CEDA member profile: ACU



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Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor

1. What does your organisation do?

Australian Catholic University is the country's only national university. We have seven campuses around Australia, and offer courses in four faculties. ACU was founded from Catholic tertiary institutions that have been training teachers and nurses since the mid-19th century. The University has grown dramatically over the past few years, and between 2009 and 2014, our enrolments increased by 52 per cent. ACU is a publicly funded university, teaching within the Catholic intellectual tradition, and open to students of all beliefs. Our students are empowered to think critically and ethically, and bring about change in their communities.

2. What is your role in the organisation?

As Vice-Chancellor, I am the chief executive officer of ACU and responsible for representing the University both nationally and internationally. I provide strategic leadership and management of the University, and am responsible to the Senate for the organisation and conduct of university business.

In addition to my role at ACU, I am a constitutional lawyer, Chair of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG), a member of the Board of Directors for Universities Australia, and serve on a range of other boards and groups.

3. What type of activities (events/topics/research areas) matter most to you and your company?

CEDA's national program of events provide significant opportunities for our managers, researchers and teachers to take part in discussion, debate and collaboration around topics they are engaged with. Higher education is a critical policy area constantly under review by a wide range of sectors. We are very happy to lead and engage in these discussions with our peers within CEDA.

4. Why is your organisation a member of CEDA?

Australian Catholic University is spread across four states and a territory, with approximately 30,000 students. As such we work hard to engage with business, industry, government and the community both at a local level and nationally. CEDA is an excellent conduit for connecting our people and our endeavours with policy and decision makers. Particularly those working in fields aligned with our mission and priorities.

5. What are your organisation's top priorities for the coming year?

Since 2008, student numbers at ACU have nearly doubled in size. We have gained a campus, a law school, many new staff members, and a plethora of buildings and teaching and learning spaces. Now we are focusing on research. While the university has always had a respectable research base, we have now prioritised the intensification of research over the next five years. The initial phase of growth has included the establishment of seven new research institutes, which are already producing some impressive work.

Students of course, remain the lifeblood of our university. Ensuring they are engaged, inspired, and given the best learning experience and practical opportunities is what motivates our staff to give their best every day.