You beauty!

This is the last issue of CMM for 2019. Thanks for reading. Next issue January 20 (earlier if CMM gets bored).


There’s more in the Mail

In Campus Morning Mail Features

What Australia needs its nurses to know. Anthony Tuckett, (Uni Queensland) on the Schwartz nurse educ review .

Plus Amanda Henderson (CQU) on how to improve student work-placement learning, ask them. A new contribution to Sally Kift’s series on what we need now in teaching and learning.

Degree of the day from Southern Cross U

SCU announces an on-line BSc with a major in regenerative agriculture

“Conventional, intensive agricultural approaches have left in their wake a growing number of serious environmental issues, degrading soils and reducing landscape water holding capacity. Looking to the future of food production demands that we rethink our approach to farming systems,” SCU states.

Units on offer include, strategies and practises in regen agriculture and agronomy, soil management and agroecology and water/catchment management.

SCU claims it is a first.  Good start for the on-line course growth plan in the university’s ambitious new strategy (CMM yesterday).


Free speech codes: maybe not needed by uni staff

Uni Sydney has changed its academic freedom charter, in-line with the Robert French free-speech code (CMM December 11). Good for campus visitors but is it a protection staff need? *

Advocates of enterprise agreements point out that the Federal Court judgement in the case between James Cook U and scientist Peter Ridd sets a precedent for the authority of industrial agreements. The university says it sacked Dr Ridd over criticism of research at the university, which breached its code of conduct. But Judge Vasta decided that he was protected by the academic freedom clause in JCU’s enterprise agreement (CMM April 18 and May 9).

This may be over-turned in JCU’s appeal next year. But for the present, and into the future if the university fails it seems an enterprise agreement could take precedence over a university version of Mr French’s model. “The only real protections for academic freedom in Australia are in the enterprise agreements negotiated by the NTEU, union national president Alison Barnes says (CMM April 23).

It’s a point Griffith U VC Carolyn Evans picked up in her consultation brief for staff on what a university code could cover – there are already a number of ways,” academic freedom and freedom of speech are best protected, “the Enterprise Agreement being the most notable.” (CMM November 12). Griffith U observers say the point has come up in senior management consultations there on a new free-speech code.


Uni Queensland invests on campus

How kind of VC Peter Hoj to get things in shape for successor Deborah Terry

Professor Hoj told staff late yesterday the university senate had approved major spending on;

* a $96m student residence, with 610 ensuite rooms in a 16-story building to open in 2022

* a new health and rec centre for student learning, researchers – and presumably exercise

* a “human capital management solution” to replace the existing system, in use for 20 years. “We know we need to improve in this area,” Professor Hoj said.

Professor Hoj will leave in June, to be replaced by now Curtin VC Deborah Terry.

Textbook case in regulating obsolescence

The ACCC asks whether textbook publishers Cengage and McGraw Hill should be allowed to merge

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s preliminary view is, the proposed merger will further reduce the already limited number of major publishers with whom higher education authors can publish their works. This will likely enhance the merged entity’s bargaining power with authors and increase the merged entity’s ability and incentives to impose onerous terms in contracts with authors.”

The Commission is holding an inquiry and invites submissions by January 20.

“Does this sound like a regulator worrying about record-companies merging while Spotify was getting started?” a learned reader asks.

It might to academics who do not need publishers anymore.

Peter Chen and eight colleagues have edited a new Australian politics textbook for Uni Sydney Press.  “With an online database of 40 chapters, the book innovatively enables instructors to compile a bespoke edition to suit their teaching needs, or to include individual chapters in course readers.”

Wiley charges A$65 for downloadable digital textbooks. Cengage prices are around that. Chen et al is open access.

Training ends the year as it started – reporting fewer students

The number of apprentices and trainees in the June quarter was 272 000, down 1.4 per cent on 2018, according to new stats from the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

The drop since June 2015 was 9.7 per cent.

And numbers will get worse as declines in commencements flow through the system. There were 184 000 starts in 2015 and 156 000 this year.

But there’s good news

The estimable agency also reports that people who do stick to training are happy with it – 88 per cent of graduates, were satisfied with overall quality.

Up to a point

But of the third of training graduates not employed before they started over a half of them weren’t after they finished. And just two-thirds of graduates “had an improved employment status after training.” Which may lead some of them to wonder why they bothered.

Big week for appointments, achievements

Of the day

Mark Hoffman will leave UNSW to become DVC A at the University of Newcastle, in March. He is now dean of engineering at UNSW.

Jacqueline Lo is leaving ANU, where she is outgoing chair of the Academic Board and associate dean, international, for the College of Arts and Social Sciences. She will move to Uni Adelaide to become PVC International in March.

Gail Mason (Uni Sydney) receives the Distinguished Criminologist award from the ANZ Society of Criminology.

Melissa Knothe Tate (UNSW) is a 2019 fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors. Professor Tate is a biomedical engineer.

Film writer, director, animator Alex Weight joins the UTS Animal Logic Academy, which teaches a masters of animation and visualisation.

  Flinders U announces its teaching awards

Excellence: * Barbara Baird (Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences) * Maxine Moore (Medicine, Public Health) * Stefania Velardo (Education, Psychology, Social Work)

Innovation: * Nick Prescott (Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences) * Voula Gaganis, Tim Chataway, Nusha Chegeni (Medicine, Public Health) * Ingo Koeper, Dylan Irvine (Science, Engineering) * Nicholas Godfrey, (Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences)

And Uni Southern Queensland its staff awards

Community Engagement:  the four member Drones in STEM Team

Student LearningAshley Jones (Creative Arts)

Leadership in Learning and related:– Bronte Van Der Hoorn (Management and Enterprise)

­Teaching: * Brad McLennan, Karen Peel (Bus. Educ, Law, Arts) * Eliza Whiteside (Health, Engineering, Sciences)

Diversity and inclusion:  Robyn Idewa Gede (Student success)

Innovation and change: Ina Kotze, Victoria Terry (Nursing and Midwifery)

Values-based leadershipBrad Carter (Astrophysics)

Research: Allan Manalo (Civil Engineering and Surveying)

Early Career Research: Niloofar Vaghefi (Crop Health)

PG supervision:  Andrew Hickey (Humanities and Communication)

Service to Research: Cassie Nicholson (Research Development)

Of the week

Marilyn Renfree (Uni Melbourne) wins the Academy of Science’s “highest honour in the biological sciences,” the Macfarlane Burnet medal. Professor Renfree studies “marsupial reproduction.” In March she won the (US) US) Society for the Study of Reproduction’s Hartmann Award (CMM March 22).

Behavioural economist Michelle Baddeley leaves Uni SA’s Institute of Choice for UTS, where she will be associate dean for R&D in the business school.

Former Uni New England VC Annabelle Duncan is the new board chair of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship. The SCC is a collaboration of all NSW universities and the state’s TAFE.

Sandra Eades is appointed dean of Curtin U’s medical school. The university states Professor Eades, a Noongar woman, is the first Indigenous dean of an Australian medical school.  She joins from the University of Melbourne.

At Uni Canberra,  Peter Radoll moves up from dean to PVC, leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy.

Marilyn Renfree (Uni Melbourne) wins the Academy of Science’s “highest honour in the biological sciences,” the Macfarlane Burnet medal. Professor Renfree studies “marsupial reproduction.” In March she won the (US) US) Society for the Study of Reproduction’s Hartmann Award (CMM March 22).

Danielle Wood will become Grattan Institute CEO in July. Ms Wood is now GI’s director of budget policy and institutional reform. She will replace inaugural CEO John Daley.

New appointments to the Commonwealth’s Council for International Education are here.

The new leadership of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations is here.

La Trobe U’s 2019 staff awards are  here.

Uni Adelaide learning and teaching awards are here.

Uni Newcastle’s 2019 staff awards are here.