Merlin Crossley on being comfortable in a data desert
Postgraduate on-campus courses that aren’t viable this year (and next)
Sprinting the COVID-19 marathon at Macquarie U
CMM is off for Easter
Back on Tuesday. Have a good break.
Research good enough to eat
The snappily titled global bized accreditor AACSB* includes two Aus unis on its “innovations that inspire” list
Deakin U is there for its Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education. And UNSW’s Tax Clinic is applauded, for research “to identify systemic issues faced by financially vulnerable cohorts and advocate for reform.”
But the winner for fun has to be the University of Agder (in Norway) for a field study in conjunction with an ice cream maker, “challenging prevailing perceptions of dull business research.” A case where more research was probably welcomed.
* AACSB stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a name no amount of ice cream could make appealing.
There’s more in the Mail
In Features this morning
After 150 reports on R&D over 25 years the government might finally be about to act on innovation policy – which is good. Problem is some of the ideas aren’t great for university research. Amanda-Jane George (CQU) explains the issues and why researchers need to respond now (as in, right now).
Her previous CMM article on innovation is here.
And Sally Male on getting grades right. “A grade should not depend on: who taught the student, who marked each assessment, which team the student was in, or the students’ sex or ethnicity,” she writes in this week’s contribution to Sally Kift’s series, “Needed now in teaching and learning.”
Plus, Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on how universities can serve Australia and why now is the time to build on great research foundations.
QUT achieved a 2020 surplus
Vice Chancellor Margaret Sheil told staff yesterday the university had a $25m surplus for last year – way better than an originally feared $100m deficit (CMM July 15 2020)
Professor Sheil attributed the result to stopping capital works and IT projects, a pause on recruitment, investment returns and savings from the Enterprise Agreement variation.
The EAV was for staff to accept postponing a 2 per cent pay rise, to December this year, foregoing leave loadings for 18 months and compulsory Christmas leave (CMM July 15 2020). It was backed by the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union and professional staff union Respect and was endorsed by 90 per cent of professional staffers and 88 per cent of academics voting in the required vote (CMM August 3 202).
The university has committed to no forced redundancies this financial year, but advised staff that 174 staff positions may be made redundant, while 102 new roles are created (CMM October 13) – $38m savings will go to 2021-22 budget shortfalls.
Scroll down for QUT appointments
Monash VC proposes more secure employment for PhD students
Monash U was in thumping surplus last year ($259m) but while VC Margaret Gardner counsels caution there’s good news for staff – including some sessionals
Professor Gardner warns staff of the “anticipated further declines in student revenue we will face this year and in 2022 and 2023.” And now that campuses are open, unlike last year, non-salary expenditure will unavoidably increase. “We will never face such a low level of non-salary expenditure again,” she says.
And so, “we will need to manage with limited recruitment of new staff and with tight control of other expenditure.”
But things aren’t all bad. As of May 8, key savings measures under the university’s enterprise agreement variation are over. The freeze on increment increases ends and the deferred 2 per cent salary increase will be paid.
And Professor Gardner proposes reducing the insecurity of insecure employment, at least for PhD students who are sessional teachers or do research-support jobs. She suggests fixed-term appointments, which would give them incremental salary rises and sick leave. She also raises the possibility of contingent continuing employment for “many of our research-only contract staff.”
The VC says details could be sorted with the National Tertiary Education Union and “more generally” with staff, within weeks and before enterprise bargaining gets going.
In front on the campaign trail
Damien Cahill is running for National Tertiary Education Union division secretary in NSW (he’s assistant sec now)
It’s the first campaign announcement for offices up for election this year.
An observer of the union suggests Dr Cahill is “organised and ambitious.” He is certainly the former – nominations are just open and he already has endorsement from NTEU leaders at seven of the 12 universities on his patch, including division president, Nikola Balnave (Macquarie U).
Nominations close mid-April. Present secretary Michael Thomson is not running.
Another DVC leaves Charles Sturt U
The university tells staff that the DVC (Students) role is “disestablished” and incumbent, Jenny Roberts, “will depart the university immediately”
She follows former DVC Research and Engagement, Heather Cavanagh, who left in February, after 23 years at CSU (CMM February 11).
This isn’t a late addition to the restructure (CMM March 25), now pretty-much fully planned and apart from Ms Roberts, the university advises, “there will be no reductions to staffing and no reductions to student services as a result of this change.”
Academically-aligned functions in the now ended portfolio move to the DVC Academic (and acting provost), Janelle Wheat. Administrative, marketing and safety functions go to Chief Operating Officer, Rick Willmott’s substantial portfolio (CMM August 26 2020).
UTS teaching awards in appointments, achievements
Category winners in the inaugural ANZ Women in AI include, Wen Chen-CSIRO (finance), Beena Ahmed-UNSW (education), Fang Chen-UTS (infrastructure), Yolande Strengers-Monash U (innovation), Lina Yao-UNSW (cyber security).
Kelvin Kong is awarded the Australian Society for Medical Research Medal
Associate Professor Kong is honoured for his research on the diagnosis and treatment of otitis media, commonly known as “glue ear”, in children under three. The disease effects disproportionately large numbers of Indigenous children. Dr Kong is a Newcastle based surgeon and a conjoint aspro at Uni Newcastle. The university states he is one of Australia’s three Indigenous surgeons.
QUT’s new faculty leaderships are nearly) complete
Amanda Gudmunsson is Executive Dean, Business and Law (she has been acting as ED Business). Dan Hunter is Deputy ED of the faculty and Dean of Law. Sharon Bentley moves from head of the School of Optometry to Deputy Dean of Health.
The university is recruiting for an ED Science.
CMM is sure Professor Hunter is used to being called Dean Dan.
UTS teaching awards were announced yesterday
Individual Teaching: Katherina Petrou (Science)
Indigenous professional capabilities into curriculum: Tamara Power, Gabriel Clark, Danièle Hromek (Arts and Social Sciences)
UTS Model of Learning: Susanne Pratt, Giedre Kligyte, Claire Marshall (Transdisciplinary Innovation)
Social Impact in Learning and Teaching: Ian Higgins (Business)
Casual-Sessional Staff: Alexandra Thomson (Science)
Early Career Teaching: Andrea Giovannetti (Business)
Early Career Teaching Highly Commended: George Harb (Arts and Social Sciences)
Academic Support: Samantha Berry, Helena Asher-Chiang, Claudia Cowell, Stephanie Gonzales, Candy Jenkins, Steph Miller and Ruth Wilcock (Careers Team)
And last, but not least in number;
Team Teaching: Mary Coupland (Science), Marco Angelini (Engineering-IT), Hadiya Valiyaveettil Mohammed Ashraf (Science), Pranati Balijepalli (Science), Nahid Banihashemi (Science), Coral Connor (Interactive Media and Learning), Karyn Fitzgerald (Science) Rory Green (PG Learning Design), Neela Griffiths (Interactive Media and Learning), Venkata Valli Visali Kadiyala (Science) Paul Kennedy (Engineering-IT), Simon Knight (Transdisciplinary Innovation), Cat Kutay (Engineering-IT), Maria Lobytsyna (Science), Jenna Price, (Arts and Social Social Sciences), Usha Sridhar (Science), Stephen Woodcock (Science).