Departmental Integrity and Diversity Committee

Terms of Reference. The DI&D will develop its workplan and activities, focusing at a strategic and policy level, while referring to and gathering evidence to advance academic standards and interests at U-Sydney.

  1. Importance of Academic Departmental integrity and diversity: the DI&D Committee will seek information of where and how disciplinary integrity has been supported or undermined and how this has affected academic quality at the university.
  2. The role of departments in multi-and inter-disciplinary undertakings: The DI&D Committee will seek to understand the use and abuse of the concepts of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches as well as generic unit of study offerings.

Terms of Operation. The DI&D Committee will seek information from key people in disciplines on whether their department and/or discipline has been supported or undermined. We will further seek views on the relevant and effective ways in which multi- and inter-disciplinary approached can be supported.

Targets and Impact.

The DI&D Committee will:

• seek to illustrate the need for focus and specialisation that is a central element of departmental and disciplinary integrity;

• develop an argument as to why strong disciplines are the key to innovation and academic quality;

• argue the case for maintaining departmental autonomy to support disciplinary integrity, thereby encouraging independent thinkers through such autonomy;

• investigate approaches to departmental integrity and diversity which other academic centres of excellence have taken; and

• develop a blueprint based on the results of these investigations in terms of departmental and disciplinary integrity and diversity and relevant and effective approach to multi- and inter-disciplinary studies. This blueprint will provide a plan to ensure that the University of Sydney remains rich in departmental diversity and effective interdisciplinary approaches to create innovation and new perspectives. The aim of the blueprint will be to support this and to ensure best practice in terms of the academic departments, disciplines and multi-and inter-disciplinary policies.

Documentation and Data. The DI&D will seek to document current practices at the university in relation to the terms of reference by consulting across the university.

Objectives 2021-22. The objective is to present a blueprint to the university administration and management to ensure best practice in relation to the terms of reference. The immediate objective is to seek information, develop a preliminary report for 2021 and then expanding the blueprint to future-proof the university and meet the current challenges in 2022.