Where a union blue is brewing

Not a spell in sight

Yesterday the University of Melbourne tweeted “it’s true — a celebrated witchcraft academic is coming to Melbourne!” However the link took you to a promotion for historian Lyndal Roper’s lecture next Wednesday on Martin Luther. Yes Professor Roper is an authority on the history of witchcraft, but her talk next week is on Martin Luther as a pamphleteer and “how the Reformation might have changed models of masculinity.” And hacks get a bad wrap for beating up  yarns!

Good news and less so @ UTS

UTS has appointed its new VC from within. DVC (research) Attila Brungs will step up to replace Ross Milbourne when he leaves in six months. It’s been a big couple of months for Professor Bungs who lead the university to its largest haul of ARC Discovery grants in November. Brungs is not your standard issue scholar having worked for McKinsey and CSIRO. That’s the good UTS news. The less good is that the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union says its president, Simon Wade, is suspended over alleged misconduct. According to the union, “this move comes after months of Simon being targeted in his workplace due to his involvement in enterprise bargaining on behalf of UTS staff.” Last night all the university would say was, “we can confirm that a staff member has been suspended pending investigation of serious misconduct. We can also confirm that that staff member happens to be the local president of the NTEU. … We can make no further comment about the details, nor pre-empt the outcome of the investigation, which will be undertaken in accordance with the enterprise agreement.”

Not now there’s not

The National Skills Needs Lists for November, on the Commonwealth’s apprenticeship page, includes vehicle body builders as skill shortage.

TEQSA’s timing

Chris Pyne’s Christmas gift (wrapped with red tape?) to higher education is adoption of the recommendations of the PhillipsKPA review of regulation. Which makes TEQSA’s timing not terrific. As the minister was ratcheting up deregulation the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency posted a video, “What TEQSA looks for when regulating an ELICOS Provider.” This is not as incomprehensible as TESQA statements sometimes are, and let us face it, the English language sector can not master the outrage of the universities. Even so this is not the time to be reminding the world that TEQSA still sees itself cloaked in considerable authority whiuch it intends to use.

Voting with his feet

After 13 years the University of Wollongong’s Don Iverson is leaving his job as PVC  (Health) to move to Swinburne University, where he will be executive dean, health, arts and design. But it seems the post matters less than the people; as he told the local ABC yesterday. “I’ve never taken a job in order to go to an institution, I’ve always wanted to work with an individual. So when I came to Wollongong it was Gerard Sutton who really really impressed me as this incredible energetic visionary vice-chancellor and that’s the same thing with Swinburne, I’m going down there to work with a vice-chancellor, the lady’s name is Professor Linda Kristjanson.” Funnily enough he did not mention his relatively new present boss, Wollongong VC and change-agent Paul Wellings.

Ideas @ AWPA

On Friday Curtin University’s Julia Connell will present a webinar on what makes quality working experiences. The project is commissioned by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, where you where you can register for the event, which starts at 8am Perth time.