Update from the Provost

Photo of the ACU Provost, Professor Pauline Nugent.

A message from the Provost, Professor Pauline Nugent:

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you some recent highlights from my Portfolio:


Since late last year, I have been leading the 2017 admission process and working with Executive Deans, Student Administration, OPSM, and my office to closely monitor applications and offers.

The main offer rounds for undergraduate courses via the TAC environment have been concluded.  As at 20 January, ACU has significantly increased offers by 46.7 per cent more than the same period last year. First Preference and Direct offers combined are also significantly higher than last year. I will continue to lead the offers strategy over the coming weeks which will involve detailed analysis and close consultation with Executive Deans as we shape load for 2017.

Postgraduate and international fee paying enrolments are still open and building. We will continue to monitor load with final performance against plan for Semester 1 2017 to be evaluated in late February when all commencing and continuing students have enrolled.

Expanding international collaboration

I am currently travelling in the United States to conduct University business.

Last week in Washington, DC I met with Dr Andrew Abela, Provost, Catholic University of America (CUA) to discuss the future strategic direction of our Rome Campus collaboration. While there, Director of Identity and Mission Fr Anthony Casamento and I also met CUA’s Dean, School of Theology and Religious Studies Fr Mark Morozowich to further collaborative work towards an ecclesiastical status for ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.

We also attended the 2017 Annual Conference of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) of which ACU is one of 238 member institutions. ACCU is the peak body for higher education providers with a shared commitment to their Catholic mission and identity.

This week, I am with Professor Michelle Campbell, Executive Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences for meetings with the University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, and University of San Diego on potential partnerships and academic collaboration in health sciences. I will share more details of the meeting outcomes in the next bulletin.

Core Curriculum

The International Core Curriculum was held at the Rome Campus with a total of 28 students enrolled. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Students, Learning and Teaching Professor Anne Cummins delivered the unit alongside Fr Anthony Casamento. This student cohort was also privileged to have our Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven in a lecture on Human Dignity and the Law. Our students complemented their classroom learning with community engagement activities including food distribution to the homeless and visiting Roma Camps with members of the Community of Sant’ Egidio.

The London offering of the International Core is currently running at Heythrop College with 26 students. Professor Cummins is teaching this three-week intensive unit with Director, Office of Student Success Ms Evelyn Picot.

Following the Academic Board’s approval in November last year, the refreshed Core Curriculum Unit UNCC300: Justice and Change in a Global World is currently being delivered to over 1100 students during the summer period. I am pleased to note that preliminary feedback from faculty and students has been very positive.

Interest amongst academic and professional staff to teach the refreshed Core Curriculum Units, both domestically and internationally, have also been encouraging with 150 expressions of interests received.

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