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Academic Board Report
Meetings dated 4 August and 1 September 2009
External Review of the Academic Board
The Academic Board External Review Panel, consisting of Professor Cindy Gallois (UQ), Professor Hilary Winchester (UniSA) and Associate Professor Michael Walpole (UNSW) visited UNSW on 25 and 26 August 2009. The Panel met with over 50 staff members, including members of Executive Team, Deans, Senior Associate Deans, Associate Deans and members of the Academic Board and Academic Board Standing Committees. The Review Panel had asked some difficult questions and stimulated thought on how the Board might work differently. The Panel had been impressed with the full and frank discussion.
The Review Report is available at http://www.unsw.edu.au/about/pad/AB_pdf_rtf/UNSW_Academic_Board_Review_Report.pdf. Over the coming months, the Board and its Standing Committees will be discussing the Review Report’s recommendations and making plans for their implementation or other changes, as appropriate.
Hot Topic: An Institute for Ageing Research
Scientia Professor Perminder Sachdev spoke to the paper entitled an Institute for Healthy Ageing: A Proposal. He spoke to: global trends in relation to human longevity; research and teaching activities on Ageing being carried out in the Faculty of Medicine and other Faculties, and a proposed way forward in terms of realizing collaborative research and teaching opportunities in the field of Ageing. During discussion it was commented that:
The Vice-Chancellor noted that any research subject can be approached in a number of ways – researchers can work separately on aspects of the one problem or researchers can be brought together to work on a problem in unison. Thought needed to be given to which research models worked best for which problems. The Academic Board may wish to have a hot topic on cross-disciplinary research and how this is best funded.
The President thanked Professor Sachdev for his presentation and the Academic Board greeted this with acclamation.
Hot Topic: Ethics Education at UNSW
Dr Paul Brown (Convenor), Associate Professor Stephen Cohen and Dr Iain Skinner opened the hot-topic panel discussion on ethics education at UNSW. Dr Brown noted that ethics was taught at UNSW through discreet programs and courses, via course content and at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. At UNSW there are two linked approaches to ethics education: (1) ethics tuition embedded in professional codes and (2) ethics tuition in various programs/courses. It was suggested that there was an opportunity to create some measure of common curriculum across the two approaches that included foundation material and professional practice considerations. Dr Skinner spoke to ethics education embedded in professional and/or accredited qualifications. He noted that ethics education made up a proportion of many courses in the accredited Bachelor of Engineering program and that it would be difficult to separate out this material. Associate Professor Cohen argued that a principles-based approach should be used to guide ethics education at UNSW. He suggested that ethics principles and tools should be imparted to students to allow them to navigate and solve ethical problems. It was felt that ethics education provided by professional codes could not inform all cases and that a principles-based approach would be invaluable to students under these circumstances. Comments included that:
Professor Chan thanked Dr Brown, Associate Professor Cohen and Dr Skinner for the opening address. She acknowledged that there were gaps in Ethics teaching at UNSW and that Ethics teaching should be attached to a sense of importance in order to encourage student interest. It was hoped that best practice models of Ethicsteaching could be developed and promulgated at UNSW.
Matters Approved and Noted by Academic Board
In accordance with the delegations provided in item 7.2.1 of the UNSW Delegations of Authority, the Academic Board approved the introduction of the:
The Academic Board approved the revision to the
The Academic Board approved the revision to the articulation arrangements between the Bachelor of Technology (Aero Eng) and the Bachelor of Engineering (Aero Eng) (4425).
The Academic Board approved the discontinuation of 3 unit of credit General Education courses by the end of 2011 and the introduction of the course International Business: Australia & South East Asia (MGMT0011).
The Academic Board noted the revised UNSW Procedures for the Annual Review of Higher Degree Research Candidatures and revised Annual Progress Review form.
The Academic Board noted the establishment of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology and the Australian Rivers and Wetlands Centre.
The minutes of this Academic Board meeting are available on the Secretariat Services website.
If there are issues you would like me or Academic Board or its Committees to consider, or if you would like to attend a meeting, please let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org or 9385 2393.
For information relating to Council business, please contact Helen Parks in the Secretariat, ph: 9385 3072, email: email@example.com
Council minutes and other information can be accessed by all members of the University via the Secretariat Services website.
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