<< back to Monash Engineering

New directions

Existing structures

Since its establishment, the Faculty of Engineering has had a Faculty Board. This decision making body was required by the statutes that governed the Faculty and it was intended to be an authority for all academic matters within Engineering. The Faculty Board met throughout the academic year to discuss and vote upon various issues and make policy decisions when required. The Faculty Board also had an Executive Committee (FBEC), which was both a standing committee of, and a steering committee for, the Faculty Board. The FBEC met monthly during the academic year and drew together the Dean, all heads of department and the Sub-Dean, who looked after undergraduate students undertaking the common first year of the Bachelor of Engineering.

In the Hunt and Endersbee years, the Faculty Board Executive Committee dealt with all student-related issues. Individual and often highly confidential student matters were brought to the Committee for decision and action. These decisions would then be ratified by the Faculty Board. But, as all Faculty Board papers were considered public documents and were openly available, a system of colour-coded papers was adopted to protect students’ privacy. Student matters that were considered by the FBEC were typed on pink paper and contained full student details – they were highly confidential. Another version of these pages, containing less personal detail and typed on green paper, was then distributed to the Faculty Board, which would ratify the proposed course of action.

When the first coursework masters was introduced in 1972, it soon became clear that the Faculty Board Executive Committee simply could not deal with the number of student-related issues that arose. The Graduate Affairs Committee (GAC) was established soon after to deal with the admission and administration of all of the Faculty’s graduate students, both research and coursework. However, other than the addition of the GAC, the committees of the Faculty remained relatively unchanged until the following decade.

During Hunt and Endersbee’s deanships there was also another powerful decision-making forum. In fact, it has been said that this group, unofficially referred to as the Professors Meetings, was the most powerful of decision making bodies in the Faculty. At least monthly, and sometimes more regularly, the Dean and each of the five heads of department would meet to discuss issues of operation and direction. These meetings, which were never officially minuted, occurred behind firmly closed doors. This collection of professors acted as a powerful advisory group to the Dean.