Stop in the name of a Queen

A learned reader across the ditch suggests one reason why the universities of Adelaide and South Australia decided merging wasn’t on might have been what to call a merged uni. The LR points to Victoria University of Wellington, where management wants to delete Victoria. The outrage-a-thon has run for months and the education minister is now said to be considering whether or not to approve the change. “If university people in NZ can get worked up over one 19th century queen people in SA could get upset about a name change involving another.

Euro-accredit for Curtin U

European business degree accreditor EFMD has renewed Curtin U’s MBA for three years. The university is one of four Australian universities with MBA accreditation, the others being Deakin, RMIT and La Trobe.

Kim Carr: inquisitor of Estimates

Dreading work this morning? At least you aren’t facing Labor’s Kim Carr at Senate Estimates asking about the release of the Commonwealth’s science, research and innovation budget tables (CMM October 18). Why were they so late, was it because investment is down in real terms the senator asked. They weren’t and it isn’t, an officer replied, which convinced the senator as much as not. It went back and forth until Minister Canavan came to the official’s aid.

Cash plus a pay-rise for staff at QUT

QUT will provide a one-off payment to eligible staff but it has nothing to do with enterprise bargaining, which is dragging on. “The  bonus payment is entirely separate from any salary increases or adjustments that will be associated with the progress or otherwise of enterprise bargaining. A separate announcement in that respect will be made next month,” Vice Chancellor Margaret Sheil says. The bonus replaces a previous scheme which split a pool among staff who applied or were nominated.

But the union isn’t happy, with National Tertiary Education Union state secretary Michael McNally saying , “NTEU members won’t be fooled by a once–off splash of cash in their pay packet just before Christmas that adds little real value into the future. They know that what really counts is a sustained increase to salary that builds on their rates and compounds into the future. Members also know that real value is added by the successful conclusion of an enterprise agreement.”

However yesterday Professor Sheil told staff that, our intention is not to disadvantage staff if the bargaining process is not concluded.  Hence, we will be in a position to make an administrative increase in December 2018, details of which will be provided next month.”

Union member voted this week on taking protected industrial action to move management alone. According to the NTEU, bargaining has been underway for 17 months with the university sticking with demands that would make it easier to retrench staff and reduce committee oversight of unsatisfactory performance decisions. But Professor Sheil says the pace of bargaining has picked up and the university, “is continuing to seek sustainable and practical changes to provide QUT with the flexibility and adaptability to meet our future challenges.”

MOOC of the morning

Uni Adelaide announces its 19th MOOC, “Understanding Agribusiness, Value Chains, and Consumers in Global Food Systems,” via edX. Wendy Umberger and colleagues are instructors for the course which starts next month.

Science that’s hot and getting hotter and where Australia rates

By analysing citation patterns, Clarivate Analytics (Thomson Reuters as was), cooperating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, identifies what’s hot now and heating up in research.

“By tracking the world’s most significant scientific and scholarly literature and the patterns and groupings of how papers are cited—in particular, clusters of papers that are frequently cited together, “research fronts” can be discovered. … Research front data reveal links among researchers working on related threads of scientific inquiry, even if the researchers’ backgrounds might not suggest that they belong to the same “invisible college,” their new 2018 report states.

It identifies 100 research areas across the sciences that are hot now and 38 that are emerging.

Australia rates as a research leader producing either/and “core” and “citing” papers in 11 disciplines. Australian institutions world ranks are;

* ninth in research into plant rhizosphere microbial communities

* second in oxidation technology to remove water pollutants. Shaobin Wang’s research group makes Curtin U the world’s top institution for papers

* eighth for work on antibiotic resistance genes

* = seventh for mineralogy of the Martian crust

* seventh in intensive blood pressure control

* tenth for papers on cell mutation in Alzheimer’s Disease

* eighth for gut microbiota impact on brain and behaviour

* eighth for the origin and evolution of the universe revealed in cosmic rays, gamma rays and neutrinos

* sixth for multiple access technology for 5G mobile networks

* = sixth for work on smart card and biometric authentication. La Trobe U is the tenth institution in the world for core papers

* = second for core papers on management research with big data. The University of Wollongong ranks first in the world for three core papers

Stan Grant to Griffith

Stan Grant is joining Griffith U as professor of global affairs when his ABC NEWS channel series Matter of Fact ends in December. However he will, “continue to write and comment on international news across all ABC platforms.” Mr Grant also combined journalism with his previous academic appointment, professor of Indigenous affairs at Charles Sturt U, which he took up in 2016 (CMM November 2 2016).

Dolt of the day

A learned reader ticked CMM off yesterday for reporting the Council for International Education has met five times all up, in fact there have been five meetings this year.

Appointments , achievements of the week

Universities Australia has presented Flinders U’s Callista Thillou with a lifetime achievement award at the UA marketing comms awards. “She has dedicated much of her professional career to raising public awareness of the transformative power of university education and research,” the citation states.

Shaun Collin will become dean of La Trobe U’s of School of Life Sciences next year, he will move from UWA. He will replace Mike Clarke, who will focus on research and teaching.

At the University of Adelaide, John Williams moves from PVC Research Opps to Executive Dean Faculty of Professions and associate provost. Michael Liebelt becomes PVC R Opps and Dean of Graduate Studies. He was recently interim Executive Dean of the Sciences Faculty.

 New fellows are elected to the Australian Academy of Techology and Engineering. Genevieve Bell, ANU. Leeanne Bond, Liquified Natural Gas Limited. Michael Brear, UniMelbourne. Attila Brungs, UTS. Mark Burry, Swinburne U. Alan Bye, BHP. Colin Andrew Campbell, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Wallace Cowling, UWA. John Dixon, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Annabelle Duncan, UNE. Gordon Frazer, Defence Science and Technology. Justin Gooding, UNSW. Keith Hampson Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre. Emily Hilder, UniSA. Anna Koltunow, CSIRO. Sue MacLeman, MTP Connect Ltd. Eric May, UWA. Christopher Moran, Curtin U. Sarah Pearson, DFAT. Andrew Peele ANSTO. Fiona Stapleton, UNSW. Chun Wang, UNSW. Phillip Watson, UWA. Johanna Westbrook, Macquarie U. Dong Yang Wu, Defence Science and Technology.  The 2018 foreign fellow is: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon Limited (India) and the honorary fellow is Elizabeth Broderick, Elizabeth Broderick and Co

It was a big week for awards. The Australian Catholic University’s excellence awards and the University of South Australia’s SA Women in Innovation winners are here.

Tom Walley starts next month as the director of the Hunter Medical Research InstituteProfessor Walley joins from the University of Liverpool in the UK.

Shitij Kapur (Dean of Medicine, Uni Melbourne) and Helen Milroy (UWA) are chairing the advisory panel for the $125m (over ten years) Medical Research Future Fund’s Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission.

 Eva Dimitriadis joins the University of Melbourne’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Professor Dimitriadis moves from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

 David Grant (Griffith U) is the next president of the Australian Business Deans Council.  He will replace Tony Travaglione (Uni Newcastle) early next year. Professor Grant is now ABDC secretary.

Tania Aspland (Australian Catholic U) is re-elected president of the Australian Council of Deans of EducationMichele Simons (Western Sydney U) is her deputy.

Louis-Philippe Demers will join QUT next year as professor of creative innovation and director of the university’s Creative Lab. He joins from Nanyang Technological Universityin Singapore. Professor Demers is known for his machine art and interactive robotic works.