Jennie Shaw to remain permanently in chief academic management role
Reporting by Ivan Jankovic
The interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) Professor Jennie Shaw has been appointed permanently to the role of DVCA.
The University of Adelaide made the announcement earlier this week following a ‘national and international search’. Her tenure will begin on Monday 9 August.
The DVCA is the chief executive role in charge of implementing the university’s learning and teaching strategies. Her department, the Division of Academic Services and Engagement (DASE), also oversees counselling and disability services, Indigenous student programs, accommodation, admissions, and examinations.
Shaw has been DVCA since June 2020, concurrently serving as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts since 2013.
As Dean, Shaw supervised the introduction of the Criminology and Music Theatre programs, incorporated the School of Education into the Faculty, and oversaw the implementation the Open Music Academy program, which aims to broaden the reach of music tuition beyond students enrolled at the Elder Con.
Under Shaw’s tenure, UofA is likely to see an uptick in micro-learning services. These are short, flexible courses designed to offer upskilling, particularly in high-demand STEM areas. Vice-Chancellor Peter Høj previously flagged this as a potential source of new revenue for the pandemic-shocked university.
‘A lot of people have lost their jobs or have their work in hiatus even though we have been very lucky in Australia, but [COVID-19] may be with us for quite some time,’ she told InDaily in May.
‘It’s really a chance for the government to help the population reset their goals in terms of their employment, but also help people who think their job may be somewhat insecure to look at some areas where there will be more security long term.’
Speaking to On Dit, Shaw suggested that the blended learning model, introduced during the 2020 lockdown, is likely here to stay beyond pandemic conditions.
‘The main immediate challenge, of course, is making sure all our students have the best learning experience that is possible, no matter whether students are on our campuses or trying to study under very difficult circumstances overseas or interstate.
‘Once the covid situation eases, and students can travel more freely, we will be looking to get back to Adelaide as many as possible, while also catering for those who will remain online by choice.’
Shaw says the DASE would play a crucial role in implementing the proposed restructuring of academic programs.
‘We are restructuring as you know, and that affects all aspects of the university, so I am involved in forming a strong, new team in DASE at the moment, making sure we can continue to support critical areas.
‘DASE is certainly also supporting the development of revisions and reviews of existing programs and the development of new programs — everything from our traditional Bachelor and Masters degrees to short courses and micro-credentials.’
A musician and music scholar, with a background in law, Shaw said she is ‘no fan’ of the Federal government’s JobReady Graduate scheme. It saw newly enrolled students in humanities, law, and commerce experience substantial fee hikes from 2021 onward.
‘I believe it to be profoundly unfair to land students in many of the humanities and social sciences areas with substantial HECS debts.
‘But so far the scheme has had little or no impact on domestic enrolments. Of course, students had locked in their choices before the scheme came into effect so we may start to see an impact next year.’
The Vice-Chancellor welcomed the University Council’s decision to appoint Shaw in an official announcement.
‘Taking on two senior full-time roles for more than a year — and doing so during the disruption of a global pandemic, at a critical and vulnerable time for our University — says much about Jennie’s commitment to the University of Adelaide, and her commitment to our students and staff.’
Shaw was previously Head of School of both the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of New England School of Arts, and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of New England.
She will remain Executive Dean until 24 September. The University has not yet announced who will replace her.
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