We enter 2016 with a strong sense of commitment and determination to ensure that our University is both prepared and properly resourced to serve our students, staff and the community for generations to come.
In 2015 the University continued its journey of meaningful reform, responding to increased competition and challenges that faced the entire education sector. Successful delivery of the University's strategic plan and 2020 vision relies critically on the quality contribution of University staff to achieve academic and operational excellence. The commitment to a high-performance culture and service excellence continues to inform the change agenda within the organisation.
Off the back of the 2014 Functional Review Program, the University implemented a number of initiatives to ensure UWA's success into the future and further build its vision to be a top 50 global university by 2050.
Through the launch of the Sustainable Futures group of projects we have implemented a range of projects designed to transform the way we work and operate, covering areas such as re-designing our information technology architecture, enhancing our brand and making positive steps to improve our service culture.
In 2015 we developed a strategic and coordinated approach to the development of the University's long-term goals and integrated planning. The establishment of the Office of Strategy, Planning and Performance now means that for the first time, the University has a combined strategy and performance analytics function that also incorporates legal and risk. The University also implemented an exercise that saw data-driven planning activities integrated across core academic and business units of the University, supporting the decisions around strategic investment to further enhance the quality of teaching, research and translational activities.
Following the launch of the Vice-Chancellor's paper, Securing Success, we laid the groundwork for the Renewal Project, which addresses the critical need to better support our academic mission, improve our commitment to operational excellence and better respond to external changes in the sector.
In order to better define world-class standards of staff management, and to measure and report progress towards achieving these standards, in 2014 I initiated the People, Potential, Performance (PPP) project which has progressed very well in 2015. This project aims to develop a framework that will essentially organise and socialise a new approach to talent management. The PPP both values and nurtures staff, providing the context for their growth and development, and creates a focus on high performance in both the professional services, and clear evidence-based approaches to defining academic excellence at discipline level. An initial analysis has taken place as well as various consultations with the University professoriate. Further work to initiate the framework will begin in 2016.
I am proud of UWA's focus on equity and diversity as we continue to promote an inclusive culture. In 2015 UWA was awarded the prestigious Pride in Diversity accolade of being one of the top 10 LGBTI-aware employers in Australia. It was also the only University to be named in the top 10 since the index was created in 2011.
UWA was successful in being selected to participate in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Athena SWAN Charter pilot project. The project strives to improve gender equality in Australian Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM).
This is an exciting step for UWA with the overarching goal to advance career opportunities available to women in Australia.
After celebrating a number of tremendous successes, coupled with an emphasis on renewal, we enter 2016 with a strong sense of commitment and determination to ensure that our University is both prepared and properly resourced to serve our students, staff and the community for generations to come.
Professor Dawn Freshwater
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Registrar