Annual Report 2014 (text-only version) | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Annual Report 2014 (text-only version)

Annual Report 2014 (text-only version)

Matters relating to the electronic presentation of the annual report

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The official copy of the annual report, as tabled in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, can be accessed from the Queensland Parliament's tabled papers database.

Report of the Council of the University of the Sunshine Coast

For the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014

March 2015

The Honourable Kate Jones MP Minister for Education and Training PO Box 15033

I am pleased to present the Annual Report 2014 and financial statements for the University of the Sunshine Coast.

I certify that this Annual Report complies with:

  • the prescribed requirements of the Financial Accountability Act 2009
    and the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009, and
  • the detailed requirements set out in the Annual report requirements for Queensland Government agencies.

A checklist outlining the annual reporting requirements can be accessed at Annual Report.

Yours sincerely

John M Dobson OAM Chancellor
University of the Sunshine Coast

Acknowledgment of country

The University of the Sunshine Coast acknowledges the Gubbi Gubbi people as the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which the campus stands, and recognises the strength, resilience and capacity of Aboriginal people in this land. The University has a Reconciliation Action Plan to guide its relationships, opportunities and progress reporting with regard to Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Communication objectives

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2014 annual report provides a record of the University’s performance in 2014, its plans for the future, and audited financial statements. All achievements for 2014 are documented against the goals and corresponding key performance indicators of the University’s Strategic Plan (2011–2015).

Potential readers of the annual report include federal, state and local government representatives and officers, the University community (including staff and students), business and media, potential benefactors, international visitors and members of the public.

To provide your feedback or request copies of this annual report, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications, University of the Sunshine Coast, by telephoning +61 7 5459 4558 or by emailing

The report is also available online at

The University of the Sunshine Coast is committed to providing accessible services to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. If you have difficulty understanding
the annual report, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications on +61 7 5459 4558 to arrange an interpreter to effectively communicate the report to you.

University of the Sunshine Coast 90 Sippy Downs Drive
Tel: +61 7 5430 1234
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© (University of the Sunshine Coast) 2015
ISSN 1837-7521
Published by the University of the Sunshine Coast March 2015.
Information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing. For the most up-to-date information about the University, visit | All amounts are in Australian dollars. | University of the Sunshine Coast is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.
CRICOS Provider Number: 01595D.


On opening in 1996, the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) became the first greenfield university to be established in Australia since 1975. The University serves the Sunshine Coast and impacts strongly on the economic and cultural development of the region.

In its first 17 years to date, as a new public university for the Sunshine Coast region USC has demonstrated its viability in terms of student demand, enrolment growth, teaching and research outcomes, campus development, financial position, regional contribution and reputation.

In its next 20 years, USC will be characterised by naturally reinforcing themes. Proposed Australian Government fee reform, as well as targets for higher education participation and low-SES students, will impact on the University’s profile and teaching.

Learning and teaching at USC will build on its existing reputation and provide an exemplar of access and success in the Australian higher education sector. Opportunity will be provided over a broader region, and students and the wider community will have educational, cultural and economic possibilities well beyond current offerings.

Research outcomes and outputs will increase in both quantity and quality. Existing areas of research concentration will be strengthened through collaboration with the best researchers in these fields in Australia and internationally.

Strategic partnerships will be expanded with related government agencies, industry and business. In addition, there will be substantially more applied research conducted with, and for the benefit of, the wider community.

Rapid growth of the University and the region it serves presents a major challenge for USC’s institutional capacity and capability. Professional development of staff at all levels will be a priority, the University’s systems will undergo major reinvestments, and core infrastructure will be expanded. Above all, development of strategic partnerships at regional, national and international levels will advance USC’s footprint, profile and performance.


The University of the Sunshine Coast is regionally relevant and recognised, nationally and internationally, for excellence in teaching, research and engagement.


In pursuing its vision and conducting daily operations, the University is committed to:

  • creating and disseminating knowledge through innovative and effective teaching and research
  • fostering freedom of inquiry and expression
  • the process of lifelong learning
  • engaging in and responding to the region’s intellectual, cultural and economic challenges
  • adopting consultative processes and ethical behaviours in all activities
  • engendering respect throughout the University community
  • fairness, openness, honesty, trust and effective communication
  • developing the University and supporting the region as a sustainability exemplar
  • advancing human rights within a tolerant and inclusive community, in which respect for Indigenous peoples is fundamental.


  • Student enrolments increased by 8.4 percent in 2014, with an increase of 8.3 percent in conferred undergraduate degrees and 27.3 percent in conferred postgraduate coursework degrees. International student enrolments increased by a substantial 41.7 percent compared to 2013.
  • For the ninth year in a row the University achieved five stars for teaching quality in the Good Universities Guide 2015. USC also achieved five stars for overall graduate satisfaction, and graduates’ satisfaction with the generic skills they gained while at university.
  • The University welcomed 1,713 graduates to its alumni cohort in 2014. Total USC alumni now totals 14,164.
  • Part of USC’s $33 million Collaborative Futures project (which aims to expand USC’s geographic footprint, increase blended learning at USC, including visualisation-based learning and strengthen its collaboration with TAFE), USC’s Learning and Teaching Hub was formally opened and during the year won some prestigious building and design awards. This building offers some of the best learning facilities in the country.
  • For commencement in Semester 1, 2015—18 new programs received approval in 2014 to be delivered at the USC Sippy Downs campus; three full degree programs received approval to be delivered at the USC SouthBank campus (full degree programs were not previously offered at this campus); and first-year courses in eight major degree programs offered at the Sippy Downs campus will now also be delivered at USC Gympie.
  • While studying at USC, Clinical Exercise Science graduate Blake Cochrane was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contributions to sport in the 2012 London Paralympics. This year
  • Blake also became the first back-to-back winner of USC’s Sportsperson of the Year, after winning four gold medals at the 2014 Para Pan Pacific Championships and also a bronze medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
  • USC’s Accident Research (USCAR) team has this year cemented itself as a leading expert in its field, with Professor Paul Salmon one of 150
    researchers to receive a share of $115 million as an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow for his critical, nationally important research into road trauma. Dr Bridie Scott-Parker was named one of 10 Science Stars of Tomorrow for 2014 from the Australian Academy of Science, and was also awarded a prestigious Early Career Fellowship of almost $310,000 from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
  • USC microbiologists Dr Adam Polkinghorne and Professor Peter Timms and their team—who this year led the world’s first successful field trial of a vaccine against chlamydia in koalas—also earned a highly competitive Discovery Project grant of almost $460,000 from the ARC for their separate but associated research into how chlamydia causes blindness in koalas. Dr Polkinghorne and Professor Timms were also part of a team that received a further $509,100 from the ARC for improving the diagnosis, management and control of chlamydial infections in Australian livestock.
  • USC’s International Projects Group was awarded $3.88 million in Australian Government aid funding to help teachers strengthen their skills and boost outcomes for school students across Indonesia’s Papua province. A Papuan teacher, Ms Jil Lahallo, in 2014 also became the first USC graduate to win a highly coveted Fulbright scholarship.
  • The University presented an honorary doctorate to British internationally acclaimed environmentalist (and comedian, musician and actor) Bill Bailey on Tuesday 14 October.
  • USC received national recognition for its innovative waste management system, which has led to a 75 percent reduction in throwaway waste on-campus. USC’s “recycling from the desktop” program received the Carbon Reduction award at the 2014 Green Gown Awards held in Hobart.

Key five-year figures

Category 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Annual % change Trend
Number of students1 7,276 7,766 8,139 8,904 9,652 8.4%
Female 4,764 5,066 5,338 5,807 6,158 6.0%
Male 2,512 2,700 2,801 3,097 3,494 12.8%
On-campus students 7,148 7,640 8,010 8,818 9,572 8.6%
Undergraduate 5,701 6,142 6,564 7,173 7,697 7.3%
Postgraduate coursework 654 680 611 683 846 23.9%
Higher degree by research 140 141 177 204 262 28.4%
Non-award 781 803 787 844 847 0.4%
International (all students) 870 805 697 746 1,057 41.7%
International (on campus) 855 789 690 743 1,054 41.9%
Student load (EFTSL)2 6034.3 6398.2 6603.9 7,296 7,952.1 9.0%
Undergraduate degrees conferred 1,027 981 1,056 1,173 1,270 8.3%
Postgraduate coursework degrees conferred 583 484 362 333 424 27.3%
Higher degree by research degrees conferred 25 20 19 30 24 -20%
Total degrees conferred 1,635 1,485 1,437 1,536 1,718 11.8%
Disability3 5.6% 5.9% 6.1% 6.3% 6.3% 0.0% -
Indigenous3 1.5% 1.8% 1.7% 2.0% 2.2% 0.2%
First in family to attend university4 49.5% 48.6% 49.3% 49.8% 50.5% 0.7%
Academic staff5 210 212 236 259 299 15.4%
Non-academic staff6 351 388 398 463 522 12.7%
Total number of staff7 561 600 634 722 821 13.7%
Proportion of academic staff with higher degree qualifications 83% 82% 81% 86% 87% 1.2%
Operating revenue (parent entity) $121.07m $127.33m $159.63m $174.06m $215.4m 23.7%
Property, plant and equipment $167.17m $175.34m $176.90m $196.10m $255.4m 30.2%
Research income8 9 $5.60m $4.81m $9.37m $9.60m $11.29m 17.8%
Research publications9 10 167.15 164.75 199.26 250.10 227.53 -9.0%

1. Number of students at Census 1 each year.
2. Student load includes inbound exchange students. EFTSL = Equivalent Full Time Student Load and for 2014 is based on September 2014 Reforecast.
3. Disability and Indigenous percentages are as a proportion of all domestic students.
4. First in family percentages are as a proportion of undergraduate (excluding 1 year honours) students only.
5. Academic (Vice-Chancellor; Deputy Vice-Chancellor; Teaching and Research (Level A-E) staff).
6. Non-academic (Administrative, Professional and Technical (APT) Level 1–10 staff; APT staff above award)
7. Data is based on figures supplied to the Australian Government’s Department of Education (DE) as at 9 March 2014.
8. Figures include research income reported to the Australian Government’s Department of Education (DE) through the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC), as well as Research Block Grant funding received from DE.
9. Data is based on year-to-date figures and is current as at time of publishing. HERDC figure for the year is not finalised and is unaudited.
10. Weighted calculation reported to DE in the HERDC.

Vice-Chancellor and President’s review

In recent years the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has achieved high levels of growth while operating in a Higher Education sector that is increasingly competitive and more commercial and consumer-focussed in its underlying legislative structure.

2014 has continued that trend. In line with the goals set out in the Strategic Plan (2011–2015), USC maintained its outstanding profile for excellence in teaching and student satisfaction, while witnessing very rapid growth in research outputs and recruitment of research intensive staff.

This year, USC also recorded growth of 41.7% in international students over the previous year, with international students now making up 11% of the 9,652 students.
USC is committed to increasing its student enrolments and also broadening its geographic footprint. This is illustrated by the new Gympie campus and a very substantial expansion of our engagement with schools and communities in Gympie, Fraser Coast, Moreton Bay and the north Brisbane corridor.

2014 has seen the continuation of campus infrastructure growth, setting us up for the future. The Learning and Teaching Hub and Resources Building were both opened in 2014 and construction commenced on the Engineering Learning Hub, as well as a 500 space multi-level car park. The car park initiative was facilitated by local philanthropists Roy and Nola Thompson who contributed $5 million towards the project.

Sustainability has long been a strategic priority for USC and while the concept extends beyond environmental sustainability, this facet of the model resonates with many of our students and staff. Each year we implement new sustainability initiatives, and whether it is withdrawing the sale of plastic water bottles, introducing biodegradable coffee cups, bike stations, nesting boxes for campus wildlife, the community garden project, our on-campus composting facility (OSCA) for food and garden waste, or our other sophisticated recycling systems—the new ideas often come from the USC community.

Throughout 2014 USC has matured its relationship with Sunshine Coast Council, leading to partnerships that will progress the prosperity of the wider Sunshine Coast community. The Sunshine Coast Futures Conference is a high impact example of this commitment, and similar relationships continue to develop with Gympie and Moreton Bay Regional Councils.
I thank all staff for their outstanding efforts in 2014 and look forward to shared accomplishments in 2015.

Professor Greg Hill
Vice-Chancellor and President

Financial review

Income and expenditure

Total income for the year was $216.0 million—an increase of $41.3 million (23.6 percent) on the previous year. The increase was driven primarily by continued growth in Commonwealth-funded student places, receipt of $25.8 million in capital funding and receipt of significant donations throughout 2014. Funds derived from government sources totalled $169.2 million or 78.3 percent of revenue (includes advance payments in relation to HECS-HELP and capital funding but excludes up-front student fees), an increase of $27.8 million (19.7 percent) on the previous year funding.

Expenses for the year totalled $177.5 million—an increase of $23.3 million (15.1 percent) expended in the previous year. This increase can be attributed to an increase in employee benefits due to the 3% administrative wage increase in May 2014 in addition to a $500 increase to the base of each classification step under the Certified Agreement effective 28 June 2014, increase in provisioning for long service and annual leave due to an ageing of the workforce, increased consultancy arrangements to maximise expertise, partnership and scholarship payments from contracted research grants.

Asset growth

At year’s end, the University’s net assets totalled $301.5 million—$66.9 million (28.5 percent) more than in the previous year. This reflects the heavy investment in property, plant and equipment during 2014 with 3 new buildings and a 4th partially complete. In addition, the reduction of long term borrowings through regular premium payments and movements in leave provisions and a formal revaluation of land, buildings and infrastructure.

Budget vs Actual 2014 | Actual 2014 vs Actual 2013
STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME 2014 Original budget $'000 2014 August reforecast $'000 2014 Actual $'000 2014 Variance actual vs reforecast 2013 Actual $'000 2013 Variance actual 2014 vs 2013

Revenue and income from continuing operations

187,522 204,244 215,370 5% 174,060 24%
Expenses from continuing operations 170,185 173,995 176,834 2% 153,648 15%
Operating result after income tax for the period 17,337 30,249 38,536 27% 20,412 89%
Gain (loss) on revaluation of land and buildings, net of tax 0 0 28,316 100% (1,116) 2637%
Total comprehensive income attributed to members
of the University of the Sunshine Coast
17,337 30,249 66,852 121% 19,296 246%
Current assets 85,278 88,207 83,862 -5% 75,870 11%
Non-current assets 213,884 223,700 257,493 15% 198,221 30%
Total assets 299,162 311,907 341,355 9% 274,091 25%
Current liabilities 21,899 26,288 25,494 -3% 24,201 5%
Non-current liabilities 11,662 13,987 14,490 4% 15,369 -6%
Total liabilities 33,561 40,275 39,984 -1% 39,570 1%
Net assets 265,601 271,632 301,371 11% 234,521 29%
Reserves 84,378 75,479 96,934 28% 68,618 41%
Retained surplus 181,223 196,152 204,437 4% 165,903 23%
Total equity 265,601 271,632 301,371 11% 234,521 29%


Basis of authority

The institution was established under the Sunshine Coast University College Act 1994 and took its first students in 1996. Full university powers were granted under the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998.

Functions and powers
The University’s functions are to:

  • provide education at university standard;
  • provide facilities for, and encourage, study and research;
  • encourage the advancement and development of knowledge, and its application to government, industry, commerce and the community;
  • provide courses of study or instruction, at levels of achievement the Council considers appropriate, to meet the needs of the community;
  • confer higher education awards;
  • disseminate knowledge and promote scholarship;
  • provide facilities and resources for the wellbeing of the University’s staff, students and other persons undertaking courses at
    the University;
  • exploit commercially, for the University’s benefit, a facility or resource of the University, including, for example, study, research or knowledge, or the practical application of study, research or knowledge, belonging to the University, whether alone or with someone else; and
  • perform other functions given to the University under the Act or another Act.

The University’s powers are:

Under the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998 the University has all the powers of an individual. It may, for example:
1. Enter into contracts;
a. acquire, hold, dispose of, and deal with property;
b. appoint agents and attorneys;
c. engage consultants;
d. fix charges, and other terms, for services and other facilities it supplies; and
e. do anything else necessary or convenient to be done for its functions.
2. Without limiting subsection (1), the University has the powers given to it under its Act or another Act.
3. The University may exercise its powers inside and outside Queensland.
4. Without limiting subsection (3), the University may exercise its powers outside Australia.

Strategic framework

The Strategic Plan is the University’s highest-level planning document, along with the Campus Master Plan. The role of the strategic plan is to articulate the broad goals and aims of the University over five years. Specific strategies complementing the Strategic Plan are set out in four top level plans, which apply University- wide and drive resource allocations through the budget process.

Supporting strategies guide the University’s involvement in international activities and regional engagement.

Operational Plans for individual cost centres support initiatives outlined in both the strategic and top level plans. All plans are reviewed and updated during the budget and planning process in September each year.

Annual review of operations

As a review of its operations each year, the University of the Sunshine Coast measures its progress according to the goals and key performance indicators for four areas, as outlined by the Strategic Plan (2011–2015):

1. Enable access to the USC experience
2. Deliver high quality teaching, learning and graduate outcomes
3. Build research productivity and output significantly
4. Develop USC for a sustainable future

The University of the Sunshine Coast is currently developing the next five year strategic plan, and will again involve consultation with the University community. The Strategic Plan 2016–2020 will be presented to USC Council during 2015 for approval, with implementation from 2016.

The summary of key performance targets for the University is:

Description 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
12,000 students by 2015 (8,000 EFTSL) 6429.5 [6398.2]  6895.0 [6603.9]  7301.0 [7296.0]  7674.4 (7,952.1)  12,000 students 8,000 EFTSL (8,505.3)
Low SES participation 18.1% [19.1%] 18.5% [18.8%] 19.1%  19.7% 20%
Student satisfaction National ranking in top quartile [achieved]  National ranking in top quartile [achieved] National ranking in top quartile [achieved] National ranking in top quartile National ranking in top quartile
Graduate outcomes Progress towards national average [6% below] Progress towards national average [9% below] Progress towards national average [9% below] Progress towards national average Achieve national average
Research grants income $3,600,000 [$2,993,628] $4,200,000 [$7,032,451] $4,800,000 [$6,999,027] $5,300,000 ($8,700,000) $6,000,000
Weighted publications 190 [164.75] 200 [199.26] 210 [244.03] 230 (260) 250
HDR students (Load) 120 [115.8] 130 [139.5] 140 [169.8] 150 (201.8) 155
HDR students (% in selected area of research strength) 45% [47.3%] 50% [48.9%] 55% [59%] 60% (50%) 60%
Employment costs Less than 60% [61.2%] Less than 60% [60.6%] Less than 60% [60.0%] Less than 60% (61.2%) Less than 60%
Operating margin 4% [7%] 4% [7%] 4% [9%] 4% (6%) 4%
Capital improvements 8.5% [13.6%] 8.5% [20.6%] 8.5% [14.9%] 8.5% (19%) 8.5%

Target: the target set as per the Strategic Plan

[actual]: the final, full-year figure

(forecast): the expected estimate, based on statistical/financial modelling


Enable access to the USC experience

Key strategies:

  • Recruit and support a diverse student population.
  • Provide a high quality student experience.
  • Develop a vibrant and healthy University community and identity.
  • Engage with the regional community through educational, cultural, creative, economic and recreational activities.
  • Extend learning opportunities throughout the region.

2014 saw growth in…


An intake of 3,797 new students pushed the University’s student population to 9,652 (including 1,057 international students) by
Semester 1 census. The intake was a significant increase on Semester 1, 2013 and translated
to an overall increase of 8.4 percent in student numbers. The mid-year intake of 1,800 new students was strong compared to Semester 2, 2013.


At Census 1 2014, there were 1,057 international enrolments, an increase of 41.7 percent compared to 2013. Student numbers from India and Nepal grew substantially with increases of 138 and 69 students respectively, compared to 2013. In 2014, international students accounted for 11.0 percent of all USC enrolments, from more than 70 countries.


The Bachelor of Nursing Science continued to be the most popular program at USC, with 216 new students enrolled at Semester 1 Census. The top 10 undergraduate programs (based on all enrolments) in 2014 were:

  1. Bachelor of Nursing Science
  2. Bachelor of Primary Education
  3. Bachelor of Paramedic Science
  4. Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)
  5. Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
  6. Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science
  7. Bachelor of Business
  8. Bachelor of Arts
  9. Bachelor of Social Work
  10. Bachelor of Biomedical Science

Achievement highlights

Achievement highlights for 2014 in relation to the key strategies of this strategic capability include the following:

The annual Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art, held at the USC Art Gallery, recognised excellence in senior visual arts throughout Queensland’s state and non- state schools. Delivered in conjunction with the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE), the program was designed to raise community awareness about the high standard of arts education in Queensland secondary schools.

Developed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and delivered by his team at Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia, with the support of the Sunshine Coast Council, a ten week nutritional cooking course was offered at USC over two cycles, to students, staff and members of the community.

USC’s Science Research Awards saw junior science students from 17 schools across the Sunshine Coast region compete at an event designed to nurture the minds of our next generation and provide an opportunity for them to engage with scientific academics.

A planned business based on beehives made from recycled plastic won the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast’s annual Business Pitch competition where the entrepreneurs competed to win a share in $20,000 worth of cash and in-kind business support.

The newly opened Learning and Teaching Hub and its ‘Immerse Lab’, combined with facilities at USC Gympie, has provided USC with nationally recognised capability in visualisation learning. USC’s Nursing program in particular is amongst the best in Australia for student experience and practical-based, scenario driven learning.

Gardening Australia host and TV personality Costa Georgiadis attended the annual World Environment Day festival hosted by USC. Attended by thousands of people, the event fosters environmental awareness.

Mr Georgiadis officially opened the University’s large composting machine OSCA (On-Site Composting Apparatus) as well as USC’s ‘Moving Feast’ community garden.

Sunshine Coast residents were invited to the Sunshine Coast Imaginarium, USC’s Open Day that this year provided a free festival for the community, including performances and
presentations, attracting over 8,000 people to the USC Sippy Downs campus.

A record 1,850 Year 9 and 10 students from 38 schools from across the region took part in the University’s expanded Experience USC Day that gave students insight into industry and jobs through workshops on-campus.

Enable access to the USC experience

KPI 1.1: 12,000 students by 2015

Measure Performance
Actual full year student enrolments 9% increase in 20141


In September 2011, stretch targets were set for all fee types from 2012 to position the University for its target of 8,000 EFTSL by 2015. The September 2014 reforecast estimates an increase in load for 2014 to 7,952 EFTSL which is 9% above the final 2013 value of 7,296 EFTSL. A revised estimate for 2015 of 8,505 EFTSL confirms that the University will easily achieve this target.

The current estimate for 2014 of 7,952 EFTSL has resulted in an increase of 75 EFTSL above the September 2013 budget model. This turnaround is due to an improved mid-year intake for undergraduate Commonwealth supported students, and higher than estimated retention from Semester 1 to Semester 2.

With the highest number of international students in USC’s history being enrolled at Census 1, 2014 (1,057) which included 598 new students (+38%) and a strong mid-year intake, the total EFTSL is around 30% higher than last year. The increase in load continues to be distributed across all program types and faculties with postgraduate coursework load, in particular, well above that forecast in September 2013.

September 2014 Reforecast



FEE TYPE 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
CSP EFTSL2 4,994.4 5,433.5 5,723.6 6,263.5 6,665.0 7,000.0
International EFTSL3 777.0 714.4 610.2 746.5 990.8 1,182.9
Fee Paying Domestic EFTSL4 231.9 209.2 230.7 252.6 269.3 295.4
Inbound Exchange EFTSL 30.9 41.1 39.4 33.4 27.0 27.0
Grand Total EFTSL 6,034.3 6,398.2 6,603.9 7,296.0 7,952.1 8,505.3
% increase 13.2% 6.0% 3.2% 10.5% 9.0% 7.0%

KP1 1.2: SES Participation


Participation rate of students from low socio-economic backgrounds

20% participation rate of students from low socio-economic
backgrounds by 2015
Achieve Compact agreement targets – 2011: 18.1%, 2012:
18.5%, 2013: 19.1%, 2014: 19.7%
2014 data not available
from Australian
Government until



From 2014 onwards the Australian Government will replace the low SES interim indicator with an indicator of SES based solely on geographical data at the SA1 level. The current interim indicator is utilised in the allocation of funding in the participation component of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP). Allocations under the HEPPP will not be impacted until 2015. USC’s participation rate for domestic undergraduate students from low socio-economic backgrounds, based on the interim indicator, decreased slightly from 19.1% in 2011 to 18.8% in 2012. This rate (18.8%) is above USC’s compact agreement target of 18.5% for 2012 and also above the national rate of 14.8%. As noted above, the interim indicator is currently used for allocating funding for the participation component of the HEPPP and is also used to measure universities’ performance against compact agreement targets for low SES domestic undergraduate enrolments. Ranking for the interim indicator is not available, however in 2013 under the new SA1 measure, USC ranked 14th nationally (15th in 2012) for domestic undergraduate students.

Participation rates (%) for domestic undergraduate low SES students

  2010 2011 2012 2013
Low SES (Interim indicator)6 18.0% 14.3% 19.1% 14.6% 18.8% 14.8%    
Low SES (CD measure)7 18.7% 15.5% 19.0% 15.7% 18.8% 16.1% 19.4% 16.5%
Low SES (SA1 measure)     18.0% 15.2% 17.6% 15.6% 18.1% 15.9%                 

1. 2014 and 2015 figures based on forecast data.
2. CSP—Commonwealth Supported: includes TEP, TPP, Undergraduate and Postgraduate EFTSL.
3. Includes International on campus and online award and non award enrolments.
4. Includes Postgraduate, HDR, Headstart and Visiting domestic fee paying EFTSL and RTS.
5. Domestic students with permanent home residence in Australia only.
6. The DI interim measure of the Low SES Participation rate is based on the number of domestic undergraduate students with home addresses within the Low SES Census Collection Districts (CD) and the number of students who are receiving selected Centrelink Student Income Support payments.
7. Based on the number of domestic undergraduate students with home addresses within the Low SES Census Collection Districts (CD).

Deliver high quality teaching, learning and graduate outcomes

Key strategies:

  • Embed academic excellence in all teaching and learning activities.
  • Support diverse learning and teaching styles to maximise student participation and success.
  • Offer innovative programs, in particular via partnerships.
  • Produce graduates with knowledge, skills and attributes to succeed in a world characterised by rapid change.

New programs approved for offer in 2015:

  • BU734 Master of Management
  • AR700 Master of International Development
  • AR642 Graduate Diploma in International Development (exit pathway only)
  • AR550 Graduate Certificate in International Development (exit pathway only)
  • AR702 Master of Professional Psychology
  • BU350 Bachelor of Business (Supply Chain Management)
  • AR339 Bachelor of Design and Marketing
  • AB312 Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Planning)
  • AB313 Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Property Economics and Development
  • AR405 Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
  • AR101 Diploma in Languages
  • AR645 Graduate Diploma in Psychology
  • AR111 Diploma in Social Science
  • BU101 Diploma in Business
  • AR115 Diploma in Communication
  • AB101 Diploma in General Studies
  • SE303 Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Science
  • AE304 Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Arts
  • ED306 Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Graduate Entry)
  • ED307 Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Graduate Entry)
  • SC335 Bachelor of Health and Community Care Management
  • SC373 Bachelor of Health Science (Applied Health Promotion)
  • SC374 Bachelor of Health Science (Applied Environmental Health)
  • SC375 Bachelor of Health Science (Epidemiology and Public Health)
  • SC376 Bachelor of Health Science (Health Communication)
  • SC320 Bachelor of Animal Ecology
  • SC385 Bachelor of Medical Science
  • SC425 Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Honours)/Bachelor of Environmental Science

Achievement highlights

Achievement highlights for 2014 in relation to the key strategies of this strategic capability include the following:

A Pro-Vice Chancellor position was established in 2014 to provide strategic leadership in student engagement and academic success at USC. Professor Karen Nelson took up the role during April 2014. The PVC (Students) focuses attention on student engagement and success through the Student Engagement Program (StEP). Initiatives in 2014 included monitoring student engagement and providing advice and supportive interventions with high priority students.

Environmental scientist and PhD student in Analytical Chemistry, Daniel Meloncelli; Education student exploring options for Indigenous schooling, Marnee Shay; double degree recipient Business/Commerce and former Sunshine Coast Young Citizen of the Year, Manual Barth; and accomplished veterinary surgeon and Bachelor of Environmental Science degree recipient, Marion Brown, received highly regarded Chancellor’s Medals in 2014.

Acclaimed American wildlife researcher Professor Henry ‘Hank’ Harlow, through an Australian Government Endeavour Executive Fellowship, consulted on the development of USC’s new Zoology major and Animal Ecology courses.

USC alumnus, Papuan teacher and Master of Education in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), Jil Lahallo, became USC’s first graduate to win a coveted Fulbright Scholarship.
USC’s newly developed state-of-the-art visualisation learning facilities in the multimillion dollar Learning and Teaching Hub received two major design awards including a Queensland Master Builders Sunshine Coast award and Creston’s Education Project of the Year award.

2014 Outstanding Alumni of the Year were awarded to Dr Warish Ahmed, PhD 2006, a Senior Research Scientist in the Land and Water Flagship at CSIRO; Jessica Huddart, BA (Des&Mktg) 2006, Creative Director and Partner of design practice Josephmark; and Brendan Powell, MBA, 2006,
co-owner and Director, Business Operations of Queensland Oztag.

Deliver high quality teaching, learning and graduate outcomes
University Annual national comparative assessment in the CEQ Overall Satisfaction Index

Achieve national ranking in the top quartile for the CEQ Overall Satisfaction Index each year


2014 national data not available at time of publishing


The Australian Graduate Survey (AGS) captures a measure of graduate satisfaction through responses to the Overall Satisfaction Index (OSI). The OSI is a mandatory single item scale included in the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) component of the AGS by all institutions. It seeks response to the statement “Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this program”. The University reports on the performance for this scale as the percentage of all respondents that ‘agree’ with the survey item (ie Agree or Strongly Agree).

The table below shows the USC undergraduate overall satisfaction compared to the national aggregated level. The University has performed strongly in the Overall Satisfaction Index from 2010 to 2013, ranking in the top quartile since 2010 and being above the national average (Table A Providers) in each of these years. USC’s percentage agreement for Overall Satisfaction was 87% for 2013, an increase on the previous year’s value of 86%.

CEQ Overall Satisfaction Index (Percentage Agreement)8,9 relative to the National value10


  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
University of the Sunshine Coast 86% 88% 86% 87% 87%
 National  81%  82%  83%  83%  n/a
 Target  Achieved  Achieved Achieved   Achieved  n/a

KPI 2.2: Graduate Outcomes

Annual national comparative assessment of graduate employment and graduates undertaking further study Achievement of the national average for bachelor degree graduates in employment or further study by 2015 2014 national data not available at time of publishing


The Graduate Outcomes measure represents a combination of the number of graduates in their preferred mode of employment (in full-time work or in part-time work and not seeking full-time work) plus the number of graduates in further full-time study as reported through responses to the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS). This composite measure indicates a ‘positive graduate outcome’.

The table below shows that the proportion of USC respondents in their preferred mode of employment or further full-time study over the period 2010 to 2013 has been lower than the comparable national figure. The USC results of the 2013 AGS (71%) show a decline compared to 2012 (74%), while the differential between USC and the national figure remains the same (9%).

Importantly, the full-time employment prospects of USC graduates several years following graduation reports a more positive result. Findings from the latest Beyond Graduation Survey (BGS) indicate a differential of 3.7 percentage points between the proportion of USC and national bachelor degree graduates who completed studies in 2009 who were in full-time employment in 2013 (USC 86.5%; national 90.2%). This compares to a 12.7 percentage point differential measured by the AGS in 2010 approximately four months after graduation (USC 63.6%; national 76.3%).

USC and National10 Graduate Outcome results12, 2010-2014


  2010 2011 2012 2013 201414
USC 74% 77% 74% 71% 74%
National 83% 83% 83%  80% n/a 
Differential13 9%  6% 9% 9% n/a

8. Combination of percentage of responses that Agree or Strongly Agree with the single Overall Satisfaction Index item.
9. Results are based on domestic and international undergraduate level students only.
10. The national value and institution ranking are based on Table A higher education providers only.
11. Data reflects outcomes of students who completed their qualification in the year prior to the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS) year, ie data for the 2013 AGS reflects outcomes of students who completed their qualification in 2012. The AGS is administered to graduates approximately four months after completion of their qualification.
12. Results are based on domestic undergraduate level students only.
13. Values are rounded to whole numbers.
14. 2014 national data not available at time of publishing.

Build research productivity and output significantly

Key strategies:

  • Strengthen research capability.
  • Develop research groups in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary areas.
  • Focus research on regionally relevant and strategic areas.
  • Leverage research outputs to enable productive partnerships.

Achievement highlights

Achievement highlights for 2014 in relation to the key strategies of this strategic capability include the following:

Dr Paul Salmon, Director of USC’s Accident Research and Professor of Human Factors, received an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship grant of more than $849,000 for his research project:

The butterfly effect in road transport: a new complex-sociotechnical systems approach to understanding and preventing road trauma.

Dr Salmon’s collaborators include The University of Southampton, Heriot-Watt University and Monash University.

Research Fellow and expert in young novice driver road safety Dr Bridie Scott-Parker won a prestigious Early Career Fellowship of almost $310,000 from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to continue her work on a ‘safe systems’ approach to young driver road safety, with a particular focus on the development of drivers from their pre-licence period through Learner’s and Provisional phases.

Dr Adam Polkinghorne and Professor Peter Timms were part of a team that received a further Linkage project grant of $509,100 from the ARC for improving the diagnosis, management and control of chlamydial infections in Australian Livestock, which has included the development of a new technique that enables analysis of the whole bacterial genome of a chlamydia strain infecting an animal, directly from a swab. With Australia- wide husbandry interest, project collaborators include the University of Tasmania, NSW Department of Primary Industries, McMaster University Canada, Central West Livestock Health & Pest Authority, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre, North West Livestock Health & Pest Authority, Tablelands Livestock Health & Pest Authority, Advanced Theranostics Inc. and the McGarvie Smith Institute.

Professor Thomas Schlacher together with his colleague from Griffith University received $334,700 to carry out groundbreaking local research into how marine ecosystems are interconnected, and what impact this has on their resilience.

USC’s Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Business, Professor Joanne Scott, with Flinders University and Federation University, received $179,400 to explore the history of the Australian Assistance Plan.

USC’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Roland De Marco and Professor San Ping Jiang of Curtin University received $375,500 for their collaborative research into a highly efficient new material to produce a new type of battery based on proton exchange membrane fuel cells. This research will allow Australia to be a leader in the development of innovative clean energy technology based on direct alcohol fuel cells and will involve cutting-edge research into materials engineering.

The annual University Research Week conference at USC, themed ‘Communicate, Collaborate, Celebrate’ with this year’s focus on ‘Research that matters’, attracted more than 330 academics, higher degree by research students and external guests. Over 66 presentations were showcased and three public seminars were coordinated, including Health Research @ USC, Writers Speak and a special presentation by Professor Tim Flannery on climate change, which attracted over 350 internal and external guests. A Research Expo, Art in Research exhibition and workshops were also presented during the week. PhD student Katryna Starks’ presentation titled ‘Game chang(h)er: Exploring the video game design elements that may impact the agency and identity of adolescent girls’ won the Three Minute Thesis competition with Katryna also competing in the Australian 3MT competition in Perth.

The USC Research Fellowship scheme continues to increase USC’s research capacity and in 2014 appointed the following Research Fellows:

  • Dr David Lacey, a leading expert on identity crime and security related issues. Research areas include: examining socio-technical controls in preventing and detecting identity crime; developing performance architectures to evaluate verification and authentication frameworks; and investigating the impact of cyber-enabled identity theft on consumer trust and engagement. Based at USC’s Innovation Centre, on 7 October 2014, Commonwealth Minister for Justice, Hon Michael Keenan launched a national support centre for victims of identity crime called iDcare, founded by Dr David Lacey.
  • Dr Tristan Pearce, an experienced researcher in the area of geography, with a focus on the human dimensions of global environmental change and a particular emphasis on human- environment relations and Indigenous knowledge in environmental decision-making.
Build research productivity and output significantly
Total HERDC reportable income (all categories) $6,000,000 by 2015
(reporting on 2015 data)


The targets for 2012 and 2013 were exceeded by over $2 million. Year to date figures indicate that the target for 2014 has been met. The significant increase in grant income is due in part to the introduction of the new USC Research Fellow scheme, which resulted in large, funded projects being transferred to USC in 2012 and 2013, and the ARC and NHMRC application development program that the Office of Research and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) have implemented, which has resulted in higher quality applications for funding and an increased success rate. An assessment of USC’s national ranking will be provided once 2013 data has been released.

Total HERDC Reportable Research Income ($) by category and per full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching and research (T&R) staff by year

GRANT INCOME ($) 2010 2011 2012 2013 YTD 201415
Competitive Grants 1,191,726 315,695 2,267,254 2,565,892 4,363,639
Public Sector Funding 1,620,848 1,174,789 1,918,173 2,268,537 1,573,771
Industry/Other Funding 795,270 894,891 1,760,530 1,564,660 1,364,565
CRC16 277,675  608,253 1,086,493 620,538 754,768
Total ($) 3,885,519 2,993,628 7,032,451 7,019,627 8,056,743
TARGET   3,600,000 4,200,000 4,800,000 5,300,000
Per FTE ($) 18,519 14,255 29,798 27,061 26,909

15. YTD 31 December 2014 figures. Subject to change. This is unaudited HERDC Income data. Data will be audited in June 2015.

16. Income received from the Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (Seafood CRC) in which the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was defined within the Commonwealth Agreement as a Participant.

KPI: 3.2 Weighted Publications

Total HERDC reportable publications (all categories) weighted 250 points by 2015 (reporting on 2015 data) 227.53


Although the target was not reached in 2011 and a slight decrease in total weighted publications was reported for 2011 journal article points remain on track. There were a large number of publications provided for the 2011 collection (101 actual publications) which were not HERDC reportable as there was no USC by-line. This is generally an indication of publications produced by staff new to USC. The total publication points for 2012 was just short of the target although broadly on track. The 2013 figures exceed the target by more than 40 points and the 2014 year to date figures indicate that we are on track to meet the 2015 target.

Research publications (weighted) by category, by year

PUBLICATIONS (weighted) 2010 2011 2012 2013 201417
Books 5.00 10.83  10.00 13.21  
Chapters 10.14 8.51 6.94 10.23 3.79
Journal Articles 119.38 120.39 159.13 188.30 212.99
Conference Publications 32.63 25.02  23.19 38.36 10.75
Total 167.15 164.75 199.26 250.10 227.53
TARGET   190.00 200.00 210.00 230.00

17. 2014 and 2015 data subject to change. Data for 2014 will be audited in June 2015. Data for 2015 will be audited June 2016.

KPI 3.3 Higher Degree by research

Part A: HDR student enrolments by EFTSL  155 EFTSL by 2015 (Based on 2015 data) 169.8
Part B: HDR students aligned with existing and emerging areas of research strength 60% of HDR student load in selected areas of research strength by 2015 (Based on 2015 data) 59%

Comment (Part A)

The total 2013 load target of 169.8 has been exceeded (+ 21.3%). An ongoing focus on Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students, in particular in relation to the Collaborative Research Network (CRN), USC Fellows and other funded grants is anticipated to see continued increases in enrolments in the future.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) enrolments by EFTSL

  2010 2011 2012 2013 201418
Arts and Business 46.4 49.1 62.0 77.3  87.5
Science, Health, Education and Engineering 65.3 66.8 77.5 92.5 113.8
USC Law School         0.5
Total  111.7 115.9 139.5 169.8 201.8
TARGET   120.0 130.0 140.0 150.0


Comment (Part B)

Load in strength areas at 50% in 2013 is 5% below the target of 55%. In 2012, there was a major restructuring of the Research Concentrations at USC. The existing research area of Health Science does not represent a current research strength. In future reports, a new framework with appropriate baseline data will be proposed to represent the current Areas of Research Strength as reflected by formally recognised Research Concentrations.

Proportion of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) EFTSL in selected areas of research strength

AREAS OF RESEARCH STRENGTH 2011 2012 2013 201418
GeneCology  21.3 31.0 23.3 29.3
Sustainability Research Centre 18.5 16.5 21.3 21.0
Health Science 15.0 20.8 40.8  49.8
Non-aligned 61.0 71.3 84.5 101.8
Total EFTSL 115.8 139.5 169.8 201.8
% of total in research areas of strength 47% 49% 50% 50%

18. 2014 values are based on Census 1 and 2, 2014 data. Figures are current at time of publishing.

Develop USC for a sustainable future

Key strategies:

  • Develop and enable staff to manage change and contribute to the achievement of the strategic plan.
  • Invest in and continuously improve information management systems, business processes and workforce planning.
  • Advance the University through key strategic partnerships.
  • Maximise opportunities to develop well designed, technology rich, sustainable University sites.

Achievement highlights

Achievement highlights for 2014 in relation to the key strategies of this strategic capability include the following:

In December 2014 USC received a $284,000 grant from the Commonwealth Government to lead a project team of seven regional universities to find the best ways of delivering
state-of-the-art education to future students in regional Australia.

USC’s two primary information management systems were commissioned for redevelopment in 2014. USC’s new, innovative, user-driven website was launched in December 2014; while progress has also been made in redeveloping USC’s staff and student intranets.

USC continued its involvement, with partners, in the planning of the Skills, Academic and Research Centre (SARC) at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital. The SARC will provide opportunities for training and collaborative research between academics, students and health staff and is expected to open in November 2016.

The Sippy Downs Learning and Teaching Hub (Building E) opened for teaching in Semester 1, 2014. The three-level building includes lecture theatres and tutorial rooms, study areas, staff offices, a simulation suite (The Immerse Lab) and office space for student support and service delivery. The $24 million project was jointly funded by the Australian Government, USC and the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, and has won several design and building awards.

Construction of the 6,500 square metre, four-storey Engineering Learning Hub started in 2014 and will be open for teaching in Semester 2, 2015. The facility will be linked to the University of Southern Queensland, with visualisation facilities to enable collaboration in producing 3D scenarios in civil and mechanical engineering. The project also includes a standalone Engineering Structures Learning Laboratory that was completed in June 2014.

Funding for the facility was secured through a $30 million grant from the Australian Government’s Education Investment Fund Regional Priorities Round. USC will contribute a further $7.2 million to the project.

USC’s newest building, the Resources Building, was completed and occupied in October 2014. This new building, funded by USC, houses administration areas including Information Services, Information Technology Services, Marketing and Communications and Human Resources.

Front entry landscaping of USC’s Sippy Downs campus was completed in July 2014. The construction consisted of a new wetlands area and lake, a series of pathways and boardwalks, and a new ceremonial quadrant. The landscaping work will attract native fauna and provide areas for relaxation and contemplation, as well as research and small group teaching. The waterways have been populated with native fish species as part of the Campus Waterways Management Plan.

Construction started on Stage 2a of the USC Aquatic Centre in September 2014. This facility, funded by USC, will further develop the Sports Precinct by providing male and female amenities and change rooms for the swimming pool. The design encompasses a perimeter structure to improve protection from the elements and shade for spectators. The project is expected to be complete in February 2015.

A $10 million multi-level car park project is being delivered in two stages, with a 69-bay car park completed in August 2014. Construction of the 500-bay multi-level car park commenced in September 2014 and is due for completion in May 2015. The project has been jointly funded by USC and private donors Mr and Mrs Thompson.

Develop USC for a sustainable future

KPI 4.1: Employment costs as a percentage of total revenue (adjusted)

Employee benefits costs as a percentage of total revenue (adjusted) Less than 60% 61.2%


The YTD 31 December 2014 employment costs as a percentage of total revenue (adjusted) result is 61.2%.

Employment costs includes associated fringe benefits tax and provisions for leave entitlements (long services leave and recreation leave) relevant to the general operations of the University (excludes employment costs associated with grants and agreements).

Total revenue (adjusted) reflects operating revenue relevant to the general operations of the University. It excludes revenue received in relation to capital grant funding, donations and research agreements.
It is noted that the 2014 August Forecast for employee benefits costs as a percentage of total revenue (adjusted) is 61.7%.

Employment costs as a percentage of revenue (adjusted) for USC

  2010 2011 2012 2013 YTD 2014 2014 TARGET
USC 56.1% 61.2% 60.6% 60.0% 61.2% 61.7% < 60%

19. Actual values YTD 31 December 2014.
20. Forecast values as per 2014-2016 August Reforecast.

KPI 4.2: Operating Margin (adjusted)

Operating profit as a proportion of total revenue (adjusted) 4% annually  6% 


The Operating Margin (Operating Profit as a proportion of total revenue (adjusted)) of 6.21% as at 31 December 2014 exceeds the August Reforecast of 3.38%. The variance reflects funds unexpended at 31 December 2014 relevant to revenues received in 2014 thereby requiring carry forward to 2015.

Total revenue (adjusted) reflects operating revenue relevant to the general operations of the University. It excludes revenue received in relation to capital grant funding, donations and research agreements.

Operating margin (adjusted) for USC

  2011 2012 2013 YTD 2014 2014 TARGET
USC 7% 7% 9% 6% 3% 4% annually

21. Actual values YTD 31 December 2014.

22. Forecast values as per 2014-2016 August Reforecast.

KPI 4.3: Capital Improvements

Proportion of operating funds invested in capital related projects 8.5% annually 19.0%


As part of the planning framework the University identifies the strategic asset requirements of the University, details of which are published in the Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP). Each year a portion of the University’s operating funds are allocated to the SAMP along with any external funding and available cash reserves to complete the SAMP project listing.

University operating funds largely consist of revenues generated by student load, commercial activities and investment income.

It is noted that not all projects are completed within the year of allocation therefore the key performance indicator for the current and future years is based on the latest budget forecast (2014 August).
The above target KPIs over the 2014-2016 period is reflective of the University’s commitment to investing in Information Technology resources for learning, teaching and research. In addition, the commitments to continual building and infrastructure construction as a result of growth in student load and research capacity.

Capital projects expenditure as a portion of total operating funds




  2011 2012 2013 YTD 2014 2014 2015 2016 TARGET 
USC total operating funds ($’000) 109,595 122,239 139,789 156,310 151,241 157,951 166,252



Capital projects expenditure ($’000) 14,937 25,130 20,871 29,767 26,432 24,326 13,781
Proportion (%) 13.6% 20.6% 14.9% 19.0% 17.5% 15.4% 8.3%

23. Actual values YTD 31 December 2014.
24. Forecast values as per 2014-2016 August Reforecast.

University leadership (principal officers)

Vice-Chancellor and President

University CEO, responsible to University Council for strategic development, organisational leadership and day-to-day operations of the University.

Professor Greg Hill
CertTeach Qld, BA(Hons) Qld, PhD Qld

Commenced as Vice-Chancellor and President, University of the Sunshine Coast in 2011 following a term of office as Vice-Chancellor and President Designate from June 2010 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 2005–2010. Lead Vice-Chancellor, Universities Australia Indigenous Higher Education; Member, Australian Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Higher Education Advisory Council; Member, Universities Australia; Foundation Member, Regional Universities Network; Board Member, Education Australia Limited; Board Member, IDP Education Pty Limited; Member, Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre Ltd; and Fellow, Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences. Charles Darwin University—Foundation Professor of Tropical Environmental Science 1995–2004; Dean 1997–2004. Program Leader, Tropical Savannas CRC; Director, Centre for Tropical Wetlands Management; Chair, Northern Territory Board of Studies; Member, Kakadu National Park Research Advisory Committee; Member, AVCC Indigenous Advisory Committee. University of Queensland 1979–1994—Reader in Geographical Sciences; Director, ARC Key Centre in Land Information Studies. Research interests in remote sensing, wildlife ecology, resource management, environmental planning and education. National recognition for research, teaching innovation and technology transfer to developing countries.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Chair of Academic Board, overseeing the academic functions (learning and teaching) of the University, with responsibility for related support areas such as the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching, Information Services, Strategic Information and Analysis Unit, USC Gympie and USC Law.

Professor Birgit Lohmann
BSc (Hons) Adel., PhD Flin.

Appointed to the University in 2010, taking up the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor from February 2011. Chair of Academic Board and Promotions Committee, member of University Council, Executive, Honorary Awards Committee, Senior Staff Forum and Student Liaison Committee. Previously Head of the School of Science and Director of the Centre for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Quality) at the University of Adelaide. Member of the Regional Universities Network Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Group, member of
the Universities Australia Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Group, member of the Office for Learning and Teaching Grants Standing Committee and Deputy Chair, QTAC Board. Research interests in atomic and molecular physics.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Quality)

Oversees, manages and provides advice on internationalisation, quality assurance and improvement, organisational and program reviews, and marketing and communications.

Professor Robert Elliot
BA(Hons) NSW, MA La Trobe, DipEd Melb., PhD Qld

Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Quality) and Professor of Philosophy. A founding staff member of the University. Member of University Council, University Executive, and Learning and Teaching Committee, Deputy Chairperson of Academic Board and Chairperson of the Internationalisation Advisory Committee. Former foundation Dean of Arts and subsequently Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, from 1995–2005.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services)

Oversees the University’s planning, budgeting, infrastructure, human resources, financial and information technology services and implements internal controls and risk management systems.

Dr Scott Snyder (from 23 June 2014)
PhD Adel

Appointed to the University in June 2014. Attends meetings of University Council, Planning and Resources Committee and Audit and Risk Management Committee. Previously, from Charles Darwin University where he held the role of Chief Operating Officer, and has also held roles as Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services)

Oversees the University’s planning, budgeting, infrastructure, human resources, financial and information technology services and implements internal controls and risk management systems.

Bernard Lillis (until 11 April 2014)
BA (Hons), FCMA

Appointed to the University in July 2013. Attends meetings of University Council, Planning and Resources Committee and Audit and Risk Management Committee. Previously, Chief Operating Officer and Registrar at University of Southern Queensland. General management experience includes the integration of sustainable university resource planning and budget management with governance, risk and legal services, financial services, human resources, facilities management, ICT services, marketing and advancement, student and academic services, technology transfer, commercial services and student residential accommodation.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Oversees, manages and advises on University research activity, aligning research effort with the University’s goals and advancing the research profile of the University.

Professor Roland De Marco
BSc, MSc RMIT, PhD La Trobe, MRACI

Appointed to the University in 2010, taking up the newly-created Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) role from January 2011. Member of Academic Board and Chairperson of the Research Management Committee. He is Member of the Board of the SmartWater Centre headquartered at Griffith University, and previously served as Chair (2011-2012) of the Queensland Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Network headquartered at The University of Queensland. He presently serves on the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Materials, Structures and
Dynamics Specialist Committee. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Elsevier journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, and is Handling Editor of the Elsevier journal Sensing and Biosensing Research. Previously Professor of Chemistry, along with Chemistry Department Head 2001–2007, Dean of Research in Science and Engineering 2007– 2009 and Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) 2010 at Curtin University. Recipient of the 2008 RACI Lloyd Smythe Medal for excellence in research in Analytical Chemistry.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement)

Oversees the University’s links with its primary stakeholders and its regional community in achieving the teaching and learning and research priorities of the University.

Professor Mike Hefferan
BA Qld, GradDipMgmt C.Qld, MAppSci, PhD QldUT

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) and Professor of Property and Development. Appointed to the University in 2008. Member of Academic Board, Executive and Foundation Board, and Chair of Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast Pty Ltd. Immediate past President of the Australian Property Institute (Queensland Division), Chair of the API’s National Education Board and board member of Regional Development Australia (Sunshine Coast) and the Sunshine Coast Business Council. Registered Urban and Rural Valuer, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Urban Development Institute of Australia, Australian Property Institute and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students)

Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee, with responsibility for USC’s strategies for student engagement and success and oversight of the support areas of Student Administration, Student Life and Learning and Academic Secretariat.

Professor Karen Nelson

Appointed to the University in 2014 to take up the newly created role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students). Member of the Academic Board, and Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee. Active research interests in student learning engagement, success and experiences of higher education, student retention, first year in higher education and
information and knowledge systems in organisations. Adjunct Professor in the Information Systems School, Science and Engineering Faculty at Queensland University of Technology.

Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Business

Oversees the Faculty of Arts and Business, comprising the School of Business, School of Communication, School of Social Sciences, the Sustainability Research Centre and the Engage Research Cluster.

Professor Joanne Scott
BA(Hons) Qld, GradCertEd QldUT, GradCertCulturalHtge Deakin, PhD Qld

One of the longest-serving members of the University. Became the inaugural Head of the School of Social Sciences (2006-2010), and chaired USC’s Learning and Teaching Committee (2007–2010). She commenced her current role as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Business in January 2012. Member of Academic Board, Executive, Planning and Resources Committee, Senior Staff Forum, and Equity Advisory Committee. Research interests include Australian and oral history.

Executive Dean, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering

Oversees the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, comprising the School of Science and Engineering, School of Education, School of Health and Sport Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery, GeneCology Research Centre and several research clusters.

Professor John Bartlett
BSc (Hons) Newcastle, PhD Newcastle

Appointed to the University in 2011, taking up the position of Executive Dean, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering in February 2012. Member of Academic Board, Executive, Innovation Centre and Industry Advisory Group, Senior Staff Forum and Equity Advisory Committee. Previously Head of the School of Natural Sciences and Dean-Elect of the School of Science at the University of Western Sydney and Acting Head, Institute of Materials Engineering and Science at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Research interests include materials chemistry and nanotechnology.

University Council (governing body)

Under the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998, the University is governed by an 18-member Council representing University and community interests.
Council has the power to manage and control University affairs, property and finances, and appoint University staff. Where allowed under the Act, Council may delegate its powers to an appropriately qualified member of Council or member of the University’s staff; or to an appropriately qualified committee that includes one or more members
of Council.

The Council met six times in 2014. Additionally, an overnight Council Retreat was held and councillors participated in a number of other special engagement activities throughout the year, including lunch with members of the local Gympie Regional Council and other key stakeholders in Higher Education from the Gympie region.

Council leadership


Leads Council and presides at Council meetings.

John M Dobson OAM

Elected Chancellor in 2007 for an inaugural term from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2012. Re-elected in 2011 for a term from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2017. Member of the University Council since 1997. Parish Priest of Caloundra Parish between 1982 and 2012, Dean of the North Coast Deanery within the Catholic Church between 1992 and 2012.
Contributions to the community include founding privately-funded residential care facilities for the aged and for people with intellectual disabilities, co-founding a retirement village and a comprehensive college (in partnership with the United Church) and developing support groups for prisoners and their families.

Deputy Chancellor

Acts as Chancellor in the absence of the Chancellor or when the office of Chancellor is vacant.

David Jeffries
BCom Qld, FCA, FAICD, FFin

Re-elected as Deputy Chancellor in March 2014 for a two year term commencing 5 March 2014. Member of University Council since August 2006. Member of Foundation Board in 2008 and 2009. Chairperson of Planning and Resources Committee (PRC) since 2010 and member of PRC since August 2006. Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants
in Australia, Australian Institute of Company Directors and Financial Services Institute of Australasia. Business contributions include numerous positions as company director/adviser, and as senior executive in the financial services sector: Deputy Chief Executive of Bank of Queensland Limited, Chief Executive Officer of First Australian Building Society, State Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australian representative on the Financial and Management Accounting Committee of the International Federation of Accountants.

Council membership
The Council comprises three official members, six members appointed by the Governor in Council, five elected members and four additional members appointed by the Council. The term of office of the majority of members is four years. The term of office for student members is two years. 2014 was the first year of the Seventh University Council.

The Council membership for 2014 was as follows:

  • Chancellor John M Dobson OAM
  • Deputy Chancellor David Jeffries, BCom Qld, FCA, FAICD, FFin
  • Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Hill, CertTeach Qld, BA(Hons) Qld, PhD Qld
  • Chairperson of the Academic Board Professor Birgit Lohmann, BSc (Hons) Adel., PhD Flin.
  • Six members appointed by the Governor in Council
    • Dr Suzanne Innes, BA(Hons), BEdSt Qld, GradCertTESOL UNE, MSchM EdD C.Qld
    • David Jeffries, BCom Qld, FCA, FAICD, FFin
    • Julie-Anne Mee, BBus C.Qld, MAdmin Griff., FCPA
    • Debra Bennet
    • Jacquelyn Wright, BBus(Comp) NTU, Master of Computing Studies Deakin, GDipEd(Adult)
      S.Aust., GDipEd(Primary) NTU
    • Bruce Cowley, BCom, LLB(Hons) Qld, FAICD
  • Two elected members of the University’s academic staff
    • Professor Robert Elliot, BA(Hons) NSW, MA La Trobe, DipEd Melb., PhD Qld
    • Dr Mark Sayers, BAppSci CCAE, MAppSci Canberra, PhD RMIT
  • One elected member of the University’s general staff Jon Dickins, BA (Hons) Griff.
  • Two elected members of the student body
    • Sonya Wallace, BNursSc USC, GCertPR USC, MACN
    • Chelsea Wallis, BBus, GCEcon, GCA (Pol&IR), JP(Qual), MQJA
  • Four additional members
    • Robert Hubbard, BA(Hons), FCA, MAICD
    • Natasha Read, BCom Griff., MBA Sunshine Coast, FAIM, GAICD
    • Scott Williams AM, QDAH Qld, BEc, GradDipCompSc, GradDipFinMangt, GradDipRurAcc NE, HonDLitt NE, FAICD
    • Emeritus Professor Gerard Sutton AO, BE(Hons), MEngSc UNSW, PhD CUA, HonDSc UOW

Council Secretary

Bernard Lillis, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) and Council Secretary (until 11 April 2014)
Dr Scott Snyder, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) and Council Secretary (from 23 June 2014)

Council decisions in 2014

In 2014, Council:

  • Approved appointments to Council and its committees
  • Noted 2014 Corporate Performance Reports against the Key Performance Indicators in the University’s Strategic Plan (2011-2015)
  • Noted reports on 2014 performance against the University’s top level plans (2011-2015)
  • Considered the results of the End of Term Evaluation of the Sixth Council
  • Endorsed proposed amendments to the University of the Sunshine Coast Student Guild Constitution
  • Re-elected the Deputy-Chancellor for a two-year term
  • Noted that the Audit and Risk Management Committee was of the view that the University’s 2013 Annual Financial Statements were compliant with the Australian Accounting Standards and appropriate for sign-off
  • Approved that the membership fee for the Student Guild be the sum of $10 for the calendar year 2015, for Ordinary Members
  • Endorsed the process by which the allocations to the Student Guild from the Student Services and Amenities Fund had been derived
  • Noted the 2013 Student Guild Audited Annual Financial Statements
  • Noted the Annual Reports on:
    – Activities of the Foundation Board
    – Programs accredited, reaccredited or discontinued
    – Awards conferred
    – Sustainability management
  •  Approved amendments to the Schedule of Delegations and Preamble
  • Approved the planned expenditure of a cash donation in excess of $100,000
  • Noted quarterly reports on Facilities Management
  • Approved a proposal from the Program Accreditation and Course Approval Working Group of Academic Board, regarding changes to the processes for Program Accreditation and Course Approval
  • Approved the naming of a building, which had been donated to USC
  • Approved changes to the composition and Terms of Reference of the Academic Board
  • Noted the 2013 Institutional Performance Portfolio Report
  • Approved the Vice-Chancellor and President’s (VCP’s) 2014 Key Performance Indicators
  • Approved the 2013 December Outcomes Report of the University Consolidated Budget
  • Approved the April 2014–2016 Reforecast University Triennial Budget
  • Approved the 2014 June Budget Outcomes Report
  • Approved the 2014 August Reforecast of the University’s Consolidated Budget
  • Adopted the 2015–2017 University Triennial Budget
  • Approved the 2014 September Outcomes of the University Consolidated Budget
  • Approved the change of the internal audit resourcing model to a co-sourced model
  • Approved the 2015 Strategic Asset Management Plan
  • Approved the establishment of a new Controlled Entity— USC Retail Pty Ltd (USC Retail).

New policies

In 2014, Council:

  • Approved the Naming—Governing Policy
  • Approved the Animal Ethics—Governing Policy
  • Approved the Equity and Diversity—Governing Policy
  • Noted the new Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying— Managerial Policy.

Amended policies

In 2014, Council:

  • Approved amendments to the Honorary Awards—Governing Policy
  • Approved amendments to the Use of the University Seal— Governing Policy
  • Approved amendments to the Controlled Entities—Governing Policy
  • Approved amendments to the Internationalisation—Governing Policy
  • Approved amendments to the Delegations Framework— Governing Policy
  • Noted amendments to the Anti-Discrimination and Freedom from Harassment—Governing Policy.

Rescinded policies

In 2014, Council:

  • Approved rescission of the Care and Use of Animals in Teaching and Research Statement and Criteria for Review by Animal Ethics Committee
  • Approved rescission of the Equity—Governing Policy.
University committees

Academic Board

The University’s Academic Board was established under the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998 as the University’s senior academic body.
In 2014 its members included:

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor [Chairperson]
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Quality)
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement)
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students)
  • Faculty Executive Deans
  • Faculty Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching)
  • Faculty Associate Deans (Research)
  • Chairpersons of Academic Board standing committees
  • Heads of Schools
  • Three elected academic staff members from each faculty
  • One undergraduate and one postgraduate student
  • External representative of TAFE
  • Director, Student Administration
  • Director, Student Life and Learning
  • Director, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching
  • Director, Information Services.

The role of the Academic Board is to:

  • advise Council on teaching, scholarship and research matters concerning the University
  • formulate proposals for academic policies of the University
  • monitor the academic activities of the University’s faculties
  • promote and encourage scholarship and research at the University.

In 2014 the Academic Board met six times. The Board did not receive any remuneration in 2014.

The terms of reference of Academic Board in 2014 were as follows:

  1. To monitor academic integrity and academic standards, and assure the quality of teaching, research and research training
  2. To foster discourse and deliberation on issues related to higher education through informed and open discussion
  3. To approve and amend academic policy
  4. To foster excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, scholarship and research
  5. To advise Council and make recommendations where appropriate on the academic strategic directions and practices of the University
  6. To accredit and where appropriate recommend to Council regarding the introduction of new programs
  7. To approve any new courses, significant program amendments and program and course discontinuations
  8. To confer academic awards of the University, other than Honorary awards.

Academic Board decisions in 2014

Strategic and academic quality assurance developments in 2014 included:

  • Academic Board monitored programs to ensure compliance with the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  • Academic Board approved initial faculty responses to reviews of the following programs:
    – Justice and Legal Studies
    – Social Science
    – Business
    – Paramedic Science
    – Biomedical Science and Medical Laboratory Science
  • Approved the recommendations of the Report of the Role of Program Leader Working Group.
  • Approved the Implementation Plan for the Report on Review of Academic Board.
  • Approved the establishment of an Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Perspectives in Curriculum Working Party
  • Approved the Blended Learning Strategy.

Policy developments in 2014 included:

  • Approved the renaming and revision of the Research Centres— Academic Policy to the Research Concentrations—Academic Policy
  • Approved the new Higher Degrees by Research—Academic Policy
  • Approved the rescission of the Doctoral Degrees—Academic Policy
  • Approved the rescission of the Research Masters Degrees— Academic Policy
  • Approved the new Learning and Teaching Grants, Awards and Fellowships—Academic Policy
  • Approved the rescission of the Learning and Teaching Grants Scheme (LTGS)—Academic Policy
  • Approved the new Academic Timetable—Academic Policy.

Academic Board accredited the following programs in 2014:

  • BU734 Master of Management
  • SE303 Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Science
  • AE304 Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Arts
  • AR700 Master of International Development,
  • AR642 Graduate Diploma in International Development (exit pathway only)
  • AR550 Graduate Certificate in International Development (exit pathway only)
  • AR702 Master of Professional Psychology
  • BU350 Bachelor of Business (Supply Chain Management)
  • AR339 Bachelor of Design and Marketing
  • AB312 Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Planning)
  • AB313 Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Property Economics and Development.
  • AR405 Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
  • AR101 Diploma in Languages
  • SC335 Bachelor of Health and Community Care Management
  • AR645 Graduate Diploma in Psychology
  • ED307 Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Graduate Entry)
  • SC373 Bachelor of Health Science (Applied Health Promotion)
  • SC374 Bachelor of Health Science (Applied Environmental Health)
  • SC375 Bachelor of Health Science (Epidemiology and Public Health)
  • SC376 Bachelor of Health Science (Health Communication)
  • SC377 Bachelor of Health Science (Prosthetics and Orthotics)
  • SC320 Bachelor of Animal Ecology
  • SC385 Bachelor of Medical Science
  • SC425 Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Honours) / Bachelor of Environmental Science
  • BU101 Diploma in Business
  • AR115 Diploma in Communication
  • AB101 Diploma in General Studies
  • AR111 Diploma in Social Science.

Academic Board approved the discontinuation of the following programs:

  • ED501 Graduate Certificate in Professional Learning
  • AE301 Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Arts
  • BE301 Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Business
  • SE301 Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Science
  • BU733 Master of Management
  • AR505 Graduate Certificate in Arts
  • SA305 Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science (Psychology and Exercise Science)
  • AB303 Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Business (Design and Marketing)
  • AB306 Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Business (Psychology and Human Resource Management)
  • SB302 Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Science (Sport Management)
  • AB302 Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Business (Marketing Communication)
  • SA303 Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Health (Human Services and Health Promotion
  • SC708 Master of Climate Change Adaptation and SC608 Graduate Diploma in Climate Change Adaptation (exit point only)
  • SC525 Graduate Certificate in Sustainability
  • AR201 Associate Degree in Arts (retained as an exit point for some Faculty of Arts and Business programs)
  • SC318 Bachelor of Environmental Health Science
  • SC334 Bachelor of Health Promotion.

In 2014, the Academic Board also approved the following:

  • A process for future elections of members to Academic Board
  • Annual Summary Report on Student Academic Misconduct for 2013
  • Amendments to the Standing Orders for Academic Board and its Standing Committees
  • Minor changes to the composition and terms of reference of its standing committees
  • Introduction of 157 new courses
  • Discontinuation of 18 courses
  • Substantial changes to programs
  • Conferral of individual student awards

In 2014, the Academic Board received the following:

  • The 2012 and 2013 Annual Reports from the Sustainability Research Centre
  • The 2013 Annual Report from the Forestry Industries Research Centre.

Audit and Risk Management Committee

The Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) has five major areas of responsibility:

  1. Monitoring internal control and risk management
  2. Monitoring of internal audit activities
  3. Monitoring of external audit activities
  4. Oversight and appraisal of financial reporting
  5. Oversight of any fraud or ethics issues.

Membership of ARMC is approved by Council and consists of a minimum of four and a maximum of six persons, and includes the Chancellor ex officio, up to two members co-opted by the Chancellor and at least one other member of Council. At least one ARMC member must be a member of the professional accounting or audit bodies in Australia and have a professional accounting, management consultancy or audit background. Additionally, at least one member should possess expertise within the education sector. The initial term of office of members is a period not exceeding three years, and may be extended for further terms subject to the composition and skill requirements of the Committee.

The ARMC’s activities in 2014 were in accordance with its Terms of Reference and had due regard to Queensland Treasury’s Audit Committee Guidelines. Four regular meetings and one special meeting of the ARMC were held in 2014. The Committee assessed reports on Risk Management, the Delegations review, Procurement Analysis, Fraud Control, Work Health and Safety, Workforce Planning (Safety Officers), Internal and External Audit Matters, Insurance, Legislative Compliance and the University’s 2013 Annual Financial Statements. A recommendation to Council was made by the Committee regarding a proposed new Internal Audit Business Model. A self-evaluation of ARMC was also conducted in 2014.

The outcomes of the Committee’s discussions and advice to Council were provided to Council via the minutes of its meetings.

The Audit and Risk Management Committee did not receive any remuneration in 2014.

Planning and Resources Committee

The role of the Planning and Resources Committee (PRC) is to recommend the strategic directions of the University to Council, in the context of development of the University’s plans and their resourcing strategies.

The Committee also provides advice to Council on issues arising from these plans. The key areas of concern to the Committee are planning and strategy, financial resources, asset management (including information technology) and human resources.

Members of the PRC include the Chancellor, the Deputy Chancellor (who currently chairs the Committee), the Vice-Chancellor and President, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Business, three external members with specific expertise in strategic financial management and planning and up to two members co-opted by the Chancellor. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services), the Chief Financial Officer, and the Director, Facilities Management attend meetings of the Committee and have participating, but not voting, rights.

Five meetings of PRC were held in 2014. Discussion focused on financial matters, budget reports, reports from the University’s controlled entity (Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast Pty Ltd), planning matters including reports on outcomes for the key performance indicators in the University’s previous and current strategic and top level plans, and funding and progress of capital projects. The Committee also endorsed the Procurement Management Plan and Principal’s Project Requirements for a new multi-level car park at the Sippy Downs Campus. The outcomes of the Committee’s discussions and advice to Council were provided to Council via the minutes of its meetings.

Recommendations to Council related to:

  • Reforecasts of the University Consolidated Budget
  • Appointments to the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast Pty Ltd Board of Directors
  • Membership of the Planning and Resources Committee
  • The 2015 Strategic Asset Management Plan
  • The University’s Triennial Budget (2015-2017)
  • The 2014 Top Level Plan Performance Reports
  • The 2014 Corporate Performance Reports
  • Relevant policies.

The Planning and Resources Committee did not receive any remuneration in 2014.

Honorary Awards Committee

The Chancellor chairs the five-member Honorary Awards Committee, which seeks, considers and recommends to Council nominations
for honorary awards, in accordance with the University’s Honorary Awards—Governing Policy. In addition to the Chancellor, the Committee’s composition includes the Vice-Chancellor and President, the Deputy Vice- Chancellor and up to three University Council members. The Honorary Awards Committee met twice in 2014 to consider nominations for honorary awards.

The following honorary awards were presented in 2014:

Doctor of the University

  • Professor Ian Chubb AC
  • Dr Thong Khon
  • Bill Bailey, Senior Fellow of the University
  • Jim Varghese AM
  • Raul Weychardt
  • Ken Hicks
  • Dr Ken Wishaw
  • Ian McConachie AM

The Honorary Awards Committee did not receive any remuneration in 2014.

Monitoring quality

The University conducts internal audits within the relevant terms of reference and has due regard to Queensland Treasury’s Audit Committee Guidelines. The University monitors overall quality through a system of reports against performance indicators and planned targets, and scheduled regular reviews and internal audits of performance. The latter often include input from external sources.
The Council, committees and senior managers monitor quality, performance, standards and outcomes via performance reports and data, particularly in relation to the University’s finances, Strategic Plan and thematic top-level plans such as those supporting access to the USC experience; delivery of high quality teaching, learning and graduate outcomes; building research productivity and output; and preparing USC for a sustainable future.

Improvement plans are developed in response to review and audit findings and regular reports on progress in achieving those plans are provided to senior University staff and such bodies as the University Executive, Academic Board, Council committees and the Quality and Standards Committee.
During 2014, a scheduled major evaluative review of the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering was held.

Formal reviews of the following programs were also undertaken in 2014:

  • Associate Degree in Business
  • Bachelor of Business
  • Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management)
  • Bachelor of Business (International Business)
  • Bachelor of Business (Management)
  • Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
  • Bachelor of Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management)
  • Bachelor of Property Economics and Development
  • Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business (Design & Marketing)
  • Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)
  • Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Planning)
  • Bachelor of Business (Honours)
  • Graduate Certificate in Business Research
  • Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)
  • Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)( Honours)
  • Master of Psychology (Clinical)
  • Associate Degree in Medical Laboratory Science
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  • Bachelor of Nutrition
  • Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Bachelor of Regional and Urban Planning (Honours)
  • Master of Regional and Urban Planning
  • Bachelor of Paramedic Science
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science: Graduate Entry
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science/Bachelor of Midwifery
  • Master of Midwifery
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

There continued to be ongoing reporting and monitoring of progress in implementation of, and outcomes from, action plans arising from formal reviews held in 2013 or earlier.
The quality and standards framework is published online at


During 2014 the University participated in a range of academic, industry and professional benchmarking activities as part of its quality assurance and continuous quality improvement processes. Cumulative inventories of benchmarking activities are maintained and updated annually.

Benchmarking activities and findings are used for identifying and planning improvement actions and setting or adjusting performance or improvement targets.

Controlled entities

Council approved a Policy for the Establishment and Operation of Controlled Entities in December 2006.

Innovation Centre

The University established the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast Pty Ltd (ICSC) on 26 October 2000, under the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998 Part 2(6) with a free standing Board. The company’s mission is to support the start-up and growth of knowledge-based businesses and to promote beneficial interaction between these businesses and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

To cap off the year, in December 2014 ICSC was recognised as one of the top 10 university-based business incubators in the Asia and Oceania region by the UBI Index. The ICSC operates a 1500-square metre, purpose- built business incubator facility on the USC campus.

The ICSC provides a successful business incubator program, high-speed fibre/wireless connections, flexible office space, video studio, business mentoring, investment readiness, extensive networking and event opportunities and collaborative links to USC research and talent. The ICSC mission, members and general activities are fully detailed at www.


No dividends have been paid or declared during or since the 2014 financial year (2013: nil).

Review and results of operations:

With an improving economic climate, the ICSC had a relatively strong year attracting 22 new member companies. ICSC occupancy has averaged 97% in 2014 and the quality of member applications has been impressive, with a strong focus on technology-based startups. Throughout 2014, the ICSC was home to 33 resident companies, 11associate companies and more than 140 entrepreneurs (including 16 students and 29 student interns).

Many of these companies excelled in their respective fields, winning a total of 10 industry awards throughout 2014.
The ICSC net profit / loss for the financial year was a profit of $59,684 (2013: profit of $35,722) based on total revenue of $1,184,490 in 2014 (2013: $957,171). This result has increased retained earnings to $125,321. In addition, the ICSC received significant in-kind support of $202,400 in 2014 (2013: $44,600) from contributors including:

  • Big Air Sponsorship—providing $75,000 in ICT technical services;
  • Microsoft BizSpark Program—providing approximately $48,000 of software to ICSC members;
  • Poole Group—providing $2,500 of accounting and related services;
  • ICSC Mentor Panel—providing approximately $55,300 of volunteered mentoring and advice; and
  • ICSC Board of Directors—approximately $21,600 of volunteered time.

In 2014 the ICSC assisted members raise over $3 million in early stage capital and organised 25 business related events engaging 987 people, including 63 students. The ICSC and USC School of Business initiated the inaugural Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast which took place at the Innovation Centre on May 2-4 2014. The highly successful event attracted more than 190 attendees, 42 innovative pitches and 17 enterprising teams over a 54-hour period. The event secured significant media coverage and the ICSC / USC were also mentioned in both Houses of Parliament. The event winner was USC School of Business (New Venture Establishment) student Wilfrid Watson-Russell from Phenomec.

The ICSC Business Pitch Competition saw Nano-Nouvelle win the investment pitch category (with CloudDC second). Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson opened the event and there were three angel investors from Silicon Valley in attendance. The concept category was won by USC New Venture Establishment student: Anne Ross from Hive Haven. The ICSC also introduced a new category into the Sunshine Coast Business Awards (Best Entrepreneurial ICSC Startup of the Year Award which went to CloudDC in 2014).

In 2014, the ICSC/USC Entrepreneur in Residence role expanded, servicing ICSC clients, USC staff, students and the broader business community on the Sunshine Coast. This mentoring and business development advice is augmented by the CEO and 22 high-calibre mentor panel members. These mentors are experts in their fields and provide advice and support in all business areas including finance, marketing, commercialisation, IP, digital strategy, project management and HR. The ICSC also provided more than 1,300 hours of mentoring this year (553 hours by the Mentor Panel and 765 hours by the Entrepreneur in Residence and CEO, including 135 hours to students).

The ICSC UniConnect program has expanded in 2014 with a focus on student work-integrated learning opportunities. In 2014, 29 students undertook internships/work placements with ICSC companies, and 63 students attended various ICSC events. The ICSC Entrepreneur in Residence also provided over 130 hours of mentoring to USC students over the course of the year.

To cap off the year, in December 2014 ICSC was recognised as one of the top 10 university-based business incubators in the Asia and Oceania region by the UBI Index.

ICSC Board Members:

  • Professor Mike Hefferan (Chairperson)
  • Mr Andrew Fern
  • Ms Julie-Anne Mee (Company Secretary)
  • Professor John Bartlett
  • Mr Tim Eldridge
  • Dr Kirsten Baulch.

The Board met five times in 2014. The ICSC Board did not receive any remuneration in 2014.

Company Members:

  • Mr Mark Paddenburg (ICSC CEO)
  • Ms Janet O’Hara (ICSC Board Minute Secretary).
Statutory obligations and compliance

Best practice for governance

The University complies with the Voluntary Code of Best Practice for the Governance of Australian Universities, as implemented by the industry body, Universities Australia.
In 2014 the University took into consideration the Queensland Government objectives for the community, including contributing to the goal of growing a four pillar economy by reducing Queensland’s unemployment rate to four per cent within six years.

Information privacy

In compliance with Queensland’s Information Privacy Act 2009, the University has an Information Privacy Policy and associated procedures to ensure the appropriate management of personal information. A privacy statement is available on the University’s website and appropriate privacy statements are included on University forms. The Information Privacy Policy is available at

One formal request under the Information Privacy Act was processed in 2014.

Right to Information

In compliance with Queensland’s Right to Information Act 2009, the University has a Right to Information Policy and associated procedures to provide requested information as easily as possible. The Publication Scheme on the University’s website, outlining the classes of information available publicly, is updated regularly. Requests for information are managed where possible through administrative release processes.

One formal request under the Right to Information Act was processed in 2014.

Workforce planning, attraction and retention

As at 31 March 2014, the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staffing was 1022, inclusive of casual staff. This was an 11 percent increase on 31 March 2013, with the growth remaining consistent with the University’s Workforce Planning process.

The 2013* staff retention rate increased to 93 percent. The 2013* separation rate decreased to seven percent.

The University maintains a number of key policies and procedures related to workforce development and management, including Workforce Planning and Staff Recognition and Reward.

Workplace health and safety

In 2013*, USC average time lost to injury was 9.9 days per workers’ compensation incident, with a total of 10 claims accepted by WorkCover Queensland during the year.
The introduction of enhanced Health, Safety and Wellbeing strategies for the University continued during 2014, with initiatives including Health Safety and Wellbeing blogs, Health Safety and Wellbeing Blitzs which provide a suite of in-house activities ranging from ergonomic self-assessments and stretching sessions to risk assessment and incident reporting workshops. The implementation of new Risk Management Safety Software (RMSS) to assist in the safe placement of students whilst on workplace integrated learning was a major new initiative for the University.

* Figures are the most up-to-date available at time of publishing.

Equity and work-life balance initiatives

Education and awareness of equal opportunity in the workplace continued throughout 2014 with training sessions conducted by the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland and staff access to an online equal opportunity training package.

Workshops, including “Preventing Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying’, ‘Building Resilience and Capacity’, ‘Being Constructively Assertive’ and ‘Emotional Intelligence’, were conducted to support staff in the development of skills that will create healthy work-life balance.

In 2014, the University of the Sunshine Coast supported the Australian Human Rights Commission campaign “Racism. It stops with me.” USC committed to preventing racism by pledging to undertake activities over the next three years in support of the campaign, including adding the campaign logo and information about the campaign to the University’s website and promoting the campaign through internal communications.

The University allows for 26 weeks paid maternity leave to be paid on a 50 percent basis over the 52 week parental leave period. The University also provides flexible work arrangements and job sharing options for staff returning from parental leave. A privately owned and operated childcare facility is available on campus for staff and students.
The University of the Sunshine Coast supports the Queensland Carers Charter as detailed in the Carers (Recognition) Act 2008, through flexible work practices and remote access facilities for staff and students.
The University ensures staff and students are provided with relevant information and support as required. At the time of a staff member’s commencement USC provides information with regard to carer’s leave and flexible working options to assist in their caring responsibilities. This information is available on the USC Portal for staff to access. The University’s Employee Assistance Program also includes provision of support to staff family members.

Staff are provided with the opportunity to comment on any proposed changes to policy relating to carer’s leave or flexible working options. This includes conducting focus groups with affected staff members whose views are then taken into consideration in the formulation of those policies.

Due to the flexible working options available at USC, staff who identify as carers are supported to meet both their work and caring responsibilities.

The University also has a Disability Action Plan to assist in providing equal access to quality education for the whole community; to improve the teaching and learning environment for students and staff; and to raise awareness of disability issues and responsibilities as a foundation for good practice in equitable service provision. The Plan was reviewed during 2014.

There is a range of disability support services and facilities available to staff and students, with all activities guided by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Support is tailored to the personal needs of staff and students, delivered by a qualified Disability Services Officer. Examples of support services include physical access, visual aids and better hearing.

Performance management framework

The University has a Performance Management Policy and Performance Planning and Review (PPR) Policy and Procedures, with both ongoing and fixed term staff participating in an annual Performance Planning and Review process.

Leadership and management development

In 2014 a number of staff development initiatives were facilitated to enhance the supervisory and leadership skills of University staff. These included topics such as the ‘The Conversation Series’, where individual sessions were conducted on challenging conversations, coaching conversations and change conversations, ‘Supervisor Essentials’, ‘Resilience and Capacity Development’, and ‘Leadership Essentials’. Additional development opportunities were also provided for executive and senior staff through both executive and senior staff retreats.

Enterprise agreement

The University’s current Enterprise Agreement has a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2013 and the University has continued negotiations with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) for a new University of the Sunshine Coast Enterprise Agreement.

Student complaints and appeals

The University has a Student Complaints and Appeals Policy, which provides a framework to administer, manage and report on student complaints and appeals. In 2014, the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor received and Investigated six formal complaints.

Ethical standards

In compliance with the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994, the University’s Staff Code of Conduct—Governing Policy (the Code) defines acceptable conduct for staff of the University. The Code is shaped around four key ethical principles that are intended to guide ethical decision making and behaviour. The ethical principles are:

  • integrity and impartiality
  • promoting the public good
  • commitment to the system of government
  • accountability and transparency.

Sessions on the Code are conducted in the Middle Managers Forums and Supervisor Essentials program. The University maintains a Staff Code of Conduct webpage to provide further education for staff, providing a basis for discussion at work area meetings on the meaning of the Code.

Corporate information systems and records management The continuing development of the University’s corporate information systems included the following activities in 2014:

  • AV replacements (capital replacement): 10 venues, some 2013 funded, comprising 8 computer labs and 2 tutorial rooms were upgraded as part of Semester 1, 2014 preparation activities. 8 venues including Lecture Theatre 7 (including the installation of video-conferencing capabilities), Lecture Theatre 3, 2 computer labs, 3 tutorial rooms and 1 meeting room were upgraded prior to semester 2, 2014. During summer 2014/15, an additional 11 venues including the Innovation Centre Auditorium (first phase for FAB flipped class room trial), building T gymnasium and adjoining café, all Noosa venues and other tutorial rooms will be upgraded. Each upgrade continues the transition from AMX to Crestron control realising significant improvements in functionality, ease of use and supportability.
  • PC replacements (capital replacement): the 2014 PC replacement program adopted a new funding model which centralised costs that were formerly borne by cost centres whenever laptops and higher specified computers were replaced. This greatly simplified
    the procurement and replacement process, reduced financial system overheads by eliminating inter-cost centre journals and generated significant good will. Wet lab replacements were deferred, at the request of FoSHEE’s Technical Services staff, until January 2015. All PC life-cycle activities are now undertaken from the ITS workshop in Building R.
Annual Report 2014
  • ePortfolio Implementation: Following the successful trial in 2013, the implementation of PebblePad saw the take up in courses gaining momentum in the blended learning environment. This roll out is to continue across 2015 which will also see an evaluation of the overall benefits.
  • SIS Consolidated: Continuing from 2013, the key focus for this initiative in 2014 was the on-line admissions form (AAWS). This work is progressing and planned to provide an April 2015 delivery.
  • Library Implementation Phase 2: Following the completion of Phase 1 (Discovery) in March, Phase 2 focussed on the procurement of a new Library system. Contract negotiations have been completed with implementation to commence early in 2015 for a planned completion mid-year.
  • USC Digital Workplace / Enabling Technologies: Following the delivery of a proof of concept for SharePoint in 2013 and its subsequent evaluation in early 2014, the implementation of SharePoint enabling technologies was performed to support the development of the USC Digital Workplace. This is now well progressed with a beta release
    of MyUSC planned for January 2015. Travel Requisition workflow is planned for early 2015 with further functionality to be made available across the year.
  • Unified Communications: Together with the implementation of a contact support system (Geomant) in IT Services, the Unified
    Communications initiative saw the rollout across the University of Lync desktop collaboration capabilities. The provision of Lync telephones is well progressed and will be completed in early 2015. This will also see the decommissioning of the PABX.
  • Space and Asset Management: 2014 saw the implementation and significant development of the space and asset management system which was released in December. With significant benefits already being realised, this system will continue to be developed, have data populated and be further integrated in 2015.
  • HR online timesheet: this system which was implemented in 2013, was piloted in early 2014 and adopted institutionally later in the year.
  • HR eAppointments: Electronic appointment processing capability was implemented within the HR system in July 2014.
  • Timetable System upgrade: The timetable system was upgraded in early 2014.
  • COR109 Campus Solutions: This initiative, which will allow students to more readily migrate between tutorial groups in this core University course, was completed in September for use in semester 1, 2015.
  • Load Model Phase 2: This initiative saw the development of improvements to the Load Model system.
  • MexOps upgrade: The building maintenance system was upgraded in early 2014.
  • Data Warehouse Implementation Planning Study: The implementation study was completed in August with the delivery of the Business Case. Development of the Data Warehouse will commence in 2015.
  • Novell replacement: This initiative saw the implementation of a new self-service password reset system as well as the decommissioning of more than 30 Novell servers. A new identity management solution (FIM) was being tested late in the year for implementation in early 2015.
  • HRP eRecruitment: The feasibility into eRecruitment was completed in early 2014 with the deployment of the on-boarding solution occurring by the end of the year, with adoption to occur in 2015.
  • HR Risk Assessment: A HR risk assessment system was implemented early in the year.
  • Planning and Reporting Tool Feasibility: The requirements for a corporate planning, risk and reporting tool were identified and an appropriate solution determined. This system is to be implemented in 2015.
  • IRM enhancement: This initiative saw the development of improvements to the Interim Results Module.
  • Research Master Additional Modules: This project has focussed on business process reengineering for Grants, Ethics and Research Higher Degrees. Subsequent system implementation is to commence with deployment of the Grants eForms solutions in early 2015.
  • Finance System upgrade: The Finance system upgrade delivered the deployment of remote financial transaction approval on mobile devices and efficiency in the attaching of supporting documentation. The project will continue into 2015 to support the development and deployment of additional BI Dashboards.
  • Records Management Feasibility: This feasibility study has delivered the business requirements definition with a Request for Proposal (RFP) in early 2015 to deliver a Business Case for subsequent implementation.
  • Program and Course Design: In 2014 this initiative focused on business process analysis and policy review and consultation. It is to continue in 2015 to determine future business processes and assess solution options for implementation.
  • SQL Server 2012 upgrade: A SQL Server 2012 cluster environment was established in 2014 to support new systems with existing databases being migrated across 2015.
  • Office, Outlook and Internet Explorer upgrade: A pilot deployment of Office 2013 occurred late in 2014 along with an IE browser upgrade. This was extended to all staff in December and will see the deployment to student computer environments for semester 1, 2015.

Records management

In compliance with Queensland’s Public Records Act 2002, the University manages its records through a corporate recordkeeping system, a central team of specialised records and information officers, and designated records liaison officers in each faculty and cost centre. The Records Management Governing Policy outlines the framework for records management within the University. Internal audits are conducted on a rolling schedule to ensure appropriate records management and staff training is undertaken on a regular basis.

In 2014, the Records Management Services unit was incorporated into a broader Information Management Services unit to provide a more coordinated approach to records and information management for the University.

Implementation of the University’s Information Management Strategy is continuing. The Strategy is designed to provide a vision, priorities and plan for the best use of the University’s information assets. It aims to take a holistic, sustainable approach to the development of robust systems infrastructure, sound information governance, and an organisational culture of information sharing.


Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Australian Graduate Survey

Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience

Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Administrative, Professional and Technical (Staff)

Australian Research Council

Audit and Risk Management Committee

International Barcode of Life Database

Census Collection District

Course Experience Questionnaire

Commonwealth Grant Scheme

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students

Collaborative Research Networks

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Commonwealth Supported

Department of Education (previously the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Education, Science and Training)

Department of Industry (previously the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education)

Equivalent Full-Time Student Load

Education Investment Fund

Entrepreneur in Residence

Executive Master of Business Administration

Full-time equivalent (Staff)

Global Opportunities

Higher Degree by Research (Student)

Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program

Higher Education Research Data Collection

Health Workforce Australia

International Association of Student Affairs and Services

Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast

Information and Communication Technology

Key Performance Indicator

National Health and Medical Research Council

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

National Tertiary Education Union

Office for Learning and Teaching (Australian Government)

Overall Satisfaction Index


Performance, Planning and Review (Staff)

Planning and Resources Committee

Queensland Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Strategic Asset Management Plan

Skills, Academic and Research Centre

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service

Socio-economic status

Tertiary Enabling Pathway

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

Tertiary Preparation Pathway


University of the Sunshine Coast

Work Integrated Learning

Year to Date

The University of the Sunshine Coast began as the Sunshine Coast University College. Founded in 1994, the first students started at the Sippy Downs campus in 1996. In 1998 the new institution was granted full university status, and became the University of the Sunshine Coast on 1 January 1999.

The 100-hectare Sippy Downs campus lies around 90km north of Brisbane on land that was once a cane farm. In addition to the main site at Sippy Downs, the University has teaching sites offering award programs at Gympie and South Brisbane, as well as study support centres offering tertiary preparatory programs at Noosa, Caboolture and North Lakes. In 2014, USC had a total operating revenue of more than $215.4 million and employed 821 staff (full-time equivalent).
USC has a five-star rating for teaching quality, generic skills, and graduate satisfaction, which is recognised in the 2015 Good Universities Guide*.
At Census 1 2014, there were 9,652 students (including 1,108 postgraduates and 1,057 international students) enrolled in more than 140 academic programs in two faculties: Arts and Business; and Science, Health, Education and Engineering.
In 2014, the University conferred 1,718 degrees, bringing alumni numbers to 14,164.

* The rating of five stars for teaching quality, generic skills and graduate satisfaction were awarded to USC by the Good Universities’ Guide 2015 using information obtained from the Graduate Careers Australia’s Course Experience Questionnaire.


Tel: 07 5430 1234
Fax: 07 5430 1111
CRICOS Provider Number: 01595D

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