Released to staff for consultation on 14 July, the change proposal was developed to ensure La Trobe is in a strong position for future growth. It is a core component of the University’s Transformation Program which supports La Trobe’s Strategic Plan 2020-2030, developed last year to help the University emerge from COVID-19 as a more resilient, future-focused and efficient institution.
The new operating model strongly reinforces our commitment to our regional campuses as well as to our students and partners in Melbourne and overseas. It strengthens the University’s ability to collaborate and engage with industry and will expand work integrated learning opportunities for our students. It also builds on work that was underway prior to the pandemic to offer greater subject choice and flexible modes of learning to our students, and to make changes to the way we work.
Comprehensive feedback from staff and other stakeholders was analysed and reviewed by the University’s Senior Executive Group and change teams over the five weeks following end of consultation on 18 August.
Most of the feedback related to local areas. As a result of this feedback, some changes have been incorporated at divisional and local levels, including reporting lines, increased staff levels to support the delivery of the University’s strategic objectives and correction of any inaccuracies.
Feedback was generally supportive of the new operating model and, as such, there has been minimal adjustment to the operating model and high-level organisational structures. The following key changes will now be implemented:
- Replacing the current two-college model with a single Office of the Provost into which 10 academic schools will report;
- Consolidation of some disciplines and departments within schools to align more closely with the University’s strategic objectives;
- Consolidation and alignment of functions in professional staff structures to ensure consistent, high-quality support to the core activities of teaching and research. This includes centralisation of support in student administration and student engagement, centralisation of professional and administrative support for learning and teaching, and strengthened capacity and coordination for industry engagement;
- Strengthened Indigenous academic leadership and support for Indigenous students and staff, and clear leadership and consolidated support for wellbeing, disability and inclusion for students and staff.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO thanked staff for their commitment to the University and significant contribution in providing measured feedback on the change proposal that will shape La Trobe's future.
“The changes to La Trobe’s structure and operating model will ensure we now have the platform for a sustainable future which aligns our resources with our strategic priorities and takes account of our likely revenue over the next five years,” Professor Dewar said.
“The University’s transformation will allow us to focus more sharply on our strengths and distinctiveness in teaching and research, simplify our business processes and operations, and ensure we can continue to make a positive difference to our students, communities and partners.
“I recognise that this continues to be a very challenging time for our staff and we will continue to provide a wide range of support as we move through the next phase of staff recruitment, redundancies and implementation of our new operating model.”
Recruitment to new and vacant roles will commence on 22 September.
The new operating model will come into effect on 4 January 2022.
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