Path to enlightenment

Murdoch U invites prospective students to “discover your think” at Open Day on Saturday. Apparently, one’s “Think,” “is the inner force that guides you.”  Presumably all the way to 90 South St Murdoch 6150 WA

 “You are charged with dreaming of electric sheep”

The Australian Human Rights Commission tomorrow hosts an event in Sydney on “human rights and technology.”  There are serious AI experts and ethicists speaking, plus people with the vision to pull it altogether. Chief Scientist Alan Finkel leads off, with ANU’s Genevieve Bell and UTS Magic Lab director Mary-Anne Williams among many to follow. Attendance is closed but if you turn up at the Four Seasons near Circular Quay tomorrow morning with the $400 ticket price they will probably know you were coming.

CRC P’s to ignite rocket fuel and put it out 

Two winners of CRC Projects round five are announced by assistant minister for science Zed Seselja.
The Responsive Access to Space receives the max $3m in federal funds, with partners kicking in $10 more in cash and kind to develop a satellite launching rocket engine. University partners are; RMIT, UniSydney, UniSouth Australia and Universitat de Bundeswehr.
UNSW and partners also receive $3m to develop an eco-friendly flame retardant to use in cars, clothing and construction materials.

UniNewcastle wages deal waiting on new VC

Union action will disrupt classes at the University of Newcastle Wednesday week as National Tertiary Education Union members stop work to protest lack of progress in enterprise bargaining negotiations. “The university has continued to rebuff NTEU attempts to achieve reasonable improvements in conditions for staff,” says Roger Marwick, acting NTEU branch president.

The union says bargaining started a year back but management continues to offer “what amounts to a pay cut in real terms over the next three years.”

The union is looking for a deal before new VC Alex Zelinsky takes over in November, saying “the NTEU has real concerns about the commitment of management bargaining representatives to reach an agreement.” That sounds right to CMM – with barely three months to go outgoing VC Caroline McMillen may not want to lock her successor into a four-year wage deal.


Machiavelli of Business Administration

Research by Herman Tse from the Monash Business School indicates people who play a good Machiavellian game can win at work. “While it is usually thought that high Mach people manipulate and undermine others using cunning and duplicitous methods, … high Mach is more about reading the emotion of your boss and colleagues and adjusting yourself to fit into the environment without creating too many waves.

Instead of being envious and harmful, high Mach team members can be very calculative, calm and strategic in maximising their personal gains in unfavourable and stressful situations.”

So, when does Monash launch its M(achiavelli) of Business Administration?

Where “flexibility” is code for being on-campus Friday

A few weeks back La Trobe U advised that academics were misunderstanding a message telling them they needed to be on campus all-week, unless they had individual approval from their supervisor (CMM July 6). Management made backing-down noises within hours, later confirmed by Workplace Relations Manager, Patrick Steele who wrote, “flexible work arrangements, including working off campus for research purposes, will continue to be supported. There is no intention to detract from this.”

So what was with, the original message? According to Mr Steele, it’s purpose is “to increase flexibility in timetabling teaching activities across the working week. This is a change designed to place students at the centre of everything we do. It will provide greater flexibility in timetabling and in the management of available staff time for teaching purposes.” LT U observers say this is code for wants available to teach Friday

Why international students avoid Perth

Murdoch U isn’t alone in looking for ways other than quality courses to increase international enrolments in WA (CMM Friday).  The state Chamber of Commerce and Industry laments international student commencements dropped 13 per cent in 2016-18. The decline follows the state government cutting occupations on its skilled migration list from 178 to 18 and CCI’s Chris Rodwell attributes this to international students looking at the absence of opportunities for post-study work in the state.


Solidarity isn’t always forever in NSW NTEU

The state leadership of the National Tertiary Education Union in UNSW is doubly divided. While incoming national president Alison Barnes (Macquarie U) backs WA state secretary Gabe Gooding for the assistant national sec position NSW state secretary Michael Thomson is backing a run by UTS official Vince Caughley. However, the incoming NSW state assistant secretary Damien Cahill (UniSydney) endorses Ms Gooding.

This is one of only two super-significant races in the union’s elections, the other being for the Victorian state leadership where a team led by existing secretary Colin Long is challenged by Melissa Slee (RMIT) and colleagues.

Dolt of the day

Is CMM. In Fridays issue he referred to Charles Sturt U staff award winner Deborah Murdoch as Deborah Howard. How did that happen, you ask. Stupidity CMM replies.

Appointments, achievements

Cheryl Saunders is elected a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. Laureate Professor Saunders is a constitutional lawyer at the University of Melbourne.

Oxford U academic Antone Martinho-Truswell is appointed inaugural dean of Graduate House, at St Paul’s College, which is “within” the University of Sydney.  The new facility will house 140 men and women academics and postgraduates. It opens at the start of next year.

The University of Sydney has three new associate deans in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. All three are internal appointments. Victoria Cogger becomes associate dean for research education, Inam Haq is associate dean (education) and Mark McEntee is now AD Student Life.

Cristy Seccombe from Murdoch U’s Animal Hospital is the new president of Equine Veterinarians Australia.

James Quach will work at the University of Adelaide for four years, thanks to funding from the Ramsay Fellowship which funds scientific research (and is definitely not the western civ centre outfit). Dr Quach will work on using the entanglement principle of quantum mechanics to create batteries which share physical proprties and can might be able to be simultaneously charged. He moves from the University of Melbourne.

QUT has announced its staff awards, including:

Teacher of the year: Deb Duthie (Indigenous Knowledges)

Academics: Peter Black (Law), Jean Burgess (Creative Industries), Gary Mortimer (Business), Rachael Murray (Health), Moe Thandar Wynn (Science and Engineering)

Professional staff: Derek Cordwell (Health), Kaylene Matheson (Law), Danielle Patterson (Health), Gary Rasmussen (International and Deveopment)

Community Partners: Robert Flower (Health), Mandy Paterson (RSPCA)

Academic Team: Nursing professional precincts

Mixed team: Design robotics research team