How to make it at the ARC

The Australian Research Council is recruiting project support officers. Ideal candidates will have, among other things, “good interpersonal skills, utilising a friendly and professional manner to engage effectively with stakeholders.”

Curiously the council does not mention a talent for explaining inexplicable delays and impenetrable rules.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on teaching on-line and in-person and why there is demand for both. “My expectation is that our physical campus will remain vibrant and powerful, and our cloud campus will continue to develop, so that both sets of students are supported to grow and meet their aspirations for higher learning. Simultaneously, some staff will continue to teach mostly on-campus, while there will also be more options to work remotely,” he writes.

plus Angel Calderon on the new NTU research ranking.Australian university leaders are likely to be pleasantly surprised by the results from these subject rankings. Despite the criticisms that global rankings are irrelevant, pointless, and out of depth, these results reinforce subject areas of strength (and areas of relative weakness) across institutions,” he writes.

with Paul Oslington (Alphacrucis University College) on five dysfunctions  of academic governance – and what to do about them, HERE

and there’s more of Mahood Shah

Professor Shah (Swinburne U)  points to the scale and speed of course innovation in the global market and warns local regulators and accreditors must help Australian institutions keep up. It’s this week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching.

CMM wanted to learn more and asked him on Expert Opinion. The interview is HERE .


Not forgetting Adelaide

Edith Cowan U is celebrating its 30th anniversary and reports “it is the only Australian university named after a woman.”  Apart, that is, from the University of Adelaide which is in the city named for the queen married to British monarch William IV. (Unless Uni Adelaide is named for the reisling of not especially fond memory).

UNE leadership silent on charges against VC Heywood

The council of University New England has not responded to increasing calls for Professor Heywood to stand down until her case is heard

The Daily Mail reports a police statement that it is alleged that Professor Heywood touched a girl and mentioned her skin colour at the Armidale Ex-Services Memorial Club on March 8. The club was the site of  an International Women’s Day Event that day.

The alleged incident has generated intense interest in the UNE community since March, with  rumours circulating on what happened and where.

Professor Heywood is scheduled to appear in court next month on assault charges and calls are increasing that she stand down until then.

Local NSW state Nationals MP Adam Marshall  was quick to urge the university council to stand Professor Heywood down. “As someone who has always proudly supported and defended the university, I implore the Council to move quickly in this direction,” he said.

Tim Crakanthorp (NSW shadow minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education) tweeted late Wednesday, “these are serious allegations and given their nature it’s appropriate that the vice chancellor step down pending their investigation.”

And yesterday the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union intervened, calling on UNE’s Council to stand the VC down “while the matters are before the court,” if she did not voluntarily step-aside.

“We were shocked by the charges; we are as astounded by the vice chancellor and council’s silence,” union campus VP Craig Johnson writes in a letter to council members.

“We now request that you, individually and collectively, take the only appropriate and responsible course and stand down Professor Heywood with immediate effect pending the outcome of matters before the courts.”

UNE has not commented on the case, or responded to CMM requests for information on important university business, notably the status of a new academic workload model – a matter central to Professor Heywood’s plans for the university. A Fair Work Commission hearing scheduled for today was vacated Thursday on a university motion.


Casuals and COVID

Anastasia Kanjere is running for general secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union on the A New NTEU ticket. She tweeted Wednesday, “huge shout out to the subject coordinators I know who have secretly taught for casuals and told them to falsify their timesheets because it’s the only way said casuals could get paid COVID leave.”

CMM asked her for comment and she replied, “I have heard this from more than three subject coordinators at more than two universities.”

Staff cuts, federal funds helped SA unis stay positive in ’21

The South Australian Auditor General reports the states three public universities received $157m in increased Commonwealth funding last year and cut staff costs by $45m, offsetting the impact of COVID 19 – income from international students was down 10 per cent on 2020

While total academic employment across the three was marginally down by 77 FTE, professional staff FTE was reduced from 4916  in 2021 to 4446.

All three universities recorded positive financial results.

Flinders U had a $36m surplus on income of $557m, a similar result to 2020.

Uni Adelaide revenue was up $154m (to $1.147bn) due in large part to $100m more from the Commonwealth. The operating result was $201m, up from $40m in 2020. Fees from international students were steady, at $254m.

Uni SA more than doubled its operating result to $54m, (from $21m in 2020).This was despite a small decline in income, to $679m – due in large part to a $36m fall in fees and charges, to $135m.  This was offset by  $31m increase in Commonwealth grants.

“The effect of COVID19 on future earnings for the South Australian university sector remain uncertain,” the Auditor General states.

Charles Sturt U VC urges all to mask-up

“I ask you all to take responsibility for the protection of others”

VC Renée Leon (via Twitter) says the only way to “stem” rising COVID-19 cases and deaths is “for all of us to do everything we can to minimise transmissions.”

And what she is doing is “urging students and staff to continue to implement all possible protective measures” including masking-up indoors, “with anyone outside your own household.”

To assist there will be masks available from campus libraries, “in the coming days.”

“I ask you all to take responsibility for the protection of others, our campuses and our communities,’ she says.

Uni SA, is also concerned by the rate of infection. In contrast, it has made masks on campus mandatory and returned to on-line teaching and working from home (CMM August 3).

Appointments, achievements of the week

Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology announces more 2022 awards, (others in CMM July 28). Ivar Noordstra (Uni Queensland) and Lilian Schimmel (Uni Queensland) are the Early Career Researchers.

Emily Banks (ANU) receives the Australian Medical Association Gold Medal for her, “important and timely research” into e-cigarettes.

Craig Batty (Uni SA) is interim president of the Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts Australia, standing in for Cat Hope (Monash U) who is away for nine months.

Saraid Billiards is new CEO of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes. She moves from the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Ellen Broad (associate professor in ANU’s School of Cybernetics) is joining Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic’s office as senior science advisor.

John Chalmers becomes CEO of the Australian Institute of Music. He moves from marketing head at UTS.

Carla Drakeford moves to Swinburne U as government relations director. She makes the move from the Victorian public service.

Jim Elliott is the new academic director of Uni Sydney’s Kolling Institute, “the longest running MRI in NSW.”

Bronwyn Everett joins Uni Wollongong as deputy head of the School of Nursing. She moves from Western Sydney University.

Barney Glover (VC Western Sydney U) joins the council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Daniel Gschwind (stet) becomes a professor of practise at Griffith U’s Institute for Tourism. He was CEO of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council up to May.

John Juriansz is confirmed as director of Western Sydney U’s Whitlam Institute. He is now the institute’s interim director

Maria Kavallaris (Children’s Cancer Institute and UNSW) receives the President of Cyprus Medal for contributions in cancer biology and therapeutics.

Katherine Kenny (Uni Sydney) is announced as editor in chief 2023-26 of Health Sociology Review, from the Australian Sociological Association.

The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance announces David Kok (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Monash campus) is the new chair of its Education and Training Advisory Committee.

Sharon Lewin (Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity) will be the next president of the International AIDS society.

Paul Loh joins Bond U as head its Abedian School of Architecture. He moves from Uni Melbourne.

Andrew Zammit-Mangion (Uni Wollongong) wins an Early Investigator award from the environment stats section of the American Statistical Association.

Helen Marshall (Uni Adelaide) is the inaugural clinical research director at the Women and Children’s Health Network.

Dineli Mather has moved from Deakin  U PVC for graduate employment to Wells Advisory.

Jerry Nockles joins Independent Higher Education Australia to manage membership services and government relations. Dr Nockles moves from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Geoff Purcell (James Cook U) is appointed secretary to the executive committee of the Council of Australasian University Directors of IT.

Kate O’Shaughnessy becomes research director at the Perth-based USAsia Centre. She moves from DFAT.

Steward Riddle (Uni Southern Queensland) is incoming editor in chief of the Australian Educational Researcher (from the Australian Association for Research in Education).

Steve Robson (ANU) is the new federal president of the Australian Medical Association.

Australian Catholic U VC Zlatko Skrbis is elected president of the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities.

Kate Witenden will join ANU as Chief People Officer in October. She will move from HR deputy director at Uni Sydney.