From the Vice Chancellor

Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President

Auccess / ɔːkˈsɛs / noun / 1. the accomplishment of an aim or purpose by accident.

We all make mistakes. Thankfully, most of the time they don’t appear in giant lettering on the side of a prominent CBD building.

Of course, you wonder how it happens. But it does happen. Like Cathay Pacific proudly unveiling a new plane with the words “Cathay Paciic” emblazoned on the side. Or the brochure advertising unlimited possibilities at “The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Pubic Affairs”.

Or the London printer who, in 1631, printed 1000 copies of the King James Bible, containing the commandment: “Thou shalt commit adultery.”

So yes, we all make mistakes. That’s part of life. At our best, we own them and learn from them. So, when a typo appeared on our Bradley Building LED screen in January (“auccess”, instead of “success”), we owned it. “Ahit happens”, we responded.

Ironically, I‘ve been saying for a while now that we needed to find some way to draw a little more attention to the UniSA LED screens. Well, job done – auccess, the accomplishment of an aim or purpose by accident.

It was an amusingly unusual start to the year but, touch wood, 2023 is actually shaping up to be a return to normalcy in many ways. Yes, we all still need to be cautious about COVID, but it feels like this year might finally see us move beyond the pandemic’s most dramatic social disruption.

When the academic year commences in a few weeks’ time, we’ll welcome a new cohort of students to our campuses, including newly commencing international students in numbers above pre-COVID levels.

These new students will take part in our first fully face-to-face orientation week since 2020, and it seems likely that most of our activities this year will also be able to proceed in person.

Our classrooms will be full again, and our students will be afforded the opportunity to make lifelong connections with people who share their interests and aspirations. It is what they deserve after the challenges they have faced getting here.

Our New Colombo Scholars will head overseas to soak up the wisdom of the Asia Pacific region, and our Samstag Scholars will also expand their imaginations internationally. At the same time, we will welcome to South Australia an array of visiting research fellows from all corners of the globe.

And, perhaps, through a larger lens, we might finally be able to refocus our efforts on a few pressing issues other than a global health crisis – like our climate crisis, and our cost-of-living crisis.

We have definitely learned a lot through this period, and we now know we can handle some pretty heavy challenges. Realising we could convert our entire face-to-face operations to function completely online was astounding, and through that process we have discovered some aspects that we’ll keep hold of now things are returning to normal – another auccess.

But despite the value of those lessons, it will be nice to get back to the way things were before the world was turned upside down.

Back to life as it was before the pandemic, with handshaking and dancing and … conversations about creating a new university in South Australia …

Professor David Lloyd
Vice Chancellor and President