Chris Kelly

Mr Kelly has found his time at the University challenging and exciting.

“When I look back at the Faculty Deans I have worked with over the past 35 years, there has been a cycle where each Dean has come into that role with a particular focus on what needs to be achieved during their term of office and I have been part of those aspirations,” he said.

“For example, under the leadership of Professor David Lethbridge, the founding Dean of the Faculty, I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to belong to the original academic teams.

“These academic teams were largely drawn from former Gordon Institute staff and developed and delivered course materials and study guides for the Deakin off-campus (distance education) MBA program, a world first, in the early 1980s.

“This was a challenging assignment but an achievement that the Faculty continues to benefit from to this day, some 25 years later.”

Mr Kelly said under the Deanship of Dr Hugh Moore, the Faculty was engaged with Deakin Australia, now known today as DeakinPrime. DeakinPrime, is the corporate education arm of Deakin University.

“Dr Moore, Faculty staff and DeakinPrime, together, were pioneers in developing corporate education partnerships that today reach some 50,000 people each year,” he said.

Mr Kelly said that when the Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education merged with Deakin University in 1990, a significant initiative under the leadership of the then Dean of the Faculty, Professor Peter Wolnizer, was to ‘fold’ the myriad of Diploma and undergraduate Degree programs of the two institutions into one common undergraduate degree – Bachelor of Commerce.

“This model was the basis on which the merger with Victoria College was subsequently negotiated in 1991,” he said.

“The wisdom of this decision and the strength of the model continues to be evident in 2010.

“I was indeed fortunate to be the Director of the Undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce program from 1988 to 1992, during which time so much of this initiative was undertaken and completed.

“It was an exciting period to engage in curriculum development and mould together all the different versions of undergraduate programs, paring them down to one common program.”

Mr Kelly said Professor Philip Clarke, now the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), was Faculty Dean during the phenomenal growth of International student enrolments into Faculty programs.

“International enrolments continue to be a significant component in demonstrating the Faculty’s commitment to internationalising Faculty graduate and undergraduate programs,” he said.

“Providing all our students with an international learning experience contributes to their making a global career after graduation.

“The current Dean, Professor Gael McDonald has given me the opportunity to participate in the quality assurance processes of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) better known as the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

“Both bodies are about advancing quality management education worldwide.

“Achieving both accreditation processes will confirm the quality of the business and management education programs of the Faculty.

“There has been immense change and with the changes has come challenges and I have been able to engage in those challenges.

“The key is having a good ability to cope with change and having a good deal of flexibility in both thinking and behaviour.”

Mr Kelly said he had a range of experiences, unlikely to be experienced elsewhere and had also come to appreciate the value of Deakin’s heritage and corporate memory.

“I often reflect on how many recently appointed academic staff know the history and rich tertiary education heritage of Deakin University,” he said.

“This heritage was originally fashioned out of the merger with the Gordon Institute of Technology and the State College of Victoria (Geelong) with subsequent mergers with the Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education in 1990 and the then Victoria College in 1991.

“It is a history that ought to be better known by us all.”

5th July 2010