Crystallising our purpose

Future Taskforce Crystallising our purpose

Crystallising our purpose

The Crystallising our Purpose Report addresses the first phase of the JCU – the Future Project and is directed principally at the three elements of our core business as defined in the University Plan – Learning and Teaching, Research and Engagement.

In developing this report the JCU –the Future Taskforce has considered internal and external contexts. From an internal perspective this report elaborates on, and aligns with, existing strategic documents and initiatives including the Statement of Strategic Intent, the University Plan, Curriculum Refresh, Tri City Harmonisation Project and the JCU Research Plan. The University’s external context is defined as comprising two main domains - the tropics, including northern Queensland, and the higher education sector.

The Taskforce sought the views of the staff and students on what the future could and should hold through extensive consultation. There were three main elements to this: (1) a facility for comments and submissions via the web and email; (2) a ‘Word Cloud’ as a device to elicit descriptors of the future, and; (3) a scenario exercise through which we explored with staff what the future might hold and how we might prepare for it. Staff and students embraced the opportunity to be involved, making more than 900 individual contributions through these consultation mechanisms. The consultation process identified that staff care deeply about the future of the organisation and want it to succeed.

Building upon this input the Taskforce has identified key attributes and principles to underpin our learning and teaching, research and engagement. In combination these attributes and principles define a “James Cook University Model”, which will be:

And underpinned by the following principles:

  • We will fulfil the aims, ambitions and expectations expressed through the James Cook University Act 1997.

  • The James Cook University Model will give effect to the Statement of Strategic Intent, including our values and beliefs.

  • The three elements of our core business – learning and teaching, research and engagement – will be closely integrated.

  • The special opportunities presented by our three tropical campus locations will project our University’s distinctiveness, individually and collectively. 

  • The University will be sustainable financially and in terms of its social and environmental performance.

In order to give expression to this model, the Taskforce has delivered a set of recommendations that extend across the three elements of our core business – learning and teaching, research and engagement. While individual recommendations often refer to one of the elements of core business, the intent is that collectively we achieve stronger integration across these elements.

The ambition is to uphold a university that is unique in the Australian higher education setting, in terms of its focus, the student experience, and its engagement. To this end, substantial changes in learning delivery, organisational culture and structure, and the way we work will be required.