Gone and being forgotten

Uni Adelaide is erasing Peter Rathjen from testamurs

Students who graduated while Dr Rathjen was vice chancellor can have their testamurs reissued, with the signatures of present university leaders, interim VC Mike Brooks and current chancellor Catherine Branson.

Last month South Australia’s IGone and being forgotten found Mr Rathjen to have committed serious misconduct by sexually harassing two women on Uni Adelaide’s staff.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

 Jack Goodman (Studiosity) has read all of the Prohibiting Academic Cheating Services Act. What he likes about it is in Features this morning.

Jay Cohen (Charles Sturt U) wants teaching on-line to work in the way people learn in life, through self-direction. It’s this week’s piece in commissioning editor Sally Kift’s series on what is needed now in teaching and learning.

Steve Larkin, makes the case for Batchelor Institute – First Nations ways of doing, informing western education. A new contribution to a series by Indigenous academics and policy people from commissioning editor Claire Field.

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on epigenetics, what it means and where research is – nobody knows what’s next.

Charles Darwin VC announces departure

Simon Maddocks told staff yesterday he will leave at the end of the year

In a brief video statement the VC said, “it is my honour to step down from the job I love at the right time to take advantage of the change across the university sector and to allow the recruitment of the highest quality candidate.”

Chancellor Paul Henderson said much the same thing. “The next 12 months will re-shape tertiary education in our country for many years to come. With this disruption, there will be inevitable movement of some of Australia’s most senior university leaders … together we have decided to take advantage of this period of change.”

Curtin U management goes it alone on savings vote

Staff vote next week

The university asks staff to forego the next enterprise agreement pay rise, 2 per cent, due in June, (CMM September 2) but it has not lined-up union support and the proposal will be opposed by the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union. Strongly opposed, word is a member meeting yesterday was all but unanimous in opposition

On the evidence of votes to vary EAs around the country so far, this makes it tough for management to win. ANU is the only university where management has won a staff vote for savings the campus branch of the union opposed – and that was a near-run thing (CMM June 25).

Another exit opportunity at La Trobe U

The second voluntary redundancy round, announced in August, is open

This one is available to all, (ex casuals and the DVC students and DVC education portfolios which are being restructured and presumably have their own arrangements for exits).

The first VR round generated 160 FTE departures, said to be close to management’s target. In June management estimated that the range of required compulsory redundancies was between 215 and 415 FTE (CMM June 26).

This new VR round will reduce the number of people forced out.

Victoria U offers staff a deal on cuts

Victoria U has adopted the Job Protection Framework drawn-up by four VCs and the national leadership of the National Tertiary Education Union

In line with this accord, VU commits to reducing COVID-19 caused job losses by 90 FTE positions, and undertakes that VRs will come before any compulsory redundancies. In return the deal prescribes temporary concessions from staff on pay and conditions. These include; * deferring 1.25 per cent of the 2.25 per cent Enterprise Agreement pay rises due in September 2021 and ’22. Both rises would be paid in September ’23. * no leave loadings this year and in ’21 and ’22. * ten days close-down and five days leave-purchase for each of three years

Management also accepts an over-sight committee, including NTEU representatives.

If VU and the union stick to the process used at other universities the proposal would go first to NTEU members and if approved by them to an all-staff vote on varying the enterprise agreement.

Union member approval is not assured. Last month a rank and file meeting voted against any reduction in wages and conditions (CMM August 10). Yesterday the VU branch asked members to meet on Thursday to discuss this, “very serious proposal with significant impacts on staff and jobs whether it’s accepted or rejected

Monash U keeps calm and carries on

The university is dealing with the continuing lockdown in Victoria

Vice Chancellor Margaret Gardner tells staff management is seeking advice on what the state government announcement means for students who need to undertake pracs and assessments to graduate at the end of semester two. “We hope to have answers on this in the coming days.” The university also needs new “permitted worker” permits – the August ones run out on Friday.

No rush to retrench at Uni Queensland

Staff spoke and it seems management listened

With demand down 70 per cent Uni Queensland management told staff of the Institute for Continuing and TESOL Education that 46 of 87 positions would end – casual staff are already largely gone (CMM July 28 and August 25).

This struck staff as “short-sighted and extreme,” ending the university’s capacity to serve the market post-COVID.

The university’s response was to put on-hold disestablishing the 22 teaching and academic manager positions, “in light of higher than forecasted student numbers for the remainder of the calendar year.” What happens next will be discussed in fourth-quarter when there is “greater clarity” on student numbers for next year.

And while management at first intended to proceed to abolish the 24 targeted admin positions this also appears delayed. Yes, a final proposal will be issued, which will be followed by a ten-day consultation, but there is “no precise date” for the document.

The price of performance rankings

The better the ranking performance the more international students pay

Consultants, Studymove looked at international student fee data from Australian universities for 2016-2020 and found a correlation with QS rankings. “This may not be a surprise, however it is surprising how strong the correlation is,” Sm’s Keri Ramirez says.

“The higher the overall ranking a university has, the higher the annual undergraduate average international tuition fee.”

Mr Ramirez adds other factors shape what universities charge internationals but the statistical correlation between ranking results and fees is strong, at UG, and to a lesser extent, PG subject level.

The UG disciplines with “strong correlation” are, economics, accounting-finance, biology, electrical and electronic engineering, computer science and information systems and psychology. The weakest in the study are education and comms/media.

Appointment, achievement

James Dunk (Uni Sydney) wins the State Library of NSW Australian History Prize for Bedlam at Botany Bay (New South Books). He has already won the Australian History Prize in the NSW Premiers History awards for the book.

Constance Wiebrands (Edith Cowan U) is re-elected to the board of the Council of Australian University Librarians.