New COO to help lead uni’s future strategy development
Published:30 January 2023
Narelle Pearse, Chief Operating Officer (CQU)
CQUniversity executive Narelle Pearse has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, as the University embarks on a new phase of strategic planning and post-pandemic recovery.
The role will see Narelle take on responsibility for a newly formed corporate services portfolio that will oversee the University’s digital services, facilities management, strategic planning and risk, finance, commercial services, business intelligence and analytics, legal, and commercialisation functions.
The role will also have oversight of the University’s governance operations including management of the University’s regulatory and policy framework and providing governance support and advice to the University Council, the Academic Board, and relevant sub-committees.
Ms Pearse who was previously the Vice President of Student and Corporate Services at CQU and has also held other senior executive roles for nine years, said that the creation of the new portfolio was an exciting step forward for the University as it embarks on a new year in which a new, five-year strategic plan will be developed and launched.
“The formation of this new portfolio will enable the university to gather all its corporate service functions into one overarching division, which will bring about a more streamlined approach to internal and external service delivery and strategic planning and governance.
“Combining these areas under the one umbrella hasn’t previously been done at the University as many areas had been grouped into other divisions where there may have also been synergies with other operational areas.
“We believe this new approach better represents where we want to go as an institution and that it will also help to ensure greater transparency and collaboration across all university divisions,” Ms Pearse said.
Ms Pearse also said that the creation of the new portfolio had allowed for the establishment of another division that will be entirely dedicated to the student experience.
“As part of the recent restructuring, we have subsequently created a new division called Student Success that will be exclusively focused on supporting students through their entire study journey – from prospective student through to graduation, and then as their lifetime career partner when they decide to undertake postgraduate study or professional development.
“Our vision is to create a totally seamless and consistent experience for all students and alumni when it comes to engagement and non-academic support.”
Ms Pearse also explained that 2023 would be a year of both continued recovery as well as strategy development and future proofing CQUniversity following the challenges of the pandemic in recent years.
“The COVID pandemic impacted the entire sector and CQUniversity faced disruption across all our operations. We now need to learn to meet the new expectations of our students and our stakeholders.
“I think everyone at CQUniversity is really excited about emerging from the pandemic and playing a part in strengthening the University and contributing to its future and the very important role it plays in our regions,” Ms Pearse said.
Ms Pearse’s appointment is the latest in a successful managerial career that has been built in regional Queensland, having previously been the CEO of the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday Regional Economic Development Corporation (REDC), Managing Director of MAIN, and the founding director of C-RES, the BHP Local Buy program, before coming to CQUniversity in 2014.
Ms Pearse also holds board positions on The Capricornian and the CQ Hospital Foundation. She was also a past member of the CQUniversity Council and held a Board position on Capricorn Enterprise.
Ms Pearse holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Commerce, Executive MBA, Graduate Diploma in Economic Development, Graduate Diploma in Psychology and is also working towards a PhD.