The dope on UNDA

The University of Notre Dame Austraalia issued a statement yesterday, titled, “Notre Dame cannabis trial update”

Which CMM immediately read, keen to discover who at UNDA was before the courts on a dope matter.

Alas, “the trial” refers to research on medical cannabis for dementia patients.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on friendship among academics, easy to make, long to last and a pleasure to be part of.

 Kim Carr calls for a back to basics in research. Senator Carr suggests ministers “do not understand the history of science, and of scholarship more broadly.”

 John H Howard on what was wrong with the international student boom, “rather than disrupting the Australian higher education system, (it) has contributed to its distortion – away from the needs and requirements of Australian students, industry and the community,”  here. Part two in a CMM series.

Judie Kay and Sonia Ferns on why we need a national approach to Work Integrated Learning. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s selection this week for her series, Needed now in Teaching and Learning.”

Australia’s much of a muchness unis produce a solid result in QS rankings

The QS subject rankings were greeted yesterday with the usual huzzahs from universities pleased to promote their achievements. Angel Calderon (RMIT) explains what it all means in CMM this morning

Overall, it is a good result for the Australian system. “Australia does not have an institution that ranks first globally by subject area. However, Australia has 13 institutions which have at least one subject area ranked in the world’s top 20. Overall, there are 53 instances with Melbourne having the highest number of listings (15), followed by ANU (10), then Uni Sydney (eight), UNSW (six), Monash U (four) and Queensland three).

Then there is one instance each for Adelaide, Curtin, Deakin, QUT, RMIT, UTS and UW,” he explains.

His full analysis is here.

A word on the ward

Patricia Davidson ends her term as dean of nursing at Johns Hopkins U on a high – with the faculty rated third in the world on the QS subjects league table. Professor Davidson is in-coming VC of Uni Wollongong, perhaps she will have tips for school of nursing staff, which QS rates in the 51-100 bracket.

La Trobe VC not best pleased with The Age, again

The paper reported “not news” on job cuts says John Dewar

On Tuesday Professor Dewar told staff 250-300 full time equivalent jobs need to go this year, to make budget (CMM Wednesday). The Age reported the same, although it described LT U as “a beleaguered institution,” understated to a fault they are not at the paper.

The Age certainly upset the VC, who issued a statement to staff yesterday, that the job cuts required this year, mentioned Tuesday, were announced in 2020 and are not new. “It was not news, even though it appeared in a newspaper,” he said.

Perhaps Professor Dewar did not like the headline on the yarn, “La Trobe Uni to cut 300 more jobs,” which could be read as if they are newly announced.

Or perhaps he is still annoyed by a story in the paper last June, which began ““the university is at risk of going broke in a matter of weeks unless it secures a financial lifeline from the banks and an agreement from staff to cut wages,” (CMM June 4).  If LT U had been talking to banks then (CMM has no clue) this could not have helped – in any case it did not go broke.

Whatever the case, the VC’s  mood may not have been improved by a note to members from the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union which suggested management’s estimate of voluntary redundancies last year, 300 FTEs, 335 people, is a bit under.

The union puts it “at closer to 395” which probably includes  departures under the two COVID-19 unrelated restructures in education admin (CMM July 17) and student support (CMM August 14).

In Bowman’s brief

Charles Darwin U reports research that its city-home “is a tropical paradise for snakes.” Kind to advise the new boss, but incoming VC Scott Bowman, will undoubtedly make up his own mind about the university leadership.

Uni Queensland senior staffs-up in HR

Life is great in the HR state

Uni Queensland did not have as terrible a COVID-19 time as other Group of Eight institutions.  As VC Deborah Terry told staff last year, “Compared to most other Australian universities, Uni Queensland is in a healthy position. I am confident that by working together we will weather this storm (CMM September 14).

Depends how inclement the weather was where people work. It was gloomy for staff in Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education, where international student enrolments dropped last year. And the sun did not shine on the library, where there is a (not COVID-19 related) restructure. Nor in the School of Architecture, where university managements wants a new approach to course content.

But there are bright sunshiny days in HR, where three new senior manager positions and another seven more-not quite so exalted spots are either advertised or not long closed. Apparently, the university “is currently undergoing significant transformation to become one of the leading HR functions in Australia, and is building a team of exceptional HR professionals to provide customer focused and contemporary solutions and services to our clients.”

Appointments, achievements

Of the day

 Peter Dean is head of UWA’s Defence and Security Institute, which is launched today.

 Of the week

 ANU is short-listed for the Digital Humanities Awardsin the best blog post or series category for its Metodhology   site, (“detailed information about digital methodologies across disciplinary boundaries”).

Curtin U announces nine John Curtin Distinguished Professors, Craig Buckley and Tele Tan (Science and Engineering), Donna Chung, Phil Della, Zhonghua SunJohn Mamo (Health Sciences) Alan DuncanMarylene Gagne (Business and Law), Rod Ellis (Humanities).

Wendy Scaife (QUT) receives the Lifetime Achievement award from the Fundraising Institute of Australia.