Student voices silenced: they need resources to speak out
Universities are all a stage: the Shakespearian future for HE
Oops! I’m using a sexist and racist textbook!
Now, where did we put the other one?
“There’s only one earth left” Uni Wollongong announces its “Global Climate Change Week.”
There’s more in the Mail
In Features this morning
Jane O‘Dwyer on 30 years of CRCs – products plus the bedrock of the national innovation system.
Plus, Les Kirkup on what the lecture can deliver – it’s way more than transmission of content. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection for her celebrated series, Needed Now in Teaching and Learning.
Another exit at Charles Sturt U
Two senior departures were announced in days
Tracey Green will leave in a month, after 23 years at the university, including terms as dean of arts and her present role as ED of the business, justice and behavioural science faculty. She will move to CEO of the ANZ Police Advisory Agency.
News of her departure follows Friday’s announcement that John Germov is moving to Uni Victoria (CMM Friday).
New VC Renée Leon now has two key functions to fill or maybe one– there is no mention at all of what will happen to Professor Germov’s position. Perhaps all will be made clear at the VC’s town hall this week.
(Scroll down for immediate arrangements in Professor Green’s portfolio).
What’s next on campus
CMM and partners’ what’s next for the campus Zoom conference starts tomorrow with VCs discussing how universities relate to communities. They are followed by Piper Bell, Mollie Dollinger and a panel of students on what they want changed on the post Covid campus. And then Adam Shoemaker talks about what’s next for the lecture with Romy Lawson, Mitch Parsell and Michael Sankey.
Check out what’s over three days here
New CSIRO chair
Kathryn Fagg is appointed chair, replacing David Thodey
Ms Fagg is an engineer and business executive. Her appointment brings to the number of women leading major research agencies. Cathy Foley is Chief Scientist, Sue Thomas leads the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council is chaired by Anne Kelso. CSIRO’s Chief Scientist is Bronwyn Fox and the Defence Chief Scientist is Tanya Monro.
Melissa Price is Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Technology.
Allegations some Uni Sydney staff not paid correct rates
80 casual academic staff in Uni Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences allege six years of underpayment and claim they are owed $2m
The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union and the university-based Casuals Network have lodged a grievance with management seeking “six years of redress” for unpaid labour in breach of the Uni Sydney enterprise agreements.
The claims are understood to relate to four specific issues; that casuals have been paid piece-work rather than hourly rates for tasks, they received a lower rate for marking in cases where the payment that should apply is for assessment that requires academic judgement and are not paid for the actual hours course administration and class preparation take.
The basis of the complaint, that staff have worked without pay, is clause 59 of the university’s Enterprise Agreement, that “the university accepts the principle that all work allocated to casual staff should be able to be completed in the time allocated to undertake the work.”
However, Uni Sydney management responds, that it has recently concluded an investigation of work practises for casual academics in FASS that “could have resulted in recurrent underpayments of entitlements.”
“We found no evidence to support the allegations, and rejected them accordingly,” the university states.
Which is different to what the university concluded last month, when it reported finding that six years of “incorrect gathering and reporting of information” meant 12.894 (almost all) professional staff (CMM September 14)
So, it seems the university is sure of its ground on the new claims. It will need to be.
The Fair Work Ombudsman reports her agency is investigating 14 universities over staff pay. “I make no apology that we expect Australian universities to invest in governance frameworks and practises that will ensure compliance with workplace laws,” she told an audience at TEQSA. One of the specifics she mentioned was, ““likely” breaches of enterprise agreements, “arising from poor governance and management oversight practises,” (CMM October 11 2021).
Open and quickly closed window for student arrivals
There was rejoicing in the international education community Friday, just not for long
New NSW premier Dominic Perrottet announced Friday the state would welcome fully vaccinated overseas arrivals. The policy was in place for a couple of hours until Prime Minister Morrison pulled political rank, explaining that while the state government can change quarantine rules it is the Commonwealth that decides who enters the country. And for now, “the Federal Government is not opening it up to anything other than Australian citizens and residents and their immediate families.”
The political problem with the Perrottet plan is that if arriving international students were blamed for any spike in COVID infections Mr Morrison would be blamed.
The practical problem is how to assess and administer arrivals vaccinated elsewhere.
The Commonwealth will accept vaccines from China and India – which goes a way towards opening to students. The problem is evidence of vaccination on arrival. Back in March Education Minister Alan Tudge said work on vax passports was starting (CMM March 29) and on October 8 he told an international education industry conference said there will be a travel vax certificate for outbound Australians this month, “which will be expanded to authenticate vaccination certificates issued by other countries.”
Which will not encourage Australians who has been lost in the labyrinth of Commonwealth vaccination certification. A system that meshes Australian systems with evidence from other countries will take time to get right.
Hegemons of HE
Prospering in higher education research relates to where articles appear – and where authors live
Marek Kwiek (Uni Posnan) considered 6344 articles between 1996-2018 that appeared in elite journals, Higher Education, Studies in Higher Education, Higher Education Research and Development, Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and Review of Higher Education, in the context of 21000 papers in 41 mastheads.
Overall, Anglosphere authors are in a “hegemonic position” which he suggests, raises key questions, “whether these trends reflect editors’ and reviewers’ policies or an aggregation of authors’ decisions about where to send their manuscripts.”
Editors certainly like Australian-based researchers – they account for 19 per cent of articles published in the six, behind the US (30 per cent), ahead of the UK (13 per cent) and way in front of the last of the top five, Canada and The Netherlands (both 3 per cent).
This might be due in some part to one of the six, HERD being Australian based.
However, CMM has no idea what researchers from Aus universities publish about across the set. If their subjects address local issues or use local examples, it will make a change from other HASS disciplines, where researchers worry international journals are not interested in Australia.
What about UWAM?
Speculations about uni mergers are a perennial in Perth – there’s a new set starting
WA Chief Scientist Peter Klinken has suggested the west’s four public universities merge into the one state system, which has not impressed any of their managements (CMM September 20, 21).
But it has got people talking, specifically about combining UWA and Murdoch U. It’s the sort of idea that comes up in uncertain times – of which there have been a few at Murdoch U, what with reviews and restructures in recent years.
As for UWA, Murdoch U has things it could covet, including pockets of research strength for example, the Australian National Phenome Centre. MU also has a vet school, which UWA is the only one of the five original sandstones to lack. And there is land, lots of desirable for development land, that MU has planned for in the past, but never got around to (CMM March 24 2015).
There’s also an absence that could help – no permanent vice chancellor at Murdoch U.
Jane den Hollander has just been appointed interim VC while the university searches for a permanent successor to Eeva Leinonen. Having now tried to retire twice it is unlikely that Professor den Hollander would want another permanent job. But having acted as VC of UWA last year and successfully run Deakin U for nine years she would be a great advisor for MU chancellor Gary Smith if there was anything talk to UWA about.
Like a logo for UWAM.
Universities Australia announces Peter Chesworth will become Deputy CEO next month. He succeeds Anne-Marie Lansdown. Mr Chesworth moves from FAS for ministerial executive coordination and communication in the Department of Defence.
Sam Jacob becomes DVC Student Engagement-Success and Voced at dual sector Charles Darwin U. Ms Jacob was previously PVC for student engagement.
Michael Kiernan will act as ED of Charles Sturt U’s Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Studies at Charles Sturt U, following Tracey Green’s departure next month. Jenny Kent will cover AsPro Kiernan’s deputy dean role.
State Library of NSW announces the 2022 Fellows * Shuxia Chen (Uni Sydney) * Alexandra Dellios (ANU) * Molly Duggins (National Art School) * Johanna Ellersdorfer (Uni Sydney) * Damian Gleeson * Sarah Kirby (Uni Melbourne) * Sean Scalmer (Uni Melbourne) * Paolo Stracchi (Uni Sydney)