Photo: Chris Stacey.
Photo: Chris Stacey.

New departments for new faculty

Following consultation with staff, a formal restructure has helped the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) become a fully-fledged faculty of the University, including three new academic departments.

Faculty Executive Dean, Professor Patrick McNeil, said the changes to the Faculty are all about strengthening the University’s medical research and teaching base, and ensuring the best model and support structure for the future.

“The decision to create the Faculty was made by the University Council last July, and I was appointed the following month and commenced in November,” he explains. “Reviewing the optimal structure for the Faculty was a logical next step, as the Faculty at that time consisted of two existing entities previously part of the Faculty of Human Sciences: the Australian School of Advanced Medicine and the Department of Health Professions. A large research-intensive group, the Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) relocated from the University of New South Wales to join the Faculty towards the end of the year, so it was important that we were clear about where the Faculty was going and make sure our staffing profile and administrative structures best supported our vision.

“The three guiding principles of the new structure are that it should encourage collaboration; it should be patient-focused where possible and the design should be boldly innovative. I’m confident we’ve achieved all three,” Professor McNeil adds.

Changes include:

  • The creation of three new Departments: the Department of Biomedical Sciences, the Department of Clinical Medicine, and the Department of Health Systems and Populations. They will join the already-established Department of Health Professions.
  • The disestablishment of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine (ASAM). Wherever possible, existing professional staff in ASAM will be directly translated into comparable professional staff positions in the FMHS.
  • The creation of a management and professional support structure within the FMHS to service the whole Faculty.
  • The appointment of Heads of Department and Associate Dean positions to form the leadership structure of the Faculty. They will be appointed through an internal Expression of Interest (EOI) process in the first instance.
  • Four Associate Deans will be appointed for Research, Learning and Teaching, International and Engagement, and Clinical.

The AIHI will remain as a research-intensive entity reporting directly to the Executive Dean of FMHS with no change to its internal structure or organisation.