The company one keeps

“JCU scientist recognised with new parasite,” James Cook University reports. Fish parasite Anoplodiscus hutsonae is named for Dr Kate Hutson. 

Margaret Sheil to become vice chancellor at QUT

The University of Melbourne is set to lose its two most senior leaders next year. Provost  Margaret Sheil announced yesterday she will leave the university to become vice chancellor of QUT in February. Professor Sheil will depart ahead of VC Glyn Davis, who is scheduled to leave at the end of 2018. Professor Sheil joined UniMelb from the Australian Research Council, where she was chief executive and was provost at Melbourne for five years. She will replace 15 year QUT veteran Peter Coaldrake.

This is a big loss for the university, which faces the possibility of the federal government unrolling the publicly funded Melbourne model of undergraduate plus professional masters.  The university’s flexible academic programme plan is also in her portfolio.

A learned reader points out that next year Brisbane will become research policy central, with three former ARC chairs running universities. Peter Hoj and Aidan Byrne are respectively VC and provost at the University of Queensland with Professor Sheil on the way.

Tough contest over JCU pay vote

James Cook U was spruiking a “battle for bragging rights” yesterday – but it wasn’t describing the contest between management and union in the staff vote on the university’s pay-rise proposal, which closes today.

Union and management have played the ballot hard. In a carefully worded message to staff VC Sandra Harding has justified the university’s proposed 6.6 per cent pay rise through to 2012, set out examples of top management not collecting bonuses and receiving salary increases in-line with indexation of Commonwealth funding. “Like you, senior managers have contributed and are playing an active part in responding to the challenges we face,” she stated.

To which the National Tertiary Education Union responded that this is easy to argue on the VC’s salary. The union has produced a detailed rebuttal of Professor Harding’s statement, demonstrating the depth of the dispute with management. It also says the university is emailing vote yes messages to staff addresses.

The ‘bragging rights” the university is interested in this morning are a series of sporting contents between JCU and the Army garrison in Townsville but if management wins the pay-rise vote you can bet they will loudly tell us about it too.

What the market will, and wont, bear

QUT research demonstrates content providers will charge what they can – until the market says no more

Nicolas Suzor, Tess Van Geelen, Kylie Pappalardo, Jean Burgess, Patrik Wikström and Yanery Ventura-Rodriguez from QUT have run the numbers on Australians’ digital access to US films and music, games and TV to discover owners will charge more for less when they can.

This can be no big deal, Australians don’t pay much more than Americans for a US TV ep or it can be a very big one – Australian consumers can pay $40 more than in the US for a game title.  And while access to films is better than TV, “there are still notable gaps.”

“For an Australian consumer who only wants to (or can only afford to) pay for one streaming service, this is bad news. A subscription with any of the major distributors will only get them access to less than half the titles available with the biggest distributor in the US. This means that consumers may have to take out two or three subscriptions in order to access a majority of the titles available in Australia,” they write.

One finding is especially interesting, – access to music here is much better;

“the vast majority of albums in our sample were available in both Australia and the US, with less than 10 percent of titles exclusive to one market. Australians enjoy cheaper prices across the board.”

Interesting that an industry that was on its way to pricing itself into failure is streaming content at a price the market will willingly bear.

Remind you of other content providers?

Toby Green from UNESCO  suggests green and gold open access models for research articles are both beaten by black OA, that pirate site Sci-Hub has made 60m research articles available. “If true, Sci-Hub has single-handedly won the race to make all journal articles open access.” So what, CMM wonders, can be done to protect the rights of researchers and the taxpayers who fund them?

“Only one actor is needed to start this process of unbundling: the publisher. In making a basic, legal version free for anyone to read, gratis open access is achieved at a stroke, and it would start to make the pirates redundant,” Mr Green writes.

My eQuals on the move

Roll-out of the My eQuals programme is picking up pace. The ANZ scheme gives students and graduates digital versions of their academic records for them to share with employers, and anybody else they want to know they have accomplished what they say.

In addition to universities already operating eight universities are scheduled to go live in September-October, ACU, ANU, JCU, UniOtago, UniSA, USQ, USC and Victoria U. A further nine will follow over the summer with all 46 participants due to be live in a year.

Plenty to talk about

Super committed comrades will assemble in Sydney today for the National Tertiary Education Union NSW branch activist conference. ACTU president Ged Kearney will deliver the key-note, followed by addresses and workshops. There is also plenty for delegates to discuss outside session. The union is dealing with restructuring managements at UNSW and the University of Newcastle and is using industrial action in pay disputes at the universities of Sydney and Western Sydney. After striking on Wednesday University of Sydney unionists voted yesterday to go out for two days early next month.

Full list: the nation’s top uni teachers

The Australian Awards for University Teaching season started yesterday with the Sydney citation ceremony. Thanks to Education Minister Simon Birmingham all academics cited for outstanding contributions to student learning at universities across the country are now public.


ACU: Dr Leigha Dark.

ANU: Training and Inspiring Educators in Research, Mr Timothy Hatfield, Dr Ryan Goss, Dr Matthew Brookhouse, Professor Emily Banks.


Charles Sturt U: Dr Louise Pemberton.

Macquarie University: Dr Neil Harrison, Ms Corrinne Sullivan, Dr Kira Westaway. Southern Cross U: Dr Rob Garbutt.

University of New England: Associate Professor Anne-Marie Morgan, Dr Sarah Lawrence. University of Newcastle: Mr Shaun McCarthy.

UNSW: Associate Professor Gigi Foster, Dr Lauren Kark, Dr Louisa Smith, Dr Pramod Koshy.

University of Sydney: Associate Professor Mark McEntee, University of Sydney Health Collaboration Challenge Team, Associate Professor Brendon O’Connor, Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell.

UTS: Dr Amanda White, Dr Stephen Woodcock, Nursing and Midwifery: Indigenous Professional Capability.

University of Wollongong: Associate Professor Shady Cosgrove, Chemistry First Year Experience Team. Recovery Camp.

South Australia

Flinders University: Flinders NT, (“for facilitating quality workplace-based supervision practice for health professionals in remote locations”).

University of South Australia: Ms Gabriella Bisetto, Environmental and Geospatial Sciences Program Team, Dr Sally Plush, UniSA HDR Supervisor Development Team.

University of Adelaide: Best Team (colleague development programme), Professor Michael Liebelt.

Western Australia

UWA: Associate Professor Denese Playford, Associate Professor Cosimo Faiello, Dr Bonnie Thomas

Curtin University: Dr Robert Madden, Ms Christina Do, Associate Professor Janet Beilby, Dr Daniel Southam.

Edith Cowan University: Ms Abigail Lewis, Dr Ken Robinson, Mrs Joanna McManus, Associate Professor Denise Jackson.

Murdoch University: Dr Peter le Breton.


Bond University: Christian Moro

CQU: Associate Professor Anita Bowman, Dr Celeste Lawson.

Griffith University: Professor Jenny Gamble, Dr Kevin Larkin, Mrs Alison White, Dr Sean Horan, Student Success Coaching Program.

James Cook University: Dr Margaret Anne Carter, Dr Janice Lloyd,  Ms Sandra Downing, Ms Jodie Maxfield.

QUT: Professor Fiona Naumann, Dr Deanna Grant-Smith, Associate Professor Nicolas Suzor.

University of Queensland: Professor Anthony Cassimatis, Dr Lisa Fitzgerald, Dr Poh Wah Hillock.

University of the Sunshine Coast: Communication and Thought Core Course Team, Associate Professor Kelley Burton, Dr Michèle Verdonck.

University of Southern Queensland: Dr Dianne Jones, Ms Suzanne Maloney.


La Trobe University: Agricultural Sciences Teaching Team, Dr Deborah Jackson.

Deakin University: Dr Richie Barker, Dr Russell Anderson.

Monash University: Dr Kirsten McLean, Dr Julia Choate, Dr Jonathan McIntosh, Dr Jamie Walvisch.

Swinburne University: Dr Reza Tajaddini, Dr Sabina Sestigiani.

RMIT: Dr Nicky Eshtiaghi, RMIT Cinema Studies major team

University of Melbourne: Dr Jason Ivanusic, Ms Shawana Andrews, Dr Antonette Mendoza.

Federation University: Associate Professor Singarayer Florentine.


University of Tasmania: Professor Rob White, Ms Nicole Herbert, Dr Darren Pullen

HEADS UP: winners of the working week

Jenny Roberts will become DVC Students at Charles Sturt U in November. Ms Roberts will move from CQU where she is DVC student experience and governance.

Jodieann Dawe is head of Flinders U’s “new look research entity.” The old Research Office is “transformed” taking on responsibility for IP and commercialisationMs Dawe joins from the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research, where she has managed research and engagement since June 2015.

Josephine Wilson is the 2016 Miles Franklin award winner. Dr Wilson is a sessional staff member at Curtin University, teaching creative writing.

Flinders U has filled the leadership role at another of the colleges created in its new structure. Vanessa Lemm will become executive dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in January. She will move from UNSW where she heads the school of humanities and languages. Professor Lemm is a philosopher.

Monash pharmacy dean Bill Charman is reappointed chair of the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

The Academy of Social Sciences has elected 46 new fellows. They are:

Xuemai Bai, environment and ecology, ANU. Eileen Baldry, criminology, UNSW, Michael Blakeney, law, UWA. Roland Bleiker, political science, UoQ. Sidney Bloch AM, psychiatry, UniMelbourne. Frank Bongiorno, history, ANU. Peter Bossaerts, finance and neuroscience UniMelbourne. Nicholas Brown, history, ANU. Rebekah Brown, sustainable development, MonashU. Ross Buckley, law,UNSW. Victoria Burbank, social sciences, UWA

Linda Connor, anthropology UniSydney. Kim Cornish, neurosciences, MonashU.

 Megan Davis, law, UNSW. Heather Douglas, law, UoQ.

 Lata Gangadharan, economics, Monash U. Christopher Gibson, human geography, Uni of Wollongong. Cristina Gibson, management, UWA. Katharine Gelber, politics, UoQ. Ross Gittins, economics editor, Sydney Morning HeraldLee Godden, law, UniMelbourne.

Vedi Hadiz, Asian studies, UniMelbourne. Charmine E.J. Härtel, business, UoQ. John Hewson AM, tax and transfer policy, ANU.

 Craig Jeffrey, India studies, UniMelbourne.

 Carol T. Kulik, human resources, UniSA.

 Anne Lillis, accounting, UniMelbourne. Deborah Lupton, media and comms UniCanberra.  Elinor McKone, psychology, ANU. Klaus Neumann, Professor of History, School of History, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University.

 Melanie Oppenheimer, history, Flinders University.

 Alan Petersen, sociology, Monash Uni, Jane Pirkis, mental health UniMelbourne. Jason Potts, economics, RMIT University.

 Rick Richardson, psychology, UNSW. Garry Robins, psychology, UniMelbourne. John Rolfe, economics, CQ University.

 Louise Sharpe, psychology, UniSydney. Naomi Soderstrom, accounting, UniMelbourne. David Stanton, public policy, ANU. Adrienne Stone, UniMelbourne, law. Joffre Swait, consumer psychology, Uni of South Australia.

Stephen Taylor, accounting, UTS. Russell Tytler, science education, Deakin U.

Beth Webster, innovation Swinburne U. Stephen Zubrick, education, UWA