New UOW Vice-Chancellor Patricia Davidson vows to promote ‘open door policy’ during her tenure

The new vice-chancellor of Wollongong University (UOW) says she wants staff and students to have more voice at the table when it comes to the management of the educational institution.

Patricia Davidson started in the role on Monday, becoming the first female and former graduate to hold UOW’s most senior position.

This follows a tumultuous period for the university, which has cut more than 200 jobs in the past year after recording a loss of $ 90 million at the height of the pandemic.

Professor Davidson said she would meet with the National Union for Higher Education on a priority basis this week in a bid to boost morale and help foster an open door policy at the university.

“I hope we can work together as I will need their help and I will need their support and I will need their guidance to lead UOW over the next few months and years,” she said. declared.

“I really want people to feel they have a voice in the process, that’s really important.”

Growing income

The former nurse and dean of the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University in the United States said she would try to use her tenure to improve the financial situation of UOW through more paid online courses.

“There are a lot of opportunities, especially with digitization, so this is something I really want to exploit … and we’re going to put more emphasis on research and development.

“I see UOW as an anchor institution in the region and we will all be stronger and more successful if we work together.

“We don’t want to be seen as an ivory tower separate from the community to generate economic opportunities as well as educational courses.”

Patricia Davidson started her new role on Monday.(

ABC Illawarra: Fairlie Hamilton

)

‘Not helpful or constructive’

Professor Davidson said treating international students as a “commodity” had to change and that it would encourage a shift in Australian rhetoric around the cohort, as discussions continued around their return.

“We hope that by the end of the month there will be good news around a coordinated NSW-wide approach to the return of international students.

“I want to see international students come back for the richness they bring to our city, to the campus, and as a real signal that we are on the international stage.

Outgoing Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings resigned Friday after nine years in the post.

Protesters tried to prevent guests from attending his farewell dinner on Friday night, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science and an emeritus chair for demonstrating exceptional commitment to the university.


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