Ave dachsund

The UWA law school has appointed a “juris dogtor”, a dachshund that is “quite a hit with people on campus.” Goes by the name of Julius Caeser, presumably in honour of the cigar brand.

Glyn Davis’s big chance to make the case for a higher education commission

The government’s review of the public service will include University of Sydney chancellor Belinda Hutchinson and outgoing University of Melbourne VC Glyn Davis.  This should provide Professor Davis with an excellent opportunity to advance his long-held idea for a higher education commission that decides which universities get how much public funding.  It rather makes a mock of the ACTU complaining (in Saturday’s AFR) that the review is stacked with right-wing ideologues.  How fortunate that Professor Davis will be there to put Hayekian fiends in their place.

Engagement and impact reviewers still months away

With the research evaluation committees named for Excellence in Research for Australia ’18 learned readers ask when the Australian Research Council will name the engagement and impact reviewers.  Word is that announcement is still a couple of months away – which means the panels will have to work hard and fast to get their reviewing done for year-end publication. It seems put 900 people put their hands up for ERA and EI reviewer roles and the ARC is also talking to industry about participants.  EI panel chairs were announced last month (CMM April 9).


Learned lodgings

Hyatt will build a hotel near Monash U’s Clayton campus, “in the heart of the employment and innovation cluster.” Apparently it will provide for people who, “seek stylish, comfortable, seamless experiences that accommodate their lifestyles and familiar routines.” “More pretentious bull than in a university strategic plan“ a reader remarks.

One med school starts with another sweating on a budget start

Macquarie University has launched the first year of its full-fee medical degree, “marking the start of an exciting journey.” Not to mention an expensive one, local students will pay $64 000 per annum for the four-year degree. The MU degree is loathed by the med ed establishment which says there are enough doctors being educated without it. But because Macquarie U met teaching standards and isn’t costing Canberra they could not stop it. They might have more luck with the Murray Darling Medical School, which Charles Sturt and La Trobe Us want to establish in regional NSW and Victoria. The existing med schools hate the MDMS plan not least because it would likely take public funding, and hospital training places, away from them but the National Party rank and file love it. Yesterday some in the med ed establishment thought they had seen the challenge off, at least for this year.

Tax cuts now trump deficit later

The government is making a mess of balancing budgets to come, if a new analysis for Universities Australia is to be believed.  UA warns that the government policy of funding undergraduate places for the next three years at 2017 levels will have a huge impact on labour productivity, measured as the difference between graduate wages and those earned by people with VET certificates.

At worse, UA’s report warns, GDP will be $12.3bn lower over 20 years with $3.9bn less tax collected.  “These findings demonstrate that, even in the most conservative scenario, the short term fiscal savings to government are offset by the long run cost of reduced tax receipts — and are substantially less than the long run cost to the economy. “

“The government will avoid an economic ‘own goal’ by reversing the university funding freeze,” UA CEO Belinda Robinson says.

With PAYE tax cuts in the budget tomorrow night all but announced UA might struggle to get a hearing.

Ask and all will be addressed says Flinders’ VC 

Flinders staff “fear repercussions” if they ask management difficult questions says the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, which has offered to put them to the VC on the university community’s  behalf. The union proposes a public meeting where officials would raise people’s concerns with Colin Stirling.

Professor Stirling says nothing doing – that there are already five fora for people, “to raise concerns and ask questions, to resolve both ideological and individual concerns.” “I would not consider that a panel-like session in the student hub would be an appropriate environment for staff to raise concerns that might relate to individual confidential matters that may not be appropriate for public discourse. Nor would an open forum protect staff anonymity which you raise as a key concern in your letter,” he tells the union.

As to the questions staff have given the NTEU, he says raise them in existing meetings or send them to him.

IT directors name their top ten issues

University IT chiefs focus most on how their systems support students, according to the annual survey from the Council of Australasian University Directors of IT. How to ensure seamless access to all university services is the number one issue for the third year running. It is followed by IT security (third in 2017) business transformation (sixth in ’17,) digital strategy, (trends in which university staff assume their IT colleagues are across) and ed tech (fifth). The second five are research support, change leadership, digital integration, cultural change and data management and governance.

Getting the jobs done

Universities anxious to embed job skills in undergraduate courses generally have to work out what to do and how to do it by themselves. So Higher Education Services is partnering with the UK  Higher Education Academy to create information sharing and programme-reviewing among southern hemisphere universities, culminating in an Australian-located conference in February.

AMBA approves Flinders’ biz courses

Flinders U’s postgraduate business programmes are accredited by the UK based Association of MBAs. It joins Monash U and QUT. AMBA accredits courses, rather than business schools as a whole.


Appointments, exits and achievements

Margaret Gardner will continue as Monash U VC through to August 2024, bringing up a decade in the job. Chancellor Simon McKeon sets out her achievements to date at length, great length, in a message to staff.

Julie Warn has announced she will step down next February after a decade as dean of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan U.

Alan Boddy is appointed head of the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia. He joins from the pharmacy faculty at the University of Sydney.

At QUT, Adam Williams will act as registrar during recruitment for a successor to Shard Lorenzo, who is retiring. Ian O’Hara is acting as ED of the Institute of Future Environments, while a successor to Bronwyn Harch is found. Professor Harch is moving to the University of Queensland, to become DVC R.

Also at QUT, senior DVC Carol Dickerson becomes provost. DVC technology Judy Stokker becomes vice president technology and chief information officer. ED finance Graham Fryer is now VP resources and chief financial officer. DVC for international and development Scott Shephard also becomes a VP for his portfolio. There are no additions or amendments to Arum Sharma (research) and Suzy Derbyshire’s (learning and teaching) DVC portfolios.




Dolt of the day

Is CMM who mentioned on Friday Eileen McLaughlin was joining the University of Canberra,  but missed out that she is the new executive dean of science and technology.