2015 self study and review

Dear Colleagues, Students, and Visitors:

Why is our School embarking on a project of self-assessment?

Review of academic units and programs ought to be routine. Several factors make this the right time for comprehensive self-study and academic review of the School. Eight years have gone by since CAP’s conceptual launch in 2006, and six since the 2008 Strategic Review of CAP. CHL was formally constituted in 2010. I joined as School Director in 2013; and Melissa Orr joined me as School Manager later that year. Throughout this period, both the Asia and Pacific regions, and the fields of Asian and Pacific Studies, respectively, have gone through profound changes. Finding innovative institutional form to respond to these changes is but one of our challenges.

In the course of our normal budgetary reporting and review through the first half of 2014, it became clear that the operational costs attached to CHL's current structure, activities, and strategic vision had exceeded actual and anticipated revenues. Those conditions persist. An academic review of our School will help us to renew our intellectual mission, to redraw our institutional design in light of that mission, and to set plans to ensure the School's sustainability as a globally visible, world-leading centre for research and teaching. Now that a new Dean has taken the reins of CAP, frank self-study and probing review of CHL will help both the School and the College move forward in a strategically and fiscally sound way. This academic unit review and self-study can serve as precedent and model for future, routine review of the School and for academic units throughout the College.

Your support and input throughout the review are much appreciated.

Prof. Ken George

Director, School of Culture, History and Language

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Consistent with the ANU 2020 Strategic Plan, the self-study and encompassing academic review will pursue the aims of the ANU Academic Units Policy, by demonstrating how CHL and its constituent departments and programmes pursue and sustain:

  1. interdisciplinary focus
  2. strategies that are aligned with those of ANU and CAP;
  3. holistic achievement of excellence in research, education and service;
  4. sound management of financial resources;
  5. effective recruitment, retention and development of academic and professional staff;
  6. quality assurance and quality enhancement activities.

From the present to June 2015

Aug 2014 – Jan 2015 School and departmental meetings with the School Director and Dean to explain the process and invite participation from staff and students
Data gathering
Oct 2014 – Jan 2015 Designate theme groups; working party meetings and preliminary engagement with questions for review
Jan 2015 - Feb 2015 Prepare consultation materials
Feb 2015 Request submissions to the review
9 Feb 2015 Forum 1 - ¾ day forum
20 Feb 2015 Forum 2 - ½ day interdisciplinary forum
March 2015 Working party meetings
20 March 2015 Forum 3 - ½ day wrap up forum (groups to report back)
23-31 March 2015 Meetings with alternative stakeholders
April-May 2015 Draft a summary document for the DVC-A, CAP Dean, and  external reviewers
early July 2015 Provide findings to external review panel

The self study and review will encompass four main areas:

  1. Mission
  2. Research, Teaching and Learning Quality and Outreach
  3. Governance and Financial Sustainability and
  4. Stakeholder Engagement

Background

The School of Culture, History and Language (CHL) is one of the five constituent schools and centres that make up the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP), and the principal arena for humanistic enquiry and the study of languages within the College. It is CAP's largest school in terms of academic staff and PhD students.

CHL's aim is threefold: To learn about, from, and with Asia and the Pacific in all the region's complexity and specificity. Grounded in the humanities and humanities-oriented social sciences, CHL is committed to pathbreaking research and education, and to sustaining itself as one of the leading institutional contributors—worldwide—for high-level, innovative, multidisciplinary research and research-led teaching about Asia and the Pacific.

Several factors make this the right time for comprehensive self-study and academic review of the School. Eight years have gone by since CAP’s conceptual launch in 2006, and six since the 2008 Strategic Review of CAP. CHL was formally constituted in 2010. A new School Director began his five-year tenure in 2013; and a new School Manager joined him later that year. Under their leadership, the School has begun to take fresh organizational and administrative shape. Throughout this period, both the Asia and Pacific regions, and the fields of Asian and Pacific Studies, respectively, have gone through profound changes. Finding innovative institutional form to respond to these changes is but one of our challenges.

In the course of our normal budgetary reporting and review through the first half of 2014, it has become clear that the operational costs attached to CHL's current structure, activities, and strategic vision exceed actual and anticipated revenues. An academic review of our School will help us to renew our intellectual mission, to redraw our institutional design in light of that mission, and to set plans to ensure the School's sustainability as a globally visible, world-leading centre for research and teaching. Now that we have a new Dean taking the reins of CAP, frank self-study and probing review of CHL will help both the School and the College move forward in a strategically and fiscally sound way. This academic unit review and self-study can serve as precedent and model for future, routine review of the School and for academic units throughout the College.

Purpose

Consistent with the ANU 2020 Strategic Plan, the self-study and encompassing academic review will pursue the aims of the ANU Academic Units Policy, by demonstrating how CHL and its constituent departments and programmes pursue and sustain:

  1. interdisciplinary focus
  2. strategies that are aligned with those of ANU and CAP;
  3. holistic achievement of excellence in research, education and service;
  4. sound management of financial resources;
  5. effective recruitment, retention and development of academic and professional staff;
  6. quality assurance and quality enhancement activities.

Terms of Reference

Mission

  • Review the mission of the CHL with regard to research, education and outreach in light of:
    • ANU 2020 and the CAP Operational Plan 2014 – 2016
    • Profound changes to the Asia and the Pacific region  and the fields of Asian and Pacific Studies.
  • Provide possible revised updated “mission” options for the External Review Panel to consider.

Research, Teaching and Learning Quality and Outreach.

  • Review the quality, scope, impact, and reputational standing of CHL’s disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, teaching and learning.
  • Evaluate the design, delivery, and sustainability of CHL’s language instruction and humanities and social science courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degree research levels.
  • Compare CHL, its programs, and its outreach to similar institutions nationally and internationally.
  • Provide options to the External Review panel that would improve or enhance CHL’s performance in each of the areas investigated.

Governance and Financial Sustainability.

  • Examine the ways organizational design and culture within CHL strengthen or impede its mission, governance and financial sustainability.
  • Review and evaluate the ways CHL performance is affected by the structural and cultural interfaces between CHL staff located in the Coombs Building and in the Baldessin Precinct Building; between CHL and schools and centres within the College; between CHL, CAP, and CASS; and between CHL and external partners.
  • Identify ways to boost revenue capture through undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral enrolments.
  • Examine and evaluate the current budgetary planning, allocation and review model.
  • Report on the findings of each of these areas and provide options for the External Review Panel to consider.

Stakeholder Engagement.

  • Examine ways in which CHL could deepen its involvement with its stakeholders and how it promotes the School’s research, teaching and outreach.
  • Provide to the External Review Panel options detailing possible effective strategies in this area.

Process

The academic unit review of the school will occur in two parts; a self-study conducted within the School, and an external review conducted by an External Review Panel. 

Self Study – (August 2014 – June 2015)

CHL will plan and conduct a self-study of the school and submit a summary report to the Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific, Prof. Veronica Taylor and to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington. 

Responsibility for all dimensions of the self-study—including its comprehensiveness and rigour, its transparency, and its basis in consultations across the School—rests with CHL Director Prof. Ken George

Aug 2014 – Jan 2015

School and departmental meetings with the School Director and Dean to explain the process and invite participation from staff and students
Data gathering

Oct 2014 – Jan 2015

Designate theme groups; theme group meetings and preliminary engagement with questions for review

Jan 2015 - Feb 2015

Prepare consultation materials

Feb 2015

Request submissions to the review

9 Feb 2015

¾ day forum

20 Feb 2015

½ day interdisciplinary retreat

March 2015

Theme group meetings (3 meetings per group)

20 March 2015

½ day wrap up retreat (groups to report back)

23-31 March 2015

Meetings with alternative stakeholders

Apr/May 2015

Draft a summary document for the DVC-A, CAP Dean, and  external reviewers

early July 2015

Provide findings to external review panel

External Review – (August 2015; Final Report October 2015)

An external panel will be appointed and tasked with reviewing the CHL Self-Study and making a site visit. Selection of the external reviewers falls to the School Director, the CAP Dean, and DVC (A), following consultation with CHL academic staff. The review panel will be made up of:

  • DVC (A) as Chair
  • 2 international reviewers with specialization in Asia
  • 1 international reviewer with specialization in the Pacific
  • 1 Australian reviewer with expertise in Asian language instruction
  • 1-2 ANU academic staff external to CHL

The external panel’s review will culminate in a report and set of recommendations to the DVC (A), the CAP Dean, the CAP Executive Committee, and the CHL Director regarding the roles, excellence, innovativeness, and sustainability of CHL within its institutional setting in CAP and ANU, and with respect to its national and international reputation, reach, and influence.

Timeline

Jan  – April 2015

Establishing the panel

Jul  – Aug 2015

Panel reviews the self-study documents

Aug – Sept 2015

Site visit by panel; panel meetings

Sept – Oct 2015

Panel prepares its report

Oct 2015

Presentation of recommendations

Oct 2015 – Dec 2016

Implementation of recommendations

Stakeholders

The following groups will be engaged as part of the review process, through the opportunity to provide written submissions or attend a self-study forum:

  • Academic, visiting and professional staff (both within and external to CHL)
  • HDR, Masters and Undergraduate students
  • Alumni
  • CAP and CASS staff, students and visitors
  • Local/ national/ international partner universities and organisations
  • Australian Asian Studies Association; Australian Association for Pacific Studies
  • Government and industry

Roles and Responsibilities

DVC (A)

Chairs the External Review Panel.

CAP Dean

Frames the context for the review within the College and the ANU; oversees the progress of the review; receives preliminary self-study findings; meets with stakeholders and interested parties as needed; makes progress reports to the College Executive; meets with external review panel; receives the final report of the external review panel; coordinates College response; implements agreed findings.

CHL Director

Holds primary responsibility for all dimensions of the CHL self-study; drafts a Director's preface as part of the self-study; assists in selecting the members of the external review panel; coordinates the review with CAP and ANU; meets with stakeholders; meets with the external review panel; responds to the report of the external review panel; directs implementation of agreed findings at the school level.

External Review Panel

Reviews information gathered in the self-study, gathers any additional information required, analyses the data and develops recommendations.

Consultant - John K. See
Leading and facilitating focus groups and hearing from CHL staff; compiling data, especially from extramural sources; and leading groups through that data in consultative meetings.

CHL Heads of Departments & SMG

Heads of Departments will assist in preparing the self-study, coordinating responses to the self-study at a departmental level, and to facilitating meetings with the external review panel. They will assist in implementing agreed findings at the department level. The SMG will serve as a collective and school-wide consultative and implementing body.

CHL Strategy Group

Convened by the School Director, the CHL Strategy Group will advise throughout the course of the self-study.

Theme groups

Each group will hold no more than four meetings over eight weeks. The individual meeting objectives will be to: explore a specific theme or issue; develop and collate responses; finalise a report on the theme area.

Stakeholders

Provide submissions to the review via email or other submission format, or participate in forums.

Forum 1
9:30am – 4:00pm, Monday 9 February 2015, University House

At Forum 1 Academic Staff were split into groups based on regional interests, then disciplinary interest and asked to answer a series of questions about trends in their fields and potential directions for CHL.

Forum 2
9:30am – 1:30pm, Friday 20 February 2015, University House

At Forum 2, CHL Director, Ken George, CHL School Manager, Melissa Orr, and Planning and Performance Measurement Director, Richelle Hilton, provided an overview of the school’s current teaching, research, staffing and budget situations.

Academic staff assembled in twelve working parties with the aim of studying and making recommendations about the following issues:

  • Working Party 1 – School Mission
  • Working Party 2 – Undergraduate Curriculum & Degrees
  • Working Party 3 – Language Curricula and Instruction
  • Working Party 4 – Postgraduate Curriculum (MAPS)
  • Working Party 5 – Doctoral (HDR) Training
  • Working Party 6 – Publications/ Research Quality
  • Working Party 7 – Research Funding
  • Working Party 8 – Organizational Design and Culture
  • Working Party 9 – Structural & Operational Engagement with CAP, CASS, and ANU Central
  • Working Party 10 – Endowments, Philanthropies, Institutional Grants, Fund-Raising
  • Working Party 11 – Media Outreach, Marketing, Stakeholder Engagement
  • Working Party 12 – Beyond Our Walls: Learning Publics

Forum 3
9:30am – 1:30pm, Friday 20 March 2015, University House

Working parties will report back on their discoveries and recommendations.

Please send any input you have for the CHL Self Study and Review to review.chl@anu.edu.au or complete the survey.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster