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Strategic focus

The third year of the ANU Strategic Plan 2017–2021 has been completed. The strategic plan gives effect to the University’s Vision Statement (adopted in May 2016) and is built on five pillars:

  • building on a culture of academic excellence
  • delivering on our unique national responsibilities
  • achieving equity – within ANU and in society
  • building a culture of collegiality and engagement – across and beyond ANU
  • creating an unrivalled campus environment.

Further information is available at anu.edu.au/about/strategic-planning.

The Strategic Plan serves as the University’s Corporate Plan, as presented to the Minister for Education and the Finance Minister annually, for the purposes of the PGPA Act. Council remains focused on working with the Vice-Chancellor to deliver the strategic goals it has set for the University, and monitors outcomes against key performance indicators throughout the year.

Council considered a range of significant issues and initiatives for the University in 2019. The most significant was its search for and appointment of a Chancellor to succeed Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC on 1 January 2020, after a decade of service in the role.

Other significant Council activities in 2019 included approving the new Master Plan for the Acton Campus – the result of well over a year of concentrated effort and extensive consultation with the Chancellor, external consultants, University executives, the Facilities and Services Division, and the Campus Planning Committee.

Council also held a successful 454th meeting at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in Darwin, on 3 October 2019. This was the first Council meeting ever held in the Northern Territory, and one of the very few held outside Canberra in the University’s history.

In 2019, Council considered issues such as the International Strategy, a significant review of Academic Governance at the ANU, freedom of speech and academic freedom matters. It also created the Kambri Scholarships; a new scheme to help ANU reach a target of 3 per cent of its domestic students identifying as Indigenous. The scheme includes an allocation of financial resources and a support model to reach this target.

At all its meetings, each running for approximately four hours, Council remained up-to-date with the status of the University budget and financial projections, prioritised the welfare of students and staff, and received key portfolio updates from the Executive and reports from Council Committees and the Academic Board. The centrepiece of strategic discussion was the annual Council Planning Days, held across two days in February 2019 at ANU House, Melbourne.