UQ has confirmed its commitment to further advancing and supporting the Teaching and Learning activities in this University with the appointment of Professor Deborah Terry to the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning). This is a welcome development for UQ and for my Office as having Debbie to work with me will allow many ideas and plans come to fruition. Debbie brings with her a strong commitment to supporting staff, to ensuring that UQ is recognised for its world class teaching and continues to build its reputation in providing students with the advantages of high quality education.
For the second year in a row, UQ has done extremely well in the allocation of Learning and Teaching Performance Funds, receiving a total of $8.050 million out of the total pool of $83 million. The University of Queensland considers the introduction of the LTPF to be a major innovation in funding for teaching and learning. The fund has placed greater focus on how we measure quality outcomes of teaching and learning and on how significant achievement in improving teaching and learning practice may be rewarded. The funds awarded have been used to undertake teaching space and technical infrastructure upgrades, implement recommendations of a review of our Teaching Education and Development Institute and as leverage funding for a strategic grant scheme available across all schools and faculties.
With the creation of Teaching-focussed academic appointments at UQ we now have a tangible and unequivocal commitment to elevating the importance of staff as educators. This initiative strengthens the University’s profile in teaching and associated scholarship and will be supported by greater recognition of teaching excellence in appointment and promotion criteria currently under review.
We currently have 46 staff who will provide leadership through these teaching-focussed appointments and I am certain many more will choose to take up this option. I welcome the decision of these staff and intend to make sure they are provided with due recognition for their contributions and achievements.
To further strengthen the support we can provide for teaching development and initiatives four new staff have been appointed to the Higher Education Research & Consultancy Unit in TEDI. Three staff will be starting in the second half of 2007, with another starting in the beginning of 2008, and bring special expertise in the areas of information and communications technology, internationalisation and student experience.
Finally I would like to thank those who assisted Professor Terry and myself by participating in the sessions that we ran during the VC’s Management Issues Conference at Coolum in June. The discussions and debates showed there is tremendous enthusiasm for raising the importance of issues impacting on teaching staff and students and a willingness to further enrich the teaching and learning experience offered by UQ.
Professor Michael Keniger
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)