Welcome Q2 2022: Welcome back to Di’s Coffee Corner

Posted: 31/03/2022

It’s been an amazing first three months of the year! I think the best thing was to see the many photographs and posts on LinkedIn of students back on campuses, across Australia and New Zealand. We have always taken this ‘on campus’ life for granted, but it was abruptly taken away in 2020. I hope you had the chance to spend some time talking to your students and welcoming them back.

During the past three months I’ve found my attention has moved from COVID to the war in Ukraine and the terrible flooding in QLD and NSW. Many of you will have been affected by the floods. DVE has had some staff members also impacted, although not severely. I hope you can find the energy and strength to get through this difficult period. Our thoughts are with you.

There is a lot of movement and change in the sector, and a renewed focus on business processes (thank goodness!). Many of you underwent organisational change in your institutions during the past two years. There is now an awareness that business processes were not addressed during those changes. These cannot be ignored anymore as many institutions have fewer staff to do the same amount of work. Changing how you work, how your teams work and focusing on the important and removing the wastes should now be your focus.

At DVE we use a management theory framework based on people, process, structure, and technology for all of our work. Where institutions have undergone structural change, there is always a requirement to address people, processes, and technology. This framework is useful for many aspects of our work, and I highly recommend it. It also helps to simplify what may appear to be overwhelming problems. In addition to this framework, we use the Lean Thinking principles to keep work efficient but still effective. One of the best programs to enable this is our popular ‘DVE Eliminating the 8 Wastes in Higher Education’ training.

Eliminating the 8 Wastes in Higher Education – Lean training

8 Wastes logo 2

  • Are you frustrated by the manual workarounds that never seem to solve the real problem?
  • Do you miss out on important information that stops you from doing your job properly?

Then this highly practical DVE training program is for you or your team!

I invite you to join me as we discuss how to address and eliminate the 8 Wastes in Higher Education. Based on Lean Thinking principles, these online, interactive sessions will help you or your team to address the many complex, manual and wasteful activities undertaken each day.

These online training sessions will be held throughout this year with a maximum of 10 people per session. The first session was held in March, but further sessions are planned for May, August and October. You can put your name on a waitlist by contacting ann.nguyen@dvesolutions.com.au. The sessions are $95 pp with discounts for three or more people from the same institution.

Each participant will receive a Certificate of Attendance, an Action Plan they will develop on the day and work on beyond the training, and eight weeks of follow up emails with links, tips, videos, and other resources to support the transfer of training back to the workplace. Participants have found these practical and relevant sessions highly effective in bringing about incremental change within their workplace.

Helen Ryan, Senior Manager (Academic Programs), Federation University and Donna Burnett, Senior Manager (Business School), La Trobe University have had great success with their 8 Wastes training and sharing that knowledge with other staff and teams.

Sector Happenings

Renewed interest in systems!

Student Management System

One of the key trends we have seen emerging over the past 6 – 12 months is institutions’ interest in reviewing their student management systems. Anyone who has worked in the sector for more than 20 years will remember these comprehensive systems were initially implemented across all universities at a huge cost and, in some institutions, with limited success. Due to the massive investment at the time (some institutions paying $20 – $30 million for their implementations), senior leaders have little or no desire to invest in this area again.

However, in the past two years, several Universities have taken the step to implement new systems. This will likely lead to more universities considering an investment in student administration systems. When integrated with CRM, Curriculum, Credit Management, Placement and Learning Management systems, they provide an ideal opportunity to simplify many business processes and streamline services to students. Watch this space!


In the past, I’ve mentioned timetabling as another system that may be renewed and replaced in the future. DVE is working with Time Edit, a European company with a great timetabling and resource management system. La Trobe University is the first to implement it, and we are currently assisting TAFE SA with its implementation. Let me know if you would like a demonstration of this excellent system.

Research Management

Another key system change we think will happen in the next year, or two is research management. We have been lucky enough to work with a few universities to streamline their processes in animal and human ethics, expression of interest for project and grant applications, internal dashboards, statutory reporting, and HDR student management. We have identified many areas that can be improved for students and staff and are working with the wonderful team at EndpointIQ. There are some exciting opportunities here. If you would like a demo of EndpointIQ, let me know.

Sector Opportunities

Some exciting opportunities for new positions are coming up at various universities across the country. I try to share as many as I can on LinkedIn. If you have a position advertised any time, PM me on LinkedIn or send me an email, and I will ensure I share the job across my networks.

A couple of current positions I know about:

  • Brendon Nelson, VP and Academic Registrar, is recruiting for a new Director of Student Administration at Southern Cross University.
  • Prof Karen Nelson is seeking two new positions: an Academic Registrar and Dean of Students at USQ.
  • Kate McGrath is advertising for a Director, Research Office and Deputy Dean, Graduate Research School, UTS.
  • Shawn Walker is recruiting for an Associate Director (Outreach and Engagement) at USQ.
  • Prof John Germov is seeking a Senior Advisor, Strategic Projects at Victoria University.

Other sector news:

  • The University of Newcastle opened its Central Coast Clinical School and Central Coast Research Institute on Darjinjung Country.
  • Prof Todd Walker moved to Scotland in 2021 as the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands. He shared the University’s Annual Review on LinkedIn. It was great to read about an overseas university’s achievements during a difficult year. I wonder how your Gaelic language training is progressing, Todd?
  • DVE Former Director of Quality and Innovation Katrina Quinn joined TEQSA as their inaugural Director Policy, Research and Engagement. Our loss is TEQSA’s gain. We wish you all the very best, Katrina.
  • Jodie Davis left the University of Newcastle to take up the position of Academic Registrar at Griffith University. Congratulations, Jodie and all the very best.
  • Pip Nicholson has been appointed as the University of Melbourne’s first DVC (People and Community). Congratulations Pip!
  • Alice Pasquale, who won the inaugural DVE Sponsored ATEM award for Leadership in Faculty and School Management in 2016, has been appointed Executive Director, Faculty Services Division. This new Division has been formed to bring Faculty staff together to build a One Deakin approach to service delivery. Well done, Alice!
  • La Trobe University topped the state of Victoria with a record five academics or teams being awarded Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning at the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) 2021.
  • Prof Fiona Coulsen has been appointed as the new Pro Vice Chancellor at Charles Darwin University.
  • Many Australian Universities succeeded in the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2022. ACU is in the Top 40 across the world.
  • Prof Sandra Harding AO completed her final week as Vice Chancellor at James Cook University and was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor. All the best for the future.

Changes at DVE

We are also very excited to have two ne people join the DVE team:

  • Emma Laurence has joined DVE as a Senior Consultant. Emma has worked previously at UniSA, University of Newcastle and The University of Adelaide, and brings a wealth of experience to DVE in areas such as recruitment, marketing, international, student administration and research administration.
  • Amber Daniels has also joined DVE as a Senior Consultant after 15 exciting years in various roles at UQ.

Welcome to Emma and Amber.

DVE has several positions available for the right applicants:

  • In our Governance and Compliance team we are looking for a person with broad experience in the sector in course content and assessment development, course accreditation, strategic alignment, and academic governance.
  • In our Digital Transformation team, we are looking for a great facilitator and communicator, with an understanding of technology in higher education, who can work with HE clients and vendors in the implementation of new systems. Click here to know more.
  • In our general team, we are looking for a Marketing & Content Manager who will ensure relevant and engaging content is continually sourced, created, curated and published across a variety of channels to optimise awareness and engagement and provide value to our clients. Find out more here.

Keep an eye on LinkedIn or Seek and please forward these to any of your contacts.

That’s all for this edition. I will be back in touch next quarter! Remember to connect with me on LinkedIn and if you want to have a chat about anything mentioned here you are welcome to contact me on 1800 870 677.