Woohoo for WEHI!

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, often abbreviated to WEHI, has changed its name – to  WEHI, slugged “brighter together”

What I love about this new way of representing WEHI is that it pays tribute to our heritage, while also bringing a contemporary look that reflects the dynamic medical research we are known for,” director Doug Hilton says. Amazing what an acronym can accomplish.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Juliana Ryan (RMIT) and Nadine Zacharias (Swinburne) argue for equity student income support. This week’s contribution in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s long-running series on what we need now in teaching and learning.

ANU’s 2019 annual report is finally out. Garry Carnegie (RMIT) and James Guthrie (Macquarie U) argue that this is way too late and we need six-monthly financial reports from all universities.

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on expertise and the opportunities it creates for meaningful work.

David Kellermann (UNSW) on creating a serious solution for on-line lecturing. Curated content from Microsoft.

Chakma briefs UWA Senate today

Vice Chancellor Amit Chakma is expected to set out his efficiencies-creating, money-saving, plan

It’s the plan he told staff the university needed last month, when he warned of an underlying $70m structural deficit which requires reform (CMM September 28).

And that’s the optimistic number, the August meeting of Senate heard that all-up an additional $150m per annum “is required to address the structural deficit and future financial sustainability.”

The new savings are entirely separate to the deferred pay-rise staff accepted in June as part as COVID-9 savings package designed to save 230 positions from retrenchment (CMM June 30).

And Professor Chakma’s proposal will presumably differ to the last structural changes introduced by former VCs Paul Johnson and Dawn Freshwater (CMM March 16 2016). The VC is not mucking around – he started the job in July.

Still standing, getting moving: what’s next for higher education

Twig Marketing and CMM invite you to an HE conference, with a difference – on-line, time-efficient and cost-effective

We’ve assembled expert speakers who don’t have the answers but plenty of ideas on how to deal with whatever happens. Take an hour or two out of your day over a week to get a head start on preparing for a post (or continuing) pandemic world. Details here.


Macquarie U on-message

The chancellor had an important message for staff. It only took two goes to get all of it out

On Thursday CMM reported a letter from Macquarie U Chancellor Martin Parkinson to campus union leader Nikki Balnave. In it Dr Parkinson set out his support for university management’s handling of COVID-19 caused financial shortfalls and the lobbying strategy against the federal government’s new funding legislation.

On Friday afternoon Dr Parkinson’s letter to the university community was released, but with one crucial sentence deleted. The chancellor stated, the university Council will consider executive group remuneration at its November meeting but without the next sentence, “for the avoidance of doubt, I do not expect the Executive Group to be treated more favourably (with respect to yearly salary adjustments” than the rest of the university community.

This is clearly a message the chancellor wanted heard. The university reissued Dr Parkinson’s letter, with the crucial sentence included, in an all-staff in an email sent around 9pm Friday night.

“An unfortunate production error occurred in the Chancellor’s message today resulting in a sentence being omitted. It is important that the correct complete version is distributed to the university community,” the 9pm email begins.

Experts’ ideas for research metrics review should be open access

The Australian Research Council is accepting submissions for its review of major metrics, Excellence in Research for Australia and Engagement and Impact. But accepting is not releasing

The ARC advises it will publish submissions after the review is out (CMM October 15).

This will mean learning what the research community thinks after the ARC has published what they are going to get.

So, CMM will report or link to, as many submissions as it can – send them in people.

Open Access expert, Danny Kinglsey’s submission is here

Where Indigenous research leaders are

In July Australia and New Zealand research agencies reformed fields of research codes, including creating a new division, Indigenous Studies.  Data analytics provider Clarivate marks the change by  analysing the statistical state of Indigenous Research, as it appears in its Web of Science resource.

While Clarivate makes clear Indigenous Research is a small field, it identifies institutions and individuals making notable contributions.

* the universities of Auckland, Otago and Sydney produced the largest share of research, by volume, of the top 21 organisations with staff active in the last decade

* research from Griffith, James Cook and Monash universities, with University Waikato, lead for bibliometric impact

* examining co-authorships also identifies the core HE institutions in the ANZ Indigenous Studies ecosystem; Charles Darwin U, James Cook U and Uni Auckland, Uni Otago, Uni Sydney and Uni Waikato. Other core research co-operators are Auckland City Hospital, Baker HDI, SAHMRI, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital, and Starship Children’s Hospital, inAuckland.

The paper also identifies the top 25 authors, (13 men, 12 women) identified in the report dataset, nominating standouts as Alex Brown (Uni Adelaide), Jonathan Carapetis (UWA) and Nicola Dalbeth (Uni Auckland).

UNE restructure: professors propose more clarity, no “ageist bias”

The VC wants change – the professoriate wants to help

Vice Chancellor Brigid Heywood wants to restructure just about all the university’s operations (CMM July 22, July 23, July 30) and the professoriate has ideas.

While its members think the plan “has much to commend it” the professoriate warns, “the proposed structure of the institution increases non-academic management influence, and reduces the academic voice in the management of our university.”

The professoriate has set out its concerns to the VC including;

* an “absence of clarity” on how teaching-only and research-active academics will be identified

* management proposals for “reshaping” teaching and learning which, “create unnecessary tumult

* “broad generalisations about the deficiencies” of academics and “documentary and anecdotal evidence suggesting an ageist bias.”

“We need to critically consider the implementation and the implications of the steps that are to be taken, so that we get it right and are able to move quickly and coherently,” the professors state.

Appointments, achievements

James Brown becomes CEO of the Space Industry Association. Mr Brown is a former army officer who, works at “nexus of public policy, national security, academia, and industry.” He says he is, “passionate about leadership and public service and enjoy working with teams to solve complex problems with multiple stakeholders.”

Alisa Glukhova (Walter and Elia Hall) and Si Ming Man (ANU) win CSL Centenary Fellowships. Dr Glukhova researches cell communications to treat cancer.  Professor Man works on disease-fighting proteins. They each have $1.25m over five years.

 The International Education Association of Australia announces new board appointments; Janelle Chapman (TAFE Queensland) – president. Simon Ridings (Edith Cowan U) – VP. Mike Ferguson (Uni Canberra) – board member.  Sarah Todd (Griffith U) – board member. Ren Yi (Uni Southern Queensland) – board member.

The UK Academy of Social Sciences announces new fellows including ANZ based;

Claire Annesley (UNSW), Anthony Elliott (Uni SA), Rob White (Uni Tas).

 The Royal Australian Chemical Institute names its 2020 medallists;

Applied Research Award: Mike Kassiou (Uni Sydney)

Cornforth Award: Vincent Eddie Zwicker (Uni Sydney)

Distinguished Fellowships: Mary Fletcher (Uni Queensland), Gary Golding (QUT), Jennifer Sharwood

Chemical Education: Richard John (Griffith U)

HG Smith Memorial Award: Paul Low (UWA)

Leighton Memorial Award: Paul Haddad (U Tas)

Margaret Sheil Leadership Award: Danielle Skropeta (Uni Wollongong)

Masson Memorial Award: Laura Wait (Uni Queensland)

RACI Chemistry Educator: Madeleine Schultz (Deakin U)

Rita Cornforth Lectureship: Lauren Macreadie (Uni Sydney)

Rennie Memorial Award: Lars Goerigk (Uni Melbourne), Nicholas White (ANU)

LeFevre Memorial Award: Ivan Kassal (Uni Sydney)