Academic Board

As stated in the CIC Higher Education Governance Charter; the Academic Board has responsibility for oversight of the educational process in order to maintain appropriate control over the administration of the curriculum and to allow educational objectives to be achieved. The Academic Board also ratifies proposals pertaining to course development.

Emeritus Professor Jim Jackson (Chair)

Prior to his retirement from full time work in 2013, Jim worked in Singapore and Australia as Vice President – Academic, Kaplan Asia Pacific. Immediately before that he was Chair of the Academic Board and Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Law Southern Cross University. Jim is Emeritus Professor of Southern Cross University. Jim has held positions at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, and at the University of Wollongong and Bond University. He has written widely in the field of higher education law including papers on governance, regulation, dismissal processes, compulsory student unionism, marketing law, academic freedom, legal rights of international students, speech rights, and fiduciary obligations of university governing bodies. He has also published widely in the fields of corporate, commercial and competition law. He has also been an AUQA auditor and is on the TEQSA panel of experts. Jim currently teaches into summer and winter schools in the Law School at the University of the South Pacific in Suva and Port Vila.

Professor Elizabeth Margaret Deane

Elizabeth Deane has had over 30 years’ experience in the higher education sector. Her experience spans roles in teaching, research and senior management positions including Foundation Head of a department; Head of School; Dean of Faculty and Pro-Vice Chancellor Education and Students. Elizabeth holds a PhD from the University of Sydney and was until her progression into senior management, an active, funded researcher and postgraduate student supervisor in the area of developmental immunology and disease. Elizabeth has also held a number of national and international competitive grants for research into learning, teaching and higher education. Since retiring in 2015 Elizabeth has continued her active engagement with the sector. She has undertaken a number of institutional reviews addressing such diverse areas as students support services; governance and IT provision as well as reviews for new applicant higher education private providers. She continues to be an international reviewer for the Scottish, New Zealand and PNG higher education quality assurance agencies. Elizabeth is actively engaged in supporting higher education private providers and is a member or chair of a number of academic and governance boards of existing and aspiring providers. She is also currently Chair of the WSU Human Research Ethics committee and an external reviewer for the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Gibraltar. At CIC, Elizabeth is a member of the Academic Board and the Teaching and Learning Committee.

Dr. Damian Spencer (Dean)

Dr. Damian Spencer is the Dean at CIC Higher Education, having commenced in 2018. Damian has a PhD and a Graduate Certificate (Higher Education) from La Trobe University and has extensive experience in higher education management. He held a number of senior positions at La Trobe University including acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), Academic Leader (Chisholm Institute Partnership) and head of the Coursework and Academic Partnerships portfolios in the Science, Health and Engineering College. Damian has presented at numerous national and international conferences, has a passion for quality and innovation in teaching and has served on the Victorian/Tasmanian Chapter Committee of the Australian Collaborative Education Network, the Advisory Board of In2science and the Navitas LOPS Academic Board.

Sharmin Sultana (Lecturer/Student Success Advisor)

Ms Sharmin Sultana joined CIC as a Lecturer in Accounting in 2013. She is well-known for establishing a positive teacher-student relationship. Sharmin has years of practical industry experience in different large organisations with the focus on customer service improvements, profitability and productivity, business strategies and management accounting. Sharmin holds a BBA majoring in Accounting from Independent University, Bangladesh and Masters in Professional Accounting from Victoria University, Australia. She is currently a member of CPA Australia & IPA.

Dr Margi Gibb

Dr Margi Gibb holds a Ph.D and a Master of Education from Victoria University. She has a broad background in inclusive education and has been working in the international education sector for the past fourteen years, as both a teacher and learning advisor. Margi is committed to the principles of lifelong learning, equity, engagement, and empowering people through education. She is a published author, and has taught at universities in Australia and China, as well as travelling widely throughout Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Margi is a dedicated advocated for the student voice and forming partnerships with students. She has represented CIC Higher Education at a HERDSA forum held at Melbourne University, presenting on the topic, ‘Supporting and Encouraging Resilience in Students’, and recently at the RAISE Conference held at Newcastle, UK showcasing CIC’s work in capturing the student voice on the topic of ‘Academic Integrity: What does it mean to you’. Margi was formerly the Senior Advisor: Academic Engagement and Success, advising students through transition and beyond, as well as working closely with academics and senior management to ensure positive learning outcomes for students.

Dr Bereket Redda (Head of Discipline: Accounting)

Dr Bereket Redda is the Departmental Head of Accounting at CIC, a post he has held since 2017. Bereket has worked in a range of tertiary education roles since 1994, over three continents. This has included roles as a lecturer, head of discipline, consultant and course designer, at institutions including the University of Asmara, Eritrea; University of Groningen, Netherlands; Monash University; Kaplan Business School; and CSU Study Group, Melbourne. Bereket's academic qualification include Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from University of Asmara; Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from Monash University; and Master of Accounting and PhD in Accounting from the University of Groningen. Bereket is an associate fellow of HERDSA and the co-lead of the HERDSA-TATAL group at CIC, and is a member of the accounting professional bodies, CPA and MIPA AFA.

Dr Narjess Abroun (Head of Discipline: Management & Marketing)

Dr Narjess Abroun is the Head of Discipline (Management & Marketing) at CIC. She is also a member of the Results Review Committee, Teaching & Learning and Course Advisory Committees. Narjess has a PhD degree in Marketing from RMIT University and is a member of the course advisory board for Buyer Behaviour at RMIT. She also has a Master of Economics specialising in Economic System Planning and Analysis. Narjess has taught more than 20 academic subjects across different business disciplines, including marketing, management, statistics and economics at local and international universities for over 12 years. Her research area is in consumer behaviour in life-threatening contexts, although she now has a scholarly focus on advanced pedagogical techniques aimed at improving teaching and learning of business subjects in higher education.