Professor Robin Stonecash, Executive Dean, Faculty of Business, Law and Arts
We're with Professor Robin Stonecash, Executive Dean of Southern Cross University's faculty for business, law and arts, thanks for your time. Professor, can we just start with you defining the scope of your portfolio?
Some of the things that we're going to be looking at will be things like sustainability, so there's a legal aspect to sustainability. How do we change laws? What policies do we put in place to make sure that we're living a sustainable life? Some of it will be about business practice. So one of the things we're very keen on is to make sure that people practice responsible business that is that they don't care just for profit. They also care for the people and the planet. So I think it's a really unique combination with business law and arts and the creative arts to get students to think about things, to think in a different way, to think about things responsibly.
And what sort of reputation do you want to build for your portfolio?
These days university degrees are expensive and it happens to be that the faculty of business, law and arts are some of the most expensive degrees that you can do in the university now. So we want to make sure that we're giving good value to our students. And that means teaching them practical, relevant things that are relevant to the jobs that they will get afterwards.
In the disruptive world of business too, to what extent does the university in your vision embrace the entrepreneurial spirit?
The new degree that we've got the bachelor of business and enterprise has a major in entrepreneurship and innovation. And we are hoping that our colleagues in science and education and health all come in and do a shared major, for example. Because they can learn how to be a health practitioner and also how to innovate and be an entrepreneur and set up their own business to service the communities that they're in.
And how would you characterize the contribution of your portfolio to the success of the university itself?One of the things I really like about the new faculty structure is that the executive deans, myself and all of the other executive deans are really keen on working together and creating something that's of better value. These days universities shouldn't just be about a single discipline and very siloed and narrow focused. The world doesn't live that way and so we shouldn't teach that way. Because we're a regional university, I would hope that we would work on regional development.
So how can we create jobs in region? How can we help our colleagues in the faculty of health look at providing good quality healthcare in the regions? How can we make sure that educational opportunities are just as good in the regions as they are in the big cities?
There are also legal aspects to what we do for example, like sustainability and climate change. How can we make sure that these things apply equally well in regional areas as they do in the city? So there are lots of different areas that we want to focus on within the university, but particularly within our faculty.