As part of its commitment to good governance and using the principles established under PIRI (Planning, Implement, Review, Improve), the Audit Committee of Academic Senate conducts a review every five years. Whilst there are many reasons for such a review, including external factors such as audits by AUQA, the main purpose is to ensure that the Senate is providing high quality academic leadership to CSU. The first of the formal reviews occurred in 2007; it was conducted by the whole of Academic Senate and was summarised in a paper presented to and approved by Academic Senate at its December 2007 meeting. This paper, “Role and Functions of Academic Senate in a Changing Environment” identified a number of specific actions and a timeline for their implementation that can be accessed here. In 2008 a further report, which summarised the progress to date in relation to the inital self-review, was endorsed by Academic Senate.
An important aspect of the review was to raise the profile of Senate and awareness of its role as the key academic body responsible for “fostering collegial discussion and debate and in leading academic policy development and monitoring.” In furtherance of this goal, Academic Senate has produced a number of brochures for display on university noticeboards and the Presiding Officer is now actively engaged in the induction of new University Council members, speaks regularly at various University Fora (VCF, Professorial, Heads of School, Course Coordinators) and School assemblies. The next review will be conducted in 2013 by the Audit Committee of Academic Senate.
In addition to its self-review process, Academic Senate is involved as a central player in the regular reviews conducted by Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA). The AUQA Cycle 1 review of Charles Sturt University was conducted in 2004 and Cycle 2 visits to the institution are scheduled for October 2009. The documentation associated with Cycle 1 is located here. The university received a number of commendations, recommendations and affirmations that were included in the Audit Report located here. CSU has addressed the issues in the Cycle 1 Audit Report in its Progress Report.
In preparation for the Cycle 2 Audit CSU completed and submitted a desk top review of its operations against criteria in the National Protocols A and D. This link also includes CSU’s most recent Institutional Assessment Framework Portfolio and a copy of the current University Strategy 2007-2011. Although the Cycle 2 audit will be similar to the Audit CSU experienced in 2004, there will be some key differences, these being:
- An assessment of the progress made in addressing a sample of Recommendations and Affirmations from Cycle 1;
- Review of significant changes to quality assurance and enhancement processes since Cycle 1;
- Explicit assessment of the extent that institutional outcomes and standards are being achieved;
- Explicit consideration of the extent to which requirements of external reference points are being met; and
- Greater depth in the analysis of two themes, one of these being “Internationalisation”.