More excellence at UNSW!

The university tells staff all about stage two of the 2025 strategy

With heads lopped, the teaching year expanded and reviews reviewed staff who thought they could relax were wrong, with a proposal for stage two of the university transformation circulating. Vice Chancellor Ian Jacobs invites staff to consider achievements and advise on next steps.

As in stage one there is much excellence in the new consultation document – “it used to work, but it got excellenced” is a catch cry in Kensington,” learned readers tell CMM.

But at least there will be fewer consultants working on the 40 references to excellence in the document. “Reducing our reliance on external consultants” is named as a way of increasing operational effectiveness – this might be because the university spent $25m on 2025 consultancies in 2015-17, during the institutional re-engineering phase, (CMM March 30 2017).

There also appears implicit recognition that people at the pointy end did not always feel the change drivers in stage one got what they did. “Delivering quality and efficient professional services that accommodate valid and important faculty and divisional requirements,” is an “enabler” in the new consultation document.

But what will excite, intrigue, alarm people are potential policies set out in the new paper in the form of questions. For example, priority research could be coming; “is it still appropriate to pursue a comprehensive approach to research strategy across the disciplines?” And the hard to establish shared services Operational Excellence model, which cut admin jobs out of faculties, is open to examination; “what is the future of shared services and how do we achieve effectiveness and efficiency?” Questions are also encouraged about the four futures institutes, long in the planning and announced last September; “have our new institutes delivered substantive returns?”

And there is one that will have marketing comms and recruitment teams bracing for impact; “what is our point of differentiation?”  Apart, of course, from excellence in planning documents.



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