There’s more in the Mail

Maree O’Keefe (Uni Adelaide) writes on health curricula in the age of Dr Google . It’s a new essay in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s continuing series on what is needed now in teaching and learning.

And new to CMM for 2020, UNSW DVC E Merlin Crossley’s blog, The Crossley Lab.

RMIT recruits in Queensland

Uni Queensland’s business school a happy hunting ground for Julie Cogin

Research director David Smith is moving to RMIT to become a dean. He joins Julie Cogin who was dean of business at Uni Queensland, before going to RMIT a year back to become PVC Business, (CMM February 8 2019). Professor Smith will also join former Uni Queensland colleagues, Martie-Louise Verreynn who switched to RMIT, to become PVC research and innovation in the business school (CMM October 23 2019) and strategy professor Frank Kennedy.

Professor Cogin was highly-regarded by her colleagues at Uni Queensland. She was there not much than a year before she moved to RMIT but, Uni Queensland, “got a good three years-worth of deliverables and cultural reform,”  a learned reader told CMM (February 8 2019).

A restructure win for Deakin U

The industrial umpire says it has met process requirements so far

Deakin U plans a restructure of admin units in the business and law faculty and wants to create a university-wide finance unit, to replace existing decentralised functions. Overall headcount is not expected to change but all up 250 roles could be subject to a spill and fill (CMM November 21).

In July, management briefed staff on the proposed structure, including job titles and pay-grades however the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union asked for position descriptions for the new jobs. When managed declined the union took the dispute to the Fair Work Commission, arguing this breached Deakin U’s enterprise agreement. But FWC Deputy President Gostencick says nothing doing, that the information provided to staff met the university’s obligations under the agreement and, “is both reasonable and rational in the circumstances,” at this stage of the process.

The union has also made the same argument against a later restructure proposal for the advancement division, but unless there are different specifics, it seems the university is now able to continue to consultation stages for all.

MOOCs of the morning

University of Newcastle expands its menu of healthy-eating MOOCs

Clare Collins and Tracy Burrows’ “Food for kids: discovering healthy eating,” starts in March, via edX. “There is so much advertising for unhealthy food that it can be very hard to work out what to believe. This course will also teach you how to check health information, how to create your own healthy eating plans and contribute to a healthy planet,” the blurb announces. There is also a companion parents’ guide.

Collins and Burrows are authors of the multi-run “The science of weight loss: dispelling diet myths,” (also edX).

Case made for continuing bushfire CRC

At the height of the bushfire crisis there were social media claims the government plans to close the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. This wasn’t fair.

CRC’s are supposed to have ten-year lives but a bushfire centre has existed under two names since 2003, with latest funding long scheduled to expire in mid 2021, (CMM October 8). The point of CRCs is they are supposed to complete time-limited applied research rather than look for new things to in perpetuity.

Good policy, but in this case bad politics. Given the summer’s circumstances it would be politically insane for the government not to stump up more money and announce it now. Programme minister, (Industry, Science and Technology) Karen Andrews demonstrates confidence in the CRC. On Wednesday, she tasked it with convening, “a working group to examine technology advances that can assist fire response and management.”

Euro-endorsement for QUT course

A QUT course is the first in Australia certified by Euro biz accreditor the European Foundation for Management Development. EFMD’s “online course certification system” is, “firmly embedded in the general philosophy of EFMD accreditations: Internationalisation, practical relevance and quality improvement.”

QUT’s “Leadership Coaching Through Turbulent Times,” is provided via Future Learn.  

L no longer for Leo at L H Martin

There is new leadership at the University of Melbourne’s L H Martin Institute with Leo Goedegebuure stepping down after eight years

L H Martin runs programmes, projects and events for the tertiary education community. It became part of the university’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education in 2014. William Locke, who became director of the CSHE last February will also now head L H Martin.

Gwilym Croucher is managing L H Martin programmes until Arnaldo Barone arrives from Victoria U after Easter.

Professor Goedegebuure has continuing projects, working as a professorial fellow and continuing as editor in chief of Studies in Higher Education. “The new arrangements may eventually also improve my golfing skills, though that probably will remain an illusion… as may be the hope for more comprehensive and focused tertiary education federal policy settings,” he says.

Uni lobbies like VET, at a distance

HE groups point out differences between the sectors

Perhaps assuming too many VET inquiries are never enough back in November Treasurer Frydenberg briefed the Productivity Commission to inquire into the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development, (CMM November 18).

And so, the policy oars-persons at Universities Australia and the Innovative Research Universities have rowed-up submissions.

The IRU stays on the course set in its 2018 policy paper, Towards a Tertiary Future, (CMM, November 26 2018). The group argues young people need post-school qualifications, but diplomatically suggests that making VET, “a more substantial option” would need to address how it would be, “a foundation for the future, to provide more than the skills needed for the immediate job.”

“The relevance of a ‘level playing field’ should be for a person deciding where they want to learn. Providers are the tool to achieve that. Providers do not need equality, they need a reasonable framework within which to offer potential students valuable education and training.”

Universities Australia points out VET provides, “training and practical skills that equip Australians for immediate entry into the workforce,” but, “higher education offers students the academic, analytical and technical skills required for long-term professional and academic careers.”


Journal publishing’s golden-goose a- cooking

For-profit journal giant Elsevier is diversifying quick – the Trump Administration might have something to do with it

There is open-access excitement over an anticipated Trump Administration executive order for immediate open access to peer-reviewed articles based on federally funded research. Federal government funding agencies already have OA policies but an Oval Office edict would be a big blow to the pay to read journal establishment. The proposal is said to be similar to the European (pay to publish) Plan S.

Elsevier makes a motza from publishing (a 35 per cent margin in 2018) but appears to accept that the golden-goose is cooking. It is striking OA deals of sorts (open access, but pay to publish) all over Europe, and it is starting to do so in the US. And to embed itself in the research process it is buying up service providers and data analytics organisations, recently picking-up Science-Metrix, which creates bibliometric analysis and research evaluation, using Elsevier’s Scopus database.

Appointments, achievements

Reuben Bolt joins Charles Darwin U as PVC Indigenous Leadership. He moves from UNSW where he was director of the indigenous programme unit.

Former federal minister and Australian War Memorial director, Brendan Nelson becomes chair of Boeing ANZ.

Charles Darwin U advises its 2019 staff awards;

Ryan Family Awards: Mpho Dube, (Midwifery) and Daniel Gahreman, (Exercise and sports science).

VC awards: Professional staff, Lynley Walker, (Education). Learning and teaching, IT Code Fair Team, Sami Azam, Barbara White, Bharanidharan Shanmugam (Engineering, IT and Environment).  Research, Menzies School of Health Research Child Health Respiratory Team and Hamish Campbell (Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods).