Macquarie U down a dean

Rumours  law school dean Marc De Vos was leaving were true. A university representative yesterday said he has resigned. Deputy dean Lise Barry is acting and recruitment for a permanent replacement will begin soon.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Angel Calderon (RMIT) wraps ranking season with the US News and World Report league table – what it’s based on, what it reports and why its limitations make a case for an overall ranking evaluation framework.

plus Stephen Parker on change coming for higher education and where to look for an inspiring response.

and “TAFE bachelor degrees are able to break away from the competency-based model of vocational education that some providers consider to be a constraint on their responsiveness to industry,” Susan Webb, Elizabeth Knight, Steven Hodge and Shaun Rawolle suggest. Why, they ask, are there not more of them, in a new contribution to Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

with Sean Brawley (Macquarie U) looks at the short history of the UC and wonders what, if anything, is next for the qualification. If it goes people who leave UG study early will be the losers, he warns.

as well as Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the rhetoric of conflict in university life. There are better ways to deal with people and set goals.

Monash U to start paying $8.6m owed to casual staff

The money starts flowing next week

In September Monash U reported it had identified $8.6m in underpayments to sessional staff for tutorials over 2014-20. There were errors in timesheets and “inconsistent descriptions” of teaching activity, which accounted for $7.7m.

Vice Chancellor Margaret Gardner assured the university community that management would write to affected current and former staff, “on October 20” to “confirm payments that are owed.”

“We hope to process these back payments by the end of October,” Professor Gardner wrote.

MU nearly made it. A university representative tells CMM final checking and sign-off from the external quality assurance adviser on the project to identify underpayment took longer than expected but notifications started on Tuesday and 80 per cent of cent of current staff effected will receive their money on November 4.

The university plans to pay everybody, past and present, it owes by year end.

Deakin U launches “stackable” short courses

They were announced in the recent ten-year plan –  and lo! here they are

The university committed to creating, “high-quality, short programs that can build into full-length qualifications from undergraduate level through to postgraduate,” (CMM December 2 2020) and now announces 18 on-line, “stackable short courses,” in business/management and health/psychology. They take from a couple of days to eight weeks and are “designed to stack together as credit towards a full Deakin postgraduate degree.”

“Get the rapid knowledge growth you need now (without breaking the bank) to maximise your career potential and ensure long-term employability,” is the sell.

The product looks a lot-like micro-credentials, designed for the professional development market Deakin U has worked in for decades.


Uni Sydney pathway provider cuts staff

Pathway provider Study Group has let-go dozens of teachers and some academic managers at its Taylors College at Waterloo, in inner-city Sydney

The college provides Uni Sydney’s foundation programme.

CMM asked CEO Alex Chevrolle if 40 people were out and if the college is restructuring programmes.

Mr Chevrolle did not provide a number but stated “we have experienced reduced student numbers during the pandemic and need to reduce our teacher numbers as a result”. He added there are “several new roles … to strengthen our student experience, compliance and quality assurance.”

He added changes will be in place by January and “no disruption” is expected to existing or new students. Uni Sydney says the pathway programme continues.

Assuming there will be any new international students arriving.


CQU wants cuts that do no lasting harm

Management says 5 per cent must come off portfolio budgets for ’22 to “remain financially sustainable.” It’s even harder than it sounds

VC Nick Klomp tells staff the savings need to be made so CQU “remains financially sustainable amid the extended impacts of COVID-19. But, and it is no inconsiderable qualification, “it is important that any savings made now don’t fundamentally change CQUniversity’s identity or our important mission for the long term.”

This appears the underlying intent for the proposal to staff that they work ten per cent less time, just this year, for a corresponding cut in pay (CMM October 21).

“We have confidence that every decision we must make is guided not merely by numbers in a spreadsheet, but by our future vision and strategic direction for the University,” Professor Klomp adds.

The VC says he will brief staff once savings from the fractional-cut proposals are known and he has talked to university council.


Lucy Franzmann joins Victoria U as CFO. She moves from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Jacqui True (Monash U) is a 2021 Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs

ARC Indigenous Discovery Grants announced

The Australian Research Council announces Indigenous Discovery Grants. Investigators and administering organisations are

* Virginia Marshall, Emma Kowal, Ronald Quinn (ANU): regulatory systems supporting commercialisation of traditional medicines

* Lyndon Osmond-Parker (ANU): integrating Indigenous Cultural Knowledge databases with ecological information management systems

* Marlene Longbottom, Kathleen Clapham, Bronwyn Fredericks, Amanda Porter, Valerie Harwood, Janya McCalman Rebecca Ivers (Uni Wollongong): young Indigenous peoples’ interaction with child protection and the carceral system

* Veronica Matthews, Kerrie Mengersen, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Ivan Hanigan, Bradley Farrant, Supriya Mathew, Shanthi Ramanathan, Michelle Dickson, Ross Bailie, Jo Longman, Glenn Pearson, Jasper Garay and Jeffrey Standen (Uni Sydney): integrating traditional knowledges and environmental, health data for climate change mitigation plans

* Laura Parker, Pauline Ross, Wayne O’Connor, Steven Roberts and Thiyagarajan Vengatesen (UNSW): Indigenous-led oyster reef restoration

* Kellie Pollard, Claire Smith, Liam Brady, Nicolas Bullot, Craig Taylor: Indigenous worldviews to transform archaeological practice (Charles Darwin U):

* Gawura Wanambi, Paul Gurrumuruwuy Wunungmurra, Joy Bulkanhawuy; Jennifer Deger, Michael Christie, Michaela Spencer, Benjamin Ward (Charles Darwin U): digital mapping t document endangered forms of knowledge

* Ali Baker, Simone Tur, Katerina Teaiwa, Faye Blanch, Natalie Harkin, Cindy Bennett, Romaine Moreton (Flinders U): Indigenous creative arts framework

* Brian Martin, Jefa Greenaway, Meghan Kelly, Russell Kennedy, Howard Munroe, Jason Baerg (Monash U): Indigenous Design Charters