Staff at heart of new Murdoch U strategy

New VC Andrew Deeks sets out how he wants the university to work

Murdoch U will expand “effective” FT students by a third, to 15 000 by 2030, 40 per cent of them Internationals.

The target is set in a strategy, released yesterday by new VC Andrew Deeks, with three goals, * a leading university in education, teaching and translational research for sustainability * a “welcoming, diverse and inclusive community” and * “the university of choice for First Nations peoples.”

A core objective also appears to be securing staff support and stability after years of change and controversy.

The strategy commits to  “retaining and growing our current academic disciplines” and 40 per cent of revenue above a budget baseline going to academic schools. Overall the university will generate 5 per cent annual surpluses which will be invested in physical and digital infrastructure, with staff costs at 60 per cent of revenue.

Murdoch U will “favour” continuing employment over casual and fixed term positions and make teaching and research positions the “norm” for academics.

And the strategy specifies protecting academic freedom as one of eight principle, to guide, “how we lead, manage and work together” – which will appeal to staff who remember the university sued prominent mathematician and university council member Gerd Schröder -Turk  (CMM March 10).