The UCA Forum will be held in Melbourne on Wednesday 30 September to Friday 2 October 2020.
From the President
Value Proposition for Colleges
Professionalisation of the Association
Deans & Deputies Network
UCA Graduate Residences Network
Building networks, enhancing connections
From the President
Happy New Year and welcome to the first newsletter for 2020. On behalf of the UCA Executive, I am pleased to wish you and your College all the very best for the year ahead.
Our newsletter is a vital means of communication from the UCA Executive to members of the Association. It is our intent to send a newsletter on a regular basis throughout the year, often following a meeting of the Executive. In this way, we aim to keep you informed of the work of the Executive and of matters that concern colleges around the country.
Recent bushfires: Over recent weeks, we have watched with dismay as fires have devastated so much of the Australian countryside and as major cities have experienced severe smoke haze. Our thoughts are with those communities, many of which are home to members of college communities, that have been impacted or destroyed by fire. We hope that members of your College are safe and acknowledge the work of fire fighters in so many parts of the nation.
End of year strategic planning meeting: Members of the UCA Executive met at St Andrew’s College in Sydney in mid-December. The meeting provided us with an opportunity to discuss the following issues that had been raised at the Sydney Forum and to plan for 2020.
Value Proposition: The Executive has continued working on the Value Proposition for colleges and has developed a statement which is currently being prepared for circulation and for placement on the Association’s website.
Professionalisation of the Association: Members of the Executive considered several possible membership fee structures with a view to moving towards a more professional structure for the Association. We are very conscious of the need to ensure the financial sustainability of the Association and of the issues associated with professionalisation, particularly the need to raise membership fees to meet the costs of such an initiative. We are concerned that the level of membership fee increase needed to finance a professional structure is not viable at this time. There is more than one way to professionalise the Association; paying the salary of a staff member is just one way. As a result, we have decided that as an Association we will continue through 2020 to support leadership in the unique context of residential colleges and to launch several activities which promote the value of college membership.
Deans and Deputies network: Following the success of the Deans and Deputies meeting at the Sydney Forum, work has commenced on defining and detailing the nature and role of such a network under the UCA umbrella. We do this in recognition of the responsibility of Heads (and the Association) to enhance the professional experience of senior members of staff. We hope to have a draft proposal ready for consideration in time for the Executive’s February meeting with a view to circulation of the proposal shortly after that meeting.
Graduate network: The Executive looks forward to further development of this network in 2020. Dates for a meeting will be announced once they have been confirmed.
Building networks, enhancing connections: We will continue to work with and meet with representatives of relevant government and community organisations with a view to promoting the importance and value of colleges.
Regular communication with members: As stated earlier, we intend to circulate an e-newsletter following each Executive meeting. Members of the Executive also welcome contact from members of the Association who have matters they wish to discuss.
NAAUC: On behalf of the Executive, I have written to Jonty Boshier, outgoing President of NAAUC, and have congratulated him on his term as President. I have also met with Adrian Oats, incoming President, and have discussed ways in which we may work together in 2020. We intend to invite Adrian to join one of our meetings and may consider undertaking a joint project with NAAUC.
Note: Dr Ian Walker attended the recent NAAUC Conference on behalf of UCA and was invited to speak at the Heads' & Residential Coordinators' Formal Dinner where he reflected on the nature of leadership in university residential communities. Read his paper here
Next strategic planning meeting: The Executive is currently considering dates for a meeting to be held in Melbourne in late March/early April