2008 has been a landmark year for UTS. We celebrated our twentieth year as a university in May and it was great to see staff, students and friends of the university come together during the week-long celebrations. Our twentieth anniversary has given us cause to reflect upon our past and we can be proud of what UTS has achieved in its first 20 years.
This year has also been a great year for recognising the achievements of individuals. During the anniversary celebrations we honoured Hugh Jackman with the Chancellor’s Alumni Award for Excellence 2008 and the UTS Towering Achievement Award, and Rodney Cavalier AO with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University. Most recently, we bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Letters on multi-award winning writer and Nobel Laureate J M Coetzee.
It has also been a year for planning for our future. On 1 July, the Academic Structures Review culminated in the establishment of two new faculties at UTS – the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The drawing together of UTS:Engineering and UTS:Information Technology, and the integration of UTS:Communication, UTS:Education and UTS:International Studies has facilitated learning and teaching and research synergies that are already yielding benefits for the new faculties.
We also launched our Research Investment Strategy aimed at building a capability that will enhance our reputation nationally and internationally in key research areas.
Providing research environments and learning spaces that foster knowledge discovery and sharing is the next step. In August, UTS made significant advances on this front when University Council approved the UTS City Campus Masterplan. The first stage of the plan is set to commence in 2009 with the construction of a new building on Broadway to house the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology.
Over the next 5 to 10 years, UTS will make a significant investment in its facilities to create a world-class campus. This investment requires fiscal and operational sustainability – a key element of the proposed UTS Strategic Plan 2009-2018.
The strategic plan is a blueprint for realising our vision to be one of the world’s leading universities of technology. The achievement of our vision relies upon the implementation of effective and measurable strategies that leverage our competitive advantages. The proposed plan clearly and succinctly articulates these strategies – it will be presented to University Council for approval in December then communicated in the new year.
While we close 2008 well-positioned for a successful future, the years ahead will not be without their challenges. I am confident that the global financial crisis will have minimal direct impact upon UTS – we do not invest in equity securities and have not suffered any loss in our portfolio capital and therefore are able to meet our future strategic goals. However, we are yet to see the indirect impact of the crisis on student demand, cost pressures and funding. 2009 is set to be tumultuous globally, but I am confident that UTS is well-placed to weather the storm.
This year has been, in many regards, a coming-of-age year for UTS. We have established ourselves as among the best in Australia, set ourselves ambitious but achievable goals and are, I believe, on the road to great success in the future. Importantly, the greatest contribution to past, present and future success has been made by our people. It is our unique culture and our approach to doing business with each other, as well as our partners in industry, the professions and the community, that makes UTS what it is today – the university where creativity meets technology.
UTS researchers have been successful in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grants.
UTS researchers were awarded over $6 million in ARC Discovery and Linkage grants, improving our ranking against other universities in competition for ARC funding. Special congratulations goes to Associate Professor Elizabeth Savage and her team, their Discovery application was awarded $880 000 – the largest sum of Discovery funding UTS has ever received.
Congratulations also to Professor John Dalton and Professor Sally Tracy, who are leading projects which received over $600 000 each in NHMRC funding.
For more details on all UTS projects that received funding please visit the Research website.
Vice-Chancellor and President
Photographer: Joanne Saad