Overview of the Academic Portfolio Office

The Academic Portfolio Office (APO) is led by the Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation) and Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) and encompasses SCU Online, Academic Partnerships, Centre for Teaching and Learning, SCU College and Business Intelligence and Quality (BIQ).

The Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation) portfolio drives innovation and excellence in curriculum design and delivery and works in partnership with Deans to achieve the vision for future delivery of education at Southern Cross University.

The Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) portfolio drives the alignment of education quality with University strategy and works closely with the Deans to develop and implement strategy to enhance quality in the delivery of teaching programs.

Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) is responsible for:

  • Academic Portfolio Office
  • Academic Governance and Student Misconduct
  • Business Intelligence and Quality (BIQ)
  • Careers and Employability Unit
  • SCU College

Professor Thomas Roche, Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality)

 Video transcript

Professor Roche, thanks very much for your time.

As we move into 2021, how would you describe the scope of your portfolio?

We're looking at bringing innovative teaching practices, content which is media rich, responsive, and that's on-demand, that students can access at any time. And then we're tying that to a learning experience that's very engaged.

And that is it doesn't require that students sit there and passively listen, but they get their hands in the substance of the material they're learning. So it's a guided, interactive experience that helps them develop the skills and knowledge they'll need for the jobs of the future. Being at a smaller regional university.

Is that an easier challenge to achieve, do you think?

There are some great things about being at a smaller regional university. One is community. And the great thing about a small university is we have a really tight, integrated community where the academics, the lecturers, the tutors really go out of their way to make sure the students are comfortable and engaged with the learning material. And you see that all the time in our student feedback. It's very strong, it's very positive, and in fact, for a number of years we've been, if not the best, amongst the best of all Australian universities in terms of our learning support for students.

That's great. Let's just talk about, then, how your portfolio will interact with Professor Wilson. How will both pro-vice-chancellors operate?

Professor Wilson and I work in the same office, and that means that our roles are actually two sides of the one coin. Professor Wilson's role will be to drive academic innovation. That means to consider our course offerings and how they're delivered and to change those, to make those more relevant to the world of today and to bring about innovation in our teaching delivery. Now, my role at the same time is to make sure we're not just making change for change's sake but to ensure that those changes are focused on quality, so that we're taking consideration of the students' perspective, making sure the student learning outcomes remain high, and also that their feedback is an important part of the changes we're making to ensure that our courses are relevant to them and are the inspired experience we want them to be.

Professor Roche, thanks very much for your time. Much appreciate it.

Thanks very much, Charlie.


Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation) is responsible for:

  • Academic Portfolio Office
  • Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Academic Partnerships

Professor Erica Wilson, Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation)

 Video transcript

Thanks for your time professor. We have been through an unprecedented year, but it's 2021 now. And moving forward, what I'd like you to do is try and define what the scope of your portfolio will represent.

I think for me in response to that question, it's really about getting our students to think in an interdisciplinary way, or even I like to say transdisciplinary, and I know that's a bit of a mouthful. But getting students to think outside of silos.

So if all of that's aligned, where do you see your portfolio as having the most impact?

I think, through really careful oversight of our curriculum and really managing that curriculum innovation. So one of my core roles is as PVC Academic Innovation, is to invigorate our course portfolio and by courses, I mean, degrees. What do we want them to look like?

I think for my portfolio and the academic portfolio office, it's really about creating degree structures where they can, if they're a science student or a business student, they can take a major from one of the other disciplines or one of the other areas of the university.

It sounds simple, but we haven't had the structures in our curriculum and in our systems to really let students do that. So I think that's been a really big success for us and something I'm really proud of.

And how do you think that fits in with the overall university's success, if you like. How does that dovetail with what the university represents?

I think, because we want our graduates to be broad-thinking and resilient and open to learning. We have a graduate attribute, which is about lifelong learning, think about how people work, think about how the world works.

So after they have graduated, say in five years time, how would you want your students appreciated by their peers or their employers?

I think, I mentioned the word resilient before. I think, that's going to be very important. Emotionally intelligent, professional, agile, broad-thinking. To me that's what I would want a Southern cross graduate to really be.

And I think that will be, I think they are already, but yeah, those are the core words that come to mind.

Professor, thank you very much for your time, and I wish your portfolio and yourself all the best in the future.