What’s to find on open day

La Trobe U invites open day visitors to “find their clever,” which they presumably lost at LT U on a previous visit. This slogan follows Murdoch U’s suggestion that people can “discover their think” at its Open Day. Would somebody please unplug the random slogan generator.


Another review at USQ

There’s a library review at the University of Southern Queensland, less than two years since a restructure. According to the university, the new look is needed because of staff changes, implementation of new systems, the first for 20 years, and feedback from staff. But while nothing is decided, it being a review and all, it appears management knows what it wants – proposing an organisation restructure and changes to leadership functions. And yes, there could be job losses, to be decided after the review is complete.

They like a restructure at USQ. Back in June the university announced change to the office of learning and teaching, which was only established in October 2016, (CMM June 14).

No date for ARC Fellow announcements

Learned readers wonder where  this year’s Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowships and Future Fellow announcements are.  Proposals for both closed last November and an announcement was due “mid-year”.  People who know about such things say “not long now” but that’s the firmest date around. The ARC says “the indicative date” is still “mid 2018”.


Unis Macquarie and Canberra pathways to high tech careers   

Two universities two different approaches to engage students with industry.

Macquarie U and semiconductor company Analog Devices have established an engineering alliance,  inviting “industry into the university” (first announced in May, and again yesterday.)

“Traditionally, undergraduate engineering education has been structured around classroom theory, laboratory exercises, and a relatively disconnected industry-placement or internship system, M U engineering dean Michael Heimlich says.

Analog’s aspiration is for the alliance to create “the next generation of microwave and millimetre-wave integrated circuit designers,” areas where Macquarie U has long-established expertise.

CMM is sure Professor Heimlich did not mean Macquarie U’s professional and community engagement programme when he mentioned “disconnected industry placement.”

University of Canberra has gone in the opposite direction, with a new programme to placeaspiring IT professionals in the workforce for the duration of their studies.”

UC is partnering with training provider Column 72 to provide students, “with a unique mainframe trainee programme for work on IBMZs, “the world’s most advanced hardware and transaction processing platform.” Students will combine study with full-time work at an IBM mainframe customer.

Given the obvious employers with mainframes in Canberra are government this probably took bureaucratic expertise and plenty of patience to organise. It’s a brilliant incentive for students to study IT at UniCanberra.

Let the games begin

QUT is showcasing its e-sports arena at Open Day on Sunday. The 27-player competitive video gaming facility opened last month as a pay to play venue which is open to all. It’s at the heart of the university’s plan to “position QUT as the  industry leaders in Australian eSports.”

As a way of branding QUT as a future-faced university this is impossible to beat, although the marketers might have to think a bit about branding. “A university for the real world” hardly applies to e-sports scenarios.

Cool to cold

Tasmania is so much cooler now (seriously).’ U Tas spruiks the state’s, “cafes and boutiques to rival even the hippest Melbourne and Sydney inner city streets” to prospective PhD students. Funnily enough there is no mention of what is really cool in Hobart, a 3-degree minimum temp this week.

Speaking freely at UniMelbourne

Glyn Davis has hosted a discussion on his excellent University of Melbourne Pursuit podcast, on the high-principles of academic freedom.  And while it focused on what can be said, who can say it also came up. UniMelb professor and ARC Laureate Fellow Adrienne Stone suggested that academic freedom could also apply to other university people.

“Staff of the university who are not academics who nonetheless seem to be probably clearly covered by at least a form of academic freedom, so if you think about somebody like research assistants or lab assistants, maybe even librarians who are kind of collaborative and getting engaged in research tasks, I think that they equally deserve a measure of freedom in the way in which they undertake that, which we might call academic freedom, although they might be subject to direction by other academics who, after all, are directing them in the interests of carrying out the mission of the university.”

Good-o, but how to protect speakers? There was something of a stoush over this last year as management and union at UniMelbourne argued over whether a free-speech clause should be stated in the next enterprise agreement, university policy, or both (CMM August 28 2017). The argument seems to be settled – CMM hears there is progress on academic and freedom and freedom of communication for staff.

More Dow dollars for UoQ

Dow Chemical is kicking another $4m into the University of Queensland. It adds to the $10m contributed to the UoQ Dow Centre (for sustainable engineering innovation) since 2014 and the $6m contributed to create the Dow chair in sustainable engineering innovation.

Appointments, achievements

Braden Hill is appointed PVC Equity and Indigenous at Edith Cowan U. Mr Hill moves from Murdoch U where he was director of Aboriginal education, equity and inclusion.

Janet Currie from UTS is the Australian Teacher Education Association teacher educator of the year. Dr Currie is honoured for a programme targeting primary teachers interested in teaching physical education.