated by being in one large professional school structure. The great danger of a professional school in this area is the risk noted above, that it will weaken the relationship between the Faculty of Medicine and the life sciences in the College. We do not, however, regard this danger as inevitable.
As for the School of Creative and Performing Arts, both Sydney College of the Arts and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music could conceivably be placed in many different configurations. They could be part of the College of Arts and Sciences (although most probably as schools within a larger Faculty of Arts), given that many staff in these faculties are scholars in the humanities and much of the curriculum is relevant to a humanities curriculum. There are other possibilities. Sydney College of the Arts might be a good partner in a larger ‘design’ group, providing a critical creative and visual arts perspective on design problems. In other words there would be linkages into computer design, information technology and from there into architecture, design sciences and possibly engineering. There are also ways in which a focus on creative and performing arts links Sydney College of the Arts, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and parts of Architecture, Design and Planning. Indeed there has already been some fruitful discussion about such a grouping, and a ‘horizontal’ unit around either design, or creative and performing arts, might be an interesting way of drawing together these threads. However,on balance we see most potential for the Sydney College of the Arts and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in a creative and performing arts grouping (anda stronger linking of Architecture Design and Planning to Engineering and Information Technologies). Sydney College of the Arts and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music share much in common as creative art disciplines: a focus on performance practice, visual culture, creativity and making distinct creative works. They sit in the same Australian Research Council panel (‘Humanities and Creative Arts’) and have common research objectives, in particular achieving adequate recognition for creative work as a form of research practice. Thus there is significant overlap in orientation, focus and shared research concerns. The only impediment to the closer working of these two faculties is the not inconsiderable geographical distance between them.
As for the School of Engineering, Design and the Built Environment, this group would bring together the faculties of Engineering and Information Technologies and Architecture, Design and Planning. There is already considerable overlap and collaboration between these two faculties. For example, both faculties have major computer design strengths in teaching and research. Architecture, Design and Planning has a significant architectural science and engineering element. More generally there is an increasing convergence in the disciplines in these faculties around questions of design and considerable potential for fruitful research collaboration (and, in this field, research collaboration with Sydney College of the Arts). The one discipline in this grouping that sits somewhat outside this framework is urban planning. This is an important area of social science and there would be a case for transferring this discipline to the College of Arts and Sciences to sit in a social science school. On the other hand, urban planning is also a design discipline and is well integrated into the larger architecture and computer design group in the existing faculty. On balance, we believe it makes sense to keep it in this grouping.
A central issue for the implementation of our preferred model in relation to the professional schools, indeed one raised more than any other in our preliminary consultations, concerns academic leadership. As outlined in the first part of this chapter, we are convinced that each school will require a slightly different approach to the question of academic leadership.
With respect to those professional schools that are essentially one-faculty schools – Business and Law – the role of dean remains as at present. Deans will oversee the disciplines in the faculty and provide essential leadership and management oversight. The governance of these professional schools will be according to existing constitutional arrangements, though this would be an appropriate moment for those faculties to review their constitutions. The deans of these professional schools will report to the Provost as they do now. Nonetheless, it is essential to also redefine key elements of this role for this structure to work. Currently the main focus of deans is to ensure the health and wellbeing of their faculty, to monitor particular performance indicators in teaching, research and community outreach to ensure that the faculty remains an outstanding, world-class academic unit achieving national and international goals and objectives. This is important but in the changing context of international higher education, where cross-disciplinary research and teaching is becoming an increasingly important element of success, collaboration across traditional academic structures is going to become vital. In this context we need to adapt some of the governance philosophies outlined in the divisional model. A key performance indicator for deans in the professional school structure, one monitored by the Provost, will be the extent to which they collaborate with other deans and the Provost to build effective cross-faculty collaborations in teaching and research. Their performance will be in part measured by their capacity to achieve the goals and aspirations of the University as a whole.
As for the multiple faculty professional schools – Medical and Health Sciences, Creative and Performing Arts, and Engineering, Design and the Built Environment – these schools should each be governed by a board, the composition of which remains to be agreed. The critical issue is whether the deanship of each of these multiple faculty schools is a position independent of, or rotates among, the deans of the constituent units. In either case, the dean of the professional school would in that role be the servant of its board as regards the work of the school, and would have responsibility to foster collaboration both within the school itself and across all the other academic units in the University. Butwhether the deanship of each school is an independent role is open for discussion in each case. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. A new decanal role would be an additional and perhaps unnecessary layer of leadership (and expense). On the other hand a rotation system potentially fosters a conservative academic culture, where deans are reluctant to encourage decisive changes for fear that in the next rotation their interests might be under attack. There would also arguably be a conflict of interest in a dean who has simultaneously to advance the interests of their own constituent unit, and that of the school as a whole, and if this model is adopted it might be important to have appropriate representation of the relevant constituent unit on the board of the school in addition to the dean themselves. These questions will need to be resolved for each proposed school in the next phase of consultation.
We believe that a structure of academic organisation for the University with fewer vertical units is essential to meeting many of the challenges outlined throughout this Green Paper. The precise design of those vertical units is something to which we are less committed, though we believe that our preferred model has much to recommend it. The design of the vertical units is a question, in part, of the academic shape that particular disciplines within the University would like to take over the next period of their life. It is our aspiration, therefore, that the conversation around these issues in the University and beyond, will focus primarily upon that academic question: the question of which disciplines are most appropriately brought closer together as we attempt to facilitate greater cooperation in teaching and research.
The broader vision outlined in this chapter is one that we believe can bring about much-needed change. It is one of fewer vertical units; clearer rules for the operation of horizontal units; a system of resource allocation that better aligns the interests of the University and the interests of individual academic units; and appropriate governance and leadership structures for the College of Arts and Sciences, professional schools and University as a whole. Having outlined our strategic purpose, the context of our planning and the work in organisation change that we believe to be pressing, we turn to the heart of all we do, to our vision for education and research and the ways in which we believe that we can achieve our vision for them.