Change Management: A Case Study Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

In this system, in which we must increasingly compete for students and research dollars and create new sources of funding, international university rankings are the utmost importance." (Probert, 2006) it is emphasized in this report that these changes are of great significance toward ensuring "greater strategic capacity within the Faculty." Probert (2006) relates two key changes which have been proposed and states them as follows:

1) the reduction in number of existing departments to ensure increased accountability and improved governance structures, and;

2) the creation of a Faculty Executive based on the Heads of School and key Associate Deans. (Probert, 2006)

There are two benefits from these changes noted and stated specifically is: "Growing Esteem requires us to work collaboratively as a Faculty in new ways (for example, in the management of the BA, the improvement of the graduate student experience, development of Graduate Schools, multi-disciplinary teaching and research, as well as the imperative of reducing dysfunctional competition and duplication). If we want to create a more collaborative way of working across disciplines and traditional boundaries then we need an Executive in which this is put into practice as a matter of course. Second, the existing large number of very varied organizational units leads to uneven leadership and management capacity - resulting in faculty decision-making that is less than optimal. We need a strong, smaller group of Heads capable of representing School, discipline and multi-disciplinary interests within the broader Faculty. These considerations, combined with the Faculty's widely shared commitment to collegiality and academic coherence, have led to the proposal that the Faculty's current organizational units be restructured from sixteen departments to seven Schools." (Probert, 2006)

It is further agreed that membership of the key committees of the Faculty should be upon the basis of "functional principles." (Probert, 2006) This includes the nomination of members able to provide effective representation and who "can be held accountable for their work, while at the same time the Faculty is assured of well-informed and relevant input in all areas." (Probert, 2006) Each school should have representation on the key committees of the faculty as well. Stated to be of equal importance is the "recognition that overly complicated administrative structures and organizational units hinder the ability of talented professional staff to provide exemplary services to students and staff alike." (Probert, 2006) Also stated to be equally important is the recognition "that overly complicated administrative structures and organizational units hinder the ability of talented professional staff to provide exemplary services to students and staff alike." (Probert, 2006) it is related that the services must be "more efficient and streamlined" to provide support for students and staff which will involve reconfiguration of the way services are delivered and that this will involve removal of duplication and reconsideration of existing organizational groupings to change groupings to be upon the basis of the performance or functions of services or service provision.


It is stated in relation to 'external' factors that the University and Faculty both are presently greatly dependent on "non government sources of revenue, at the same time as international student fee income is declining in traditional markets, and research funding is threatened by increasing levels of competition." (Probert, 2006) it is related that the University is seeking a reduction in its reliance "on Commonwealth funded undergraduate teaching" and that a need exists for development of "the highest quality graduate courseworth programs, and ensure levels of postgraduate research enrollment from international markets as well as nationally." (Probert, 2006) Stated in the area of internal factors is that the University has stated as one of the 'Growing Esteem' key principles as being reconsideration of approaches previously considered for revenue increase and that while there was "previously...a reliance mostly on increasing enrollments in international, undergraduate programs at the University" that it is "clear that the intention is now to diversify revenue streams with a shift of student load from undergraduate to graduate teaching." (Probert, 2006) in order to achieve this there must be an "increase in quality and strategic focus at every level." (Probert, 2006) in order to achieve these two goals it is necessary that high levels of staff development and management be in existence at the School level. The basis of budgeting decisions is stated to be upon the "explicit planning in the context of 'Growing Esteem'." (Probert, 2006)

It is articulated in the Melbourne Model that a need exist to make provision f "an exemplary postgraduate
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student experience" and that the logic conclusion appears to be the consideration of the relationship between coursework and research along with recognition of the commonalities "whilst maintaining the distinctiveness of each program." (Probert, 2006) Considered are stated to be the "opportunity to achieve economies of scale and redirect resources toward supporting this cohort" a well as the "opportunity to reduce the duplication that currently occurs across three sections in the Secretariat in relation to student selection and administration." (Probert, 2006) Probert states that reduction of duplication is possible "across three sections in the Secretariat in relation to student selection and administration." (2006)

The Faculty has stated a need for reviewing all post-graduate coursework programs "in order to ensure viability and quality." (Probert, 2006) as well it is stated that the new generation BA will be required to demonstrate the following:

1) a focus on majors as the structuring principle of the degree and a requirement for the completion of at least one major;

2) a revised first year which provides a cohort experience and core skills, and opens up opportunities for further study; and 3) a requirement that all students undertake 75 points of study (25 points at each year level) outside the Faculty of Arts. (Probert, 2006)

In order to develop and support this approach which is more structured in nature there is a requirement for development of structures that are new and that support both collaboration and strategic decision-making. As well, this presents the opportunity to "set down broad educational principles for our first year students, and to construct a stable and coherent set of subjects which provide a foundation for future, discipline-based study." (Probert, 2006)

In relation to the process of consultation it is related by Probert that the following steps were taken:

1) Appointment of an external consultant who will assist in the development and management of a consultative approach that is very thorough with the Deans and the Faculty General Manager;

2) Creation of a consultation website has been established and on which "all working documents relating to every aspect of the review were posted and on which all staff could post comments and contributions of any kind." (Probert, 2006)

3) Key position papers which made identification of principles that were agreed upon and that reported stages in decision making were posted on the Faculty's consultation website; and 4) Proposals for the structure of new Schools and Faculty Portfolios were circulated for discussion to the Standing Committee of Heads. (Probert, 2006)

Three academic working groups were formed to focus on:

1) Academic programs;

2) Decision making; and 3) Arts Strategy. (Probert, 2006)

Investigation by the Academic Programs Group included the following areas:

Mechanisms for supporting the Melbourne Model

Support mechanisms for increased multi-disciplinarily

Administrative processes that could be streamlined

The degree regulations that could be simplified

Possible models for the new generation BA. (Probert, 2006)

The Decision Making Group is stated to have investigated the following:

Governance and management structures across the Faculty

The optimum size of a School / Department.

Faculty committee composition

Where decisions are best made in relation to Faculty and School governance

Structures that support the Faculty's strategic goals and those of the University

The composition and function of Executive (Probert, 2006)

Stated to be that which the Arts Strategy Group investigated were:

Values to be articulated by our academic programs;

The implications of providing an excellent, responsive BA to larger groups of students;

Strategies of retaining the BA as a degree in its own right and not only a pathway to other degrees; an d

The appeal of the new generation BA to students to a broader range of students. (Probert, 2006)


Probert (2006) relates that the working party was established for the purpose of providing a systematic definition and review of possible Graduate Schools in the Faculty of Arts. In addition the working groups were also involved in development of the schools response to the proposals which emerged for the +2 of the 3+2+3 model. Requirements of the working party are those as follows:

1) Develop a position paper on the role of Graduate Schools in Arts and the difference between Graduate Schools and other Masters coursework programs;

2) Through consultation across the Faculty identify all existing suggestions for the development of Graduate Schools, and establish a process and timeframe for developing each proposal (bringing together key people from within and without the University), and bringing them to Executive, SCHD and Curriculum Review Committee for…

Sources Used in Documents:


2007 BA Curriculum Review: Terms of Reference (2007) Faculty of Arts Renewal Strategy. The University of Melbourne. Online available at

Considine, Mark (2007) Curriculum in the University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts: Report of the Review Panel. 26 Sept 2007. Online available at'AgostinoReport.pdf

Draft for Consultation (2007) the University of Melbourne - Implementing the Melbourne Student Services Model. Proposed Staff Transition Processes. 7 Sept. Online available at

Melbourne Student Services Model (Student Services Hub) Implementation Project Reference Group (2007) the University of Melbourne. Online available at

Cite This Research Proposal:

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