A petition protests new required research output at La Trobe U, with signatories complaining the new performance benchmarks are “a dramatic increase” for staff, across disciplines and academic levels, and are based on flawed past performance measures.
The new model was hammered out at length last year with ample argument over how much research time staff should get and whether they needed to be on campus to do it.
However, the petitioners state that while research outputs were established for academic units there was not “proper consultation” with individuals.
But La Trobe U management replies that overall research allocations are gradually increasing and for individuals this means, “allocations will vary depending on expertise, role focus and the balance of research and teaching activities.”
The university’s purpose is; “to better align the research outputs by academic level with the university’s strategic direction. La Trobe recognises that research performance across the sector is steadily rising and we have adjusted our benchmarks to support us maintain and advance our research performance and position in the sector,” a spokesperson says.
As for people who think the basis of their time allocation is out of whack, adjustments can be made; “if a staff member can demonstrate that their publication productivity has dramatically changed over the previous calendar year