Jessica Micallef interviews Patrick Keyzer, Head of Law School at La Trobe University.
Being able to ensure what is taught in university is relevant to the outside world is a key responsibility of Head of the Law School.
Professor Patrick Keyzer spoke to the Wise ASSC Blog, outlining how important employability is in the Law School’s curriculum.
“There has been a massive influx of technology into legal practice over the past few years,” Keyzer said.
“We need to make sure we are reforming and revising the curriculum to take account of this, and taking active steps to adapt, to ensure that what we are teaching is professionally relevant.”
This is just one of the many things that a Head of School does, but their guiding mission is to ensure students receive the best experience they could at La Trobe University. Keyzer is very passionate in getting involved with students by encouraging students, participating in school events, and having regular meetings with student representatives.
“I am very enthusiastic about student events,” Keyzer said.
“I support Law Association student events…and we also run skills seminars and special lectures to support law students and equip them with the right skills.”
Getting advice from students about their needs is something Keyzer says is very valuable to him, so that he can see what needs to be done to ensure students in the Law School are receiving the best possible education.
“We conduct regular focus groups with students to see what they like about the School, and to see what improvements need to be made. Then we implement their recommendations,” he said.
Professor Keyzer’s week usually consists of “20 to 30 meetings” that can range from anywhere between “15 minutes to three hours”. He is responsible for about 40 academics that have continued employment arrangements at the university and about 30 casual staff. He also leads the work of an administrative team of five.
“It’s really important we are mindful that there are diverse people in the university and that the teaching services we provide are appropriately mindful of this to give the right supports for students,” he said.
Keyzer is responsible for organising activities for the staff, reviewing their performance and developing new strategies for the School. But most of all, he is always looking for ways to build a better profile for the School.
Despite the busy schedule that the Heads of Schools encounter throughout the working week, it’s clear they all care deeply about the student experience here at the university, because it’s students that make our university what it is.