Uni Wollongong Council asserts authority

Council cements support for the Ramsay Western Civ Centre funded degree for 2020

The university Council “has used its legislative powers to specifically approve” the degree, which the campus staff union hopes to challenge in court.

This new endorsement is in addition to council chair Jillian Broadbent previous endorsement of Vice Chancellor Paul Wellings approving the degree, under a university rule that allowed him to by-pass the standard academic approval process (CMM April 15).  The VC acted before academic senate voted against the Ramsay course, in March.

Council is using powers granted under its NSW legislation to “act in all matters concerning the university in such manner as appears to the council to be best calculated to promote the object and interests of the university.”

“The Council had full respect for the university’s academic process, particularly the role of the Academic Senate. However, under the particular prevailing circumstances, Council has used its legislative powers to specifically approve this degree. The Council was mindful of the tight timeframes involved in preparing to begin teaching the degree in 2020 and the potential impact of any uncertainty regarding the course’s approval status,” Ms Broadbent says.

The National Tertiary Education Union responds that Council’s decision is “another example of the university not following its normal procedures in approving new courses.”

Federal president Alison Barnes says the union “will consider the impact” of Council’s decision on the case against the degree and respond, “as soon as we are in a position to do so.”


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