Learning Leaders Conference success
The the first CAULLT-sponsored Learning Leaders Conference was held in Melbourne on June 6 in partnership with Higher Education Services. CAULLT was officially launched as an entity.
Keynotes were offered by a range of learning leaders, specifically identified because of their different roles within the sector or within their University. Professor Stephanie Marshall, former CEO of the HEA and Professor in Higher Education, offered an international perspective. Professor Suzi Derbyshire provided positive insights from her position as a DVC (Learning and Teaching) and A/Prof Alan Bain gave a faculty perspective, focusing on the seven things learning leaders can do to achieve quality and distinctiveness in Higher Education learning and teaching. Additionally Stewart Lee, President of the Edith Cowan Student Guild, represented a student learning leader’s voice.
The more than 80 learning and teaching leaders who attended found the day to be “highly valuable”, “thought provoking”, “stimulating”, “varied”, “creative” and “interesting, useful, enthusiastic and passionate speakers” (all quotes from the conference evaluation).
Opening the conference, convenor and CAULLT vice president, Prof Kylie Readman (Murdoch), noted there was a great need for ongoing strategic leadership in all areas of the university. Leadership was considered to be the driver behind entrepreneurial and innovative responses to the challenges facing higher education and fundamental for driving change that could respond with agility in the face of such complexity.
CADAD stood for the Council of Australian Directors of Academic Development. While CADAD was a recognised name in the sector, it didn’t accurately reflect the roles most members now had which was a range of PVCs, Deans and Directors – but no Directors of Academic Development as such. Members of CAULLT often had formal responsibility for strategic initiatives in learning and teaching, learning and teaching policy, professional development of staff, recognition and reward of teaching. Members used the CAULLT network to meet with others in similar roles from universities across Australasia.
She first proposed this conference to formally launch CAULLT as a network that had a vested interest in leadership of learning and teaching. She wanted to make it clear that CAULLT did not feel that it ‘owned’ learning and teaching leadership but rather saw itself as a peak body that contributed to the quality of Higher Education by supporting its members in their substantive leadership roles. CAULLT recognised the excellent work being done around the sector by other groups and individual institutions to support and develop emerging leaders and embed notions of distributed leadership as a functioning reality.
This conference posed a few simple questions about leadership, the future of leadership in learning and teaching, the role learning leaders play in contributing to quality Higher Education and leadership development. The program was structured to hear the views of stakeholders from all areas of the university and advance the collective understanding of leadership in learning and teaching.
CAULLT collaborated with Higher Education Services to present the Learning Leaders Conference. The presentations are available through the HES website link