DASSH is thrilled to announce its upcoming 2021 national conference. The event will take place over four days, with the first day dedicated to networking among deans followed by three consecutive days of facilitated panels on the topics listed below. A plenary presentation is yet to be confirmed.

The tertiary sector – and Australian society more broadly – is currently in a heightened state of flux and uncertainty. We believe that now, more than ever, it is important that leaders in the humanities, arts and social sciences come together to discuss significant issues affecting our sector.

The panel discussion abstracts can be found below, with speakers to be confirmed in coming weeks. Each session will be facilitated, with a moderator curating a discussion on the topic after presentations. An information kit containing all presentations will be sent out after the final session and we will welcome your feedback.

More information on speakers, guest and moderators will be made available here soon.

We encourage you to set aside one and a half hours for online discussions on the following dates:

Deans’ Pre-Meeting – Hosted by the DASSH Board
Strategy and Heart: DASSH Identity and Impact

Monday September 13
1pm AEST/3pm NZ

Optimising and normalising network/blended learning

Tuesday September 14
1pm AEST/3pm NZ

An outcome of the sectoral response to the COVID crisis has been a rapid uptake of blended or networked learning in which on-campus and online learning environments coexist. Many institutions are flagging an intention to retain this model even when there is no longer a constraint on face-to-face gatherings. A potentially exciting point in the history of tertiary education in Australasia and globally, what does this moment promise for future approaches to teaching? What values and practices are emerging as key as we learn how to teach well across time and space?  How do we ensure that students from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds can thrive in this new teaching environment? What tools can we share with one another to help our sector to continue to deliver effective teaching under these changed circumstances?

Research in (post) COVID times

Wednesday 15 September
1pm AEST/3pm NZ

The impacts of COVID have affected research engagement and productivity significantly and in highly uneven ways. While a few report increases in research productivity, many—especially those whose home environments do not easily support research practices—have had extended periods where they have been unable to research effectively. Others who research internationally and nationally in the field have been unable to advance their work and are uncertain as to when they next will. The duration of this break may leave some researchers permanently disadvantaged.

What strategies might be most effective in supporting colleagues regain research motivation and momentum? How can we account for and counter the iniquities of the COVID effect on researchers? What could research look like in a COVID normal environment?

Wellbeing for staff and students in (post) COVID times

Thursday September 16
1pm AEST/3pm NZ

Concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of both staff and students have been amplified in tertiary education reports over the last 12 months. Similarly, those working in tertiary settings have witnessed and reported the need to raise  awareness of  of the struggles individuals face as they attempt to manage multiple pressures in their immediate environment and the associated impacts on wellbeing. Questions about how university leaders can respond come to the fore and, importantly,  the kinds of rethinking that are required in terms of research, teaching and our understandings of academic life in the midst of crisis. New questions also emerge in terms of the values and behaviours that are needed for university communities to thrive at this time. There are critical longer term questions about how we ensure that the potential enduring impact of Covid can be mitigated for the good of our staff, students, institutions and disciplines.

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