With leadership comes responsibility

Development of the University of Tasmania strategic plan will be a focus of the next few months, building upon the undoubted achievements of the EDGE agenda.

While the details will be the subject of considerable and constructive debate, there are some grounding principles that will remain the cornerstones of our strategic direction.

Key to our thinking must be the leadership role the University has in this State, not only in the provision of tertiary education and as a major economic contributor, but also as an agent of innovation and cultural change.

Increasingly this year UTAS will ask different parts of the community to evaluate how we are performing in this context– what we are doing well and how we might improve, providing context to our deliberations about the shape and substance of our institution in five to 10 years.

To survive and prosper we must identify what is special and distinctive about this University and promote that difference nationally and on the world stage. We also need to ensure that the University is and remains relevant to whole of the Tasmanian community.

Institutional leadership must be matched with the capacity to deliver. Universities, long the custodians of collegial decision-making, are not immune to the need for effective and decisive leadership at critical times. This will be vital as the university and the sector faces the challenge of an increasingly complex operating environment.

With this in mind I have announced a new senior management structure for the University, based around clearly defined portfolios and lines of communication, and which will redefine and invigorate the leadership team for UTAS. The changes will place a greater emphasis and importance on innovation in research and teaching, and will help to drive investment and community engagement.

We have the rare chance to conceptualise our future at a time when increased globalisation and changes to national policy settings create opportunity. Insight, debate and collaboration will enable us to define the change that best suits our values and aspirations – and to deliver it in an environment of collegial support.

UTAS can lead its own destiny; it is in the interests of the State that we do so with passion and confidence, enriching our future and enabling community advancement.

I encourage you to make contact with me at: vice.chancellor@utas.edu.au with any feedback.

Published on: 19 Jul 2011 9:57am