Last week, I announced some significant changes that Swinburne will make to take the university forward on its journey to be Australia's leading university for science, technology and innovation.
In the announcement, I spoke about the future of our Lilydale campus. In response to current challenges, we have taken the difficult decision to cease teaching TAFE and higher education courses at Lilydale from July 2013.
It is important, upfront, to emphasise that Lilydale higher education students will continue in the course they are currently enrolled in, following the move to Hawthorn in July 2013. Likewise, we will ensure that TAFE students can continue their studies at other campuses, including Croydon and Wantirna.
I know that students have had many questions since my announcement on Friday. For that reason I have established a dedicated Swinburne Connect team to answer students' queries and manage students individually through the transition ahead. Swinburne Connect can be contacted by phone on (03) 8676 7005 or by email on email@example.com.
The Swinburne Connect team will start working through the full list of students at Lilydale this week and throughout July. It is our aim to talk with each Lilydale student, throughout the rest of this year, about the arrangements for their studies in 2013.
I encourage staff who feel that they are not able to provide answers to students' questions to direct them to the Swinburne Connect service.
Last week, I also outlined that we will be pursuing the relocation of our Faculty of Design from Prahran campus to Hawthorn, and TAFE programs currently offered at Prahran to our other Swinburne campuses. As we progress this change, teaching at Prahran campus will continue as planned through 2012 and 2013.
These are significant changes for Swinburne that will require considerable effort to implement during the next 18 months. To ensure that the transitions with respect to Lilydale and Prahran are implemented with care, I will be establishing dedicated teams, drawing on the range of strengths that we have available, to assist in the significant planning that will be required. I will also be calling for nominations from within the university community - both students and staff - to contribute to the work of both teams.
On Monday, I held staff briefings at our Lilydale, Croydon and Wantirna campuses to respond personally to staff concerns and questions. I will also provide staff briefings at Prahran and Hawthorn campuses on Tuesday. Our Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of TAFE, Linda Brown, will also be holding briefings for TAFE staff on Wednesday to provide greater detail about the changes that will be taking place within TAFE.
I appreciate that this is a challenging time and that staff and students will have many questions about the change process. My commitment during this time will be to communicate as fully and frankly as possible with staff around decisions that have been taken and the consultative process by which detailed matters of implementation will be addressed.
Thank you for your support, patience and understanding as we embark on this significant period of change for Swinburne.
As I indicated in my message last week, as an institution Swinburne has undergone many transformations during its 100 year history, and if the past has shown us anything, we will continue to embrace change, adapt evolve and thrive. With these changes, we have an opportunity to create a university that is even stronger than it is today.
Professor Linda Kristjanson