Open Conference Systems at Dalhousie, International Association of University Libraries, 2016 Conference

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Jenny Ellis, Teresa Chitty

Last modified: 2016-03-07


Commencing in late 2013 and continuing through 2014, the University of Melbourne, a research-intensive and highly ranked Australian university, undertook an extensive review of all services and business processes. This review, known as the Business Improvement Program, ultimately led to a complete reconceptualization of the University’s operating model, the most significant in its 160 year history. The scale of the change was sweeping and the speed was audacious, resulting in the implementation of a new shared-services model across the University known as the Melbourne Operating Model. The entire University has been reorganized according to the principles of this operating model.


The model has three core elements – Chancellery (responsible for leadership of overarching University strategy, policy, brand and capital); Academic Divisions (or Faculties and Schools), and University Services where the operational activities of the University are grouped together as shared services to support Academic Divisions (Faculties) to deliver on their teaching, research and engagement agendas.


How did the Library fare?  As a formal organizational unit, the University Library ceased to exist. The University Librarian took on the mantle of University Librarian & Executive Director, Collections and was placed in Chancellery to provide strategic direction and policy oversight to the Library as well as to the University’s other cultural collections located in Faculties. However Library services, delivered by the two directorates of Scholarly Information and Research and Collections, were positioned as operational units within the Academic Services division of University Services, so that both Directors (who formerly reported to the University Librarian), now report to the Executive Director for Academic Services.


In this presentation the authors outline the background and rationale of the Business Improvement Program at the University of Melbourne and describe the current organizational structure under the Melbourne Operating Model. They discuss how the Model has impacted the Library’s operational activities and priorities within the wider Academic Services context and how operational separation from the strategic leadership of the University Librarian position has been managed.


Author profiles

Ms Teresa Chitty, Director, Research and Collections, University of Melbourne

Level 1, 187 Grattan Street, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia

Teresa's professional career started in New Zealand where she held senior roles in both academic and public libraries before moving to the University of Western Australia to take up the position of Associate Director, Resources and Development. This was followed by a position at the University of Newcastle (NSW) and in 2013 she moved to the University of Melbourne as Director, Research and Collections. In this role she leads and manages the development, implementation and maintenance of services, systems, processes and partnerships that facilitate the acquisition, discovery and access to collections and unlock their potential in support of the needs of the University’s scholarly and learning community.

Ms Jenny Ellis, Director, Scholarly information, University of Melbourne


Level 1, 187 Grattan Street, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia

During her career, Jenny has undertaken several different roles within the university environment. After graduating BA (Hons), Jenny spent some years in academic employment as a tutor and lecturer. Some years later, she qualified as a professional librarian and has since gained broad experience in academic librarianship. Her engagement with scholarly information was enhanced by her experience as Manager of the University Copyright Office at the University of Melbourne. Jenny has formal qualifications in Intellectual Property Law and Information Management. As Director, Scholarly Information, Jenny now leads the library liaison relationships that support the learning & teaching and research activities of faculties and schools.  She also manages the physical library spaces and frontline services. Jenny has responsibility for the University Copyright Office.