School of Social Sciences & Liberal Studies
2009 Operational Plan
Statement of Context
The School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies teaches courses and undertakes research in the disciplines of Psychology, Justice Studies, and Emergency
Management; it also offers service teaching from the academic disciplines of English, Politics and Sociology into a wide variety of courses. Undergraduate courses in the
school provide the basis for a variety of careers in psychology, justice and emergency services. More specialised Honours and postgraduate courses are offered in
Psychology, Criminology and Emergency Management.
In 2009 Social Sciences and Liberal Studies became a multi-campus School, with the challenges that that brings to integration and communication across staff who are
located on three campuses, but also significant advantages for maximising staffing resources across the courses and subjects taught by the School, as well as teaching
and research collaboration. The School has 43 academic staff (with three positions currently vacant) and 6 administrative and support staff.
The School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies 2009 Operational Plan recognises the strengths that flow from being a multi-campus and multi-discipline School, and
focuses these strengths into its teaching of basic and applied (professional) courses, as well as its research activities by students and staff. In order to maximise its
potential the School needs to maximise collaboration amongst its staff, as well as increase its resourcing by the University in terms of research funding and infrastructure.
This Operational Plan will improve teaching and research outcomes of the School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies, and thereby increase University level support for
the School’s teaching and research activities.
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Key Objective 1: Support of the CSU Course Plan
Link to Course Plan Context / planned outcomes
Specific course plan performance objectives:
1. Enhance the quality and
scope of CSU’s profile of a) Develop an internal mode for MPsych (Clinical) through appropriate allocation of resources and collaboration with Greater
professional courses Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) through the establishment of Internships. Outcome: School to meet demand for
Internal intake in 2010 as indicated by GWAHS internship appointments.
b) Develop initial course placements for the internal MPsych with intensive supervision and competencies training on campus and
through Bloomfield Hospital. Outcome: Internal placements for at least 2 students in 2010.
c) Sustain and develop the Bachelor of Justice Studies (Policing) through ongoing liaison with NSW Police Force and the School
of Policing Studies. Outcome: Decreased attrition and higher completion rate through School of Policing Studies.
d) Enhance demand and raise entry standards in the Bachelor of Justice Studies (Policing) through effective marketing (see also
School Marketing Plan).
e) Review and modify course offerings as and when appropriate across the U/G Psychology programs to better meet demand and
to be aligned with new training models following changes to National Registration and Accreditation. This will be a primary
focus of the CSU Psychology Course Reviews.
2. Strengthen alignment of Specific course plan performance objectives:
with University Strategy a) Align with ‘research output’ and ‘nexus between research and teaching’ through on-going provision of adequate and
2007-2011 appropriately equipped psychology laboratory facilities. Outcome: Development of a proposal for Clinic and laboratory facilities.
b) Align with ‘benchmark assessment standards’ through development of specific benchmarking partnerships with other
universities: Outcome: Identification of suitable partnerships; inclusion in Course Reviews.
c) Support the Faculty’s Internationalisation target by seeking opportunities to develop programs with International experience
components, utilising the services of CSU Global. Outcome: At least one program established by end 2010.
d) Identification of current material addressing indigenous issues in SS&LS courses. Outcomes: mapping to be completed by mid
3. Improve demand from Specific course plan performance objectives:
well qualified students
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Key Objective 1: Support of the CSU Course Plan
Link to Course Plan Context / planned outcomes
a) Attract high standard applicants for BSocSc (Psych) and BPsych through effective course promotion strategies. Outcomes:
More first preferences from high UAI applicants and decreased attrition rates
b) Increase intake into the BPsych by review of entry criteria in combination with introduction of a GPA criterion for entry to the 4
year, and an exit point after 3 year. Outcome: Lower UAI entry level, thus increasing intake.
c) Increase Postgraduate Dip (Psych) and MSocSc (Criminology) through effective course promotion strategies and increased
resourcing by staff allocation. Outcome: Increased intakes in MSocSc(Criminology) and at least maintain PGDip(Psych) at
4. Enhance access to Specific course plan performance objectives:
courses a) Increase access to Psychology training to a level that meets the academic requirements for registration as a psychologist by
indigenous students, who are currently under represented within the profession. Outcome: Development of an memorandum
of understanding (or service-level-agreement) with GWAHS to provide additional training for Indigenous Mental Health Workers
through the Graduate Diploma of Psychology.
b) To enhance retention of Clinical Psychologists in Rural and Remote areas. Outcome: Reserve at least 6 course places in the
MPsych for competitive students from rural and remote areas of Australia. To be reviewed by the MPsych External Advisory
Committee, and as a part of the MPsych Course Review.
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Key Objective 2: Support of the CSU and Faculty of Arts Research Plans
Link to Research Plans Context / planned outcomes
1.To produce research Proposed actions and outcomes (all ongoing):
outputs of high quality and
impact. a) Support the School Research Development Committee and its activities, including providing a work-load allowance for the chair
of the RDC.
To increase research
Maintain and enhance support of research activity amongst SSLS staff by providing small School-grants to:
performance across CSU
by supporting the new staff developing new projects or pursuing projects arising from their PhD research
development of a broad support staff in writing up their research projects for publication
research culture support on-going research activities
Outcomes: Submission of papers to the Faculty of Arts Working Papers Series, and success in CSU internal grant programs
relative to appropriate staff track records (i.e., seed grants for new staff, small and CSU competitive grants for early and middle
b) Encourage the Centre for Research & Graduate Training, and Senate to recognise the total research quanta achieved by staff
within SSLS instead of only counting the number of staff that achieve research-active status each year (through continued
lobbying in all available forums). Outcome: University recognition of total School research quantum.
c) Continue the current mentoring and support provided to new staff members, including supporting the mentors in this role.
Outcomes: Contribution to Faculty Working papers series. Internal grant applications.
d) Encourage and support all members of staff in the development of individual research/professional activity plans. Outcome:
Research to continue to be a focus of Probation Reviews and Performance Management.
e) The development of focused and transdisciplinary research collaboration recognised and supported by the University.
Outcome: at least one application for a Problem Focused Research Group from within the School submitted in 2010.
f) Recognise overlap between the research and professional activities of staff (currently not well captured by PBF criteria), such
as current partnerships with Sydney Children’s Hospital, Aged Care Facilities, Community Health, etc. Outcomes: Mentor staff
in relation to obtaining research outcomes from professional activities. Monitor OPAs.
2. Support trans- Proposed actions and outcomes (all ongoing):
disciplinary teams a) Continue the current trans-disciplinary research seminar program within the school. Outcome: Active participation by staff in the
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b) Develop scholarly collegial relationships between staff in this multidisciplinary school to create a positive environment for the
conception of trans-disciplinary research projects. Outcome: one application for a Problem Focused Research Group from
within the School submitted in 2010 of a transdisciplinary nature.
c) Encourage staff to apply for research grants (both within and outside of the University) involving other disciplines/schools, and
to access funds provided by institutions that promote trans-disciplinary research (e.g., Institute of Criminology). Outcome: At
least one successful external grant application within the School by 2011.
3. Identify and support Proposed actions and outcomes:
major areas of research
strength a) Consolidation of resources to support the areas that staff have developed interests and strength in, such as:
Gender, Identity and Multiculturalism
Learning and Memory
Community Critical Psychology
Outcome: Identification of synergies and research successes amongst these areas (and potentially other areas outside the
School) that can lead to funded research groupings. At least one application for problem Focused Research Group funding in
b) Provide sufficient dedicated space for research including engaging the Division of Facilities Management in a plan to increase
the psychology clinical and laboratory facilities. Outcome: Development of a proposal for clinical and laboratory facilities.
4. Enhance national and Proposed actions and outcomes:
alliances with universities a) Support staff in accessing funds provided by institutions that promote trans-disciplinary research (e.g., Institute of Criminology).
Support staff to undertaker SSP in key international research centres.
Outcome: SSP applications to focus upon research development, especially with an international focus.
5. Encourage a closer Proposed actions and outcomes:
nexus between teaching
and research a) Provide small School grants for research that demonstrably supports teaching.
b) Attract PhD students to the School by:
identifying and encouraging quality honours students to undertake further study
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enhancing the School’s reputation through online promotion of research successes
enhancing the School’s reputation and networks through high quality conference presentations
highlighting the need for office and research space to the Divisions of Facilities Management and Finance
Outcome: Attract RHD students in all disciplines within the School that are recognised by CRGT to have supervision capacity.
6. Increase the amount of Proposed actions and outcomes:
support for Research
Higher Degree Students a) Provide support for RHD students by;
Monitoring the supervision load of CRGT approved supervisors
Increasing the number of CRGT approved supervisors
Providing office (shared) and computing resources for internal RHD students
Consulting with the Subdean Graduate Training (Faculty of Arts) to monitor supervision quality and student progression
Review (e.g., in the Psychology Course Reviews) limitations to adequate supervision by staff and resourcing needs
Recommendations to Dean regarding supervision staffing requirements
RHD resources to be considered as a part of Clinic and Laboratory requirements for Psychology
increased PhD enrolments
improved progression/completion rates
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Key Objective 3: Support of the CSU Learning and Teaching Plan
Link to Learning and Context / planned outcomes
1. Promote and recognise Specific learning and teaching plan performance objectives:
good practice in learning a) Encourage and mentor staff to apply for teaching excellence awards. Outcome: At least one application for internal teaching
and teaching award.
b) Encourage and mentor staff in developing scholarship of teaching projects; encourage and maintain the School’s scholarship in
teaching group. Outcome: At least one application for a teaching development grant (internal CSU funds, and potentially
external, such as ALTC)
c) Support the School SSLS Learning and Teaching Committee and its activities including providing a work-load allowance for the
chair of the LTC. Outcome: Membership by at least 8 staff.
d) Rationalise subject offerings and examine opportunities for streamlining offerings by changes in course architecture. Outcome:
See above for rationalising Psychology undergraduate offerings.
e) Develop and promulgate improved assessment strategies through the School’s Assessment Committees, as well as the
School’s LTC workshops, scholarship in teaching projects and the School’s scholarship in teaching group. Outcome: Review of
assessment guidelines for all programs, but commencing with Honours courses for 2010 (consistent with Faculty priorities).
2. Create a more
accessible and effective Specific learning and teaching plan performance objectives:
a) Increase appropriate implementation of Interact through staff development and provision of appropriate resources, particularly
encouraging staff to take up available professional development in the use of VLE/Flexible learning. Outcome: Increased use
of Interact affordances. Student feedback includes recognition of effective use of Interact
b) Encourage staff to explore on-line assessment strategies. Outcome: Appropriate use of on-line assessment.
c) Develop a program of revision of DE materials. Outcome: Current and effective DE materials
d) Make staff aware of the ways in which the University recognises the needs of all student cohorts, including the Indigenous
Education Strategy and the Western Regions Strategy. Outcome: Sufficient attention to student needs including Indigenous
coverage in all courses (where appropriate).
e) Re-develop subjects for USM compliance through review at the time of teaching the subject in 2009. Outcome: Smooth
introduction of USM in 2010.
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3. Strengthen partnerships Specific learning and teaching plan performance objectives:
with the professions in
learning and teaching Practicum coordinators evaluate the use and effectiveness of practicum and clinical education, including exploring new models.
Outcome: Course coordinators ensure adequate coverage of professional ethics in all courses; monitor support needs of external
Improve recognition and support for professional and practicum coordinators including maximising the use of the resources of the
Institute for Clinical and Practicum Based Education. Outcomes: Workload allocation for practicum coordination. Greater administrative
support for practicum coordinators (linked to reclassification of administrative staff).
Improve practicum training for MPsych students in the local area through links with Greater Western Area Health Services. Outcome:
SS&LS support for the appointment of a Principal Psychologist in GWAHS as an adjunct appointment.
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Key Objective 4: Support of the Institutional Development Plan
Link to Institutional Context / planned outcomes
1. Create and maintain an Development Outcomes:
organisational culture that
supports the vision, Model and promote key values in the management of the School, including cooperation, access and equity, compassion and flexibility.
values and mission of the Outcome: High level of consultation. Expanded membership of the Management Committee. Continue to support School colloquia and
University Strategy 2007- workshops. Ensure all School workshops, colloquia and meetings are accessible for all staff across campuses.
2. Develop a consistent
approach to service Maintain effective communication with the School of Communication in order to ensure that the SSLS subjects meet the perceived
delivery across the Courses needs. Outcome: A sustained, appreciated and effective service teaching role in the Communication Courses.
Maintain effective communication with the School of Teacher Education in order to ensure that the SSLS subjects meet the perceived
Courses needs. Outcome: A sustained, appreciated and effective service teaching role in the Teacher Education Courses.
Maintain effective service subjects for health science courses through establishing close liaison and feedback. Outcome: Continuing
demand for service subjects in health courses.
3. Undertake workplace Outcomes include:
planning that considers Consolidate the expanded School by facilitating inclusion of staff from all campuses:
current and future human Appropriate teaching allocation to maximise resources and decrease workloads
resource implications Inclusion in School processes (meetings, colloquia, workshops as cross-campus events)
Establishing inter-active video link.
Enhance work/life balance through:
Flexibility with regard to working hours
Receptiveness with regard to part-time work arrangements
Accommodating staff who need to work from home
Being a child-friendly workplace
Encouraging a supportive relationship between colleagues
Take positive and development approach to performance management by encouraging staff to attend training sessions.
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Maintain effective induction and mentoring of new staff by ensuring that existing staff are familiar with the programs that are on offer
through the Division of Human Resources.
Continually update SSLS procedures and policies regarding sessional staff to ensure that satisfactory support and contact is
maintained with both on and off campus sessional staff (e.g. ensuring that temporary computer access is processed in a timely and
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