Accounting for office hours

At Macquarie Uni, Rahat Munir wants accounting academics to be at work, except when he doesn’t.

Professor Munir, head of the department of accounting and corporate finance, emailed staff yesterday to tell them, “a few staff are not regularly attending office without notification and/or permission,” which “is taken as unauthorised as per rules.”  He also advises, “I have noticed that a few staff members are attending the office while they are on their approved leave. Please note that it defeats the purpose of the leave and intention for which leave was taken and approved.”

Labor promises money for Monash U

Labor’s first 2019  university funding promise of the election is out, with the party promising $21m for Monash U and outer south-east Melbourne’s Peninsula Health to create a hub, which will, “focus on designing and delivering new, better integrated models of care for some of the region’s most vulnerable people.”

This is a win for the university, which committed $20m over five years in 2016 to teaching, research and collaboration in allied health and primary care (plus education and business) at its Peninsula campus.  The funding included a new chair of medicine and research centres in aged care, disability and injury (CMM September 27).

The announcement follows Labor commitments last year of $8m for health and disadvantage research at Griffith U Logan, $20m for agriculture research at Western Sydney U and $120m for infrastructure and new student places at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Asking the crowd

The feds are funding a “challenge-based information forum” to discuss ways organisations outsource problems to “the crowd”.  Chief Scientist Alan Finkel headlines the $330 per head event at the National Gallery of Australia next month.

Tehan announces research infrastructure

Education Minister Dan Tehan has announced $10m under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme for six projects.

The Astronomy Australia collaboration (14 unis plus CSIRO) has $2m for a gravitational wave data centre. The geoscientists of AuScope have $5m for the Sensitive High-Resolution Ion Microprobe (SHRIMP to insiders), at ANU.

The University of Adelaide receives $1m for a plant phenomics facility. ANU also has two grants, $700 000 for a heavy ion accelerator and $900 000 for medical research in phenomics. The University of Queensland receives $400 000 for infrastructure for the terrestrial ecosystem research network.

ANU was quick to welcome the commitments on its campus, plus the other grants, with acting DVC Michael Cardew-Hall saying the funding, “will help advance Australia’s research interests, and ensure Australia remains at the forefront of research capability.” Universities Australia was always pleased, albeit briefly, tweeting, that it was “great” to see Mr Tehan’s announcement.


Making the most of Vic uni entry offers

First round undergraduate offers via the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre were out yesterday, with all institutions commenting very pleased indeed.

The University of Melbourne was “thrilled that four of our courses – arts, science, commerce and biomedicine – are ranked in the top five most popular courses in Victoria!” What’s more, enthused UniMelbourne, science, commerce, biomedicine and design all had applications from people with 99.9 ATARs, “or higher”!

La Trobe U focused on specific courses with high “lowest offered” ATARs and was pleased that 94 of its courses increased the minimum accepted score.

In contrast, Deakin U did not mention ATARs at all. But it did point to the university’s first in Australia rankings for exercise and nutrition science on the Academic Ranking of World Universities. “Accordingly, our Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science continues to be among the most popular with our prospective students this year.”

Victoria U did not mention ATARs either, stating that offers were up 3 per cent, “clear evidence that VU’s remarkable transformation, particularly through the block model method of teaching and learning, is attracting more students than ever before.”

Neither did Swinburne U, which reported offers for its suite of professional degrees (they include a work placement) are up 100. Swinburne added that it rated 3rd in state for student satisfaction on the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching.

Many moves at UniAdelaide

Noel Lindsay is the new dean of the University of Adelaide Business School but will continue in his PVC Entrepreneurship role. He replaces Christopher Findlay who acted as dean after Mark Gabbott left in late 2017. Professor Findlay was also executive dean of the faculty of professions until he left the university in November. He was replaced then by John Williams, the former dean of law who became PVC research operations and dean of graduate studies, before moving to exec dean of professions, where he is now.  Everybody clear on that?

Well read VET

The VET community says it focuses on courses that generate jobs, confirmed by the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research’s report of its top five viewed publications for 2018. The top read was on future jobs by industry/occupation, number two was on the impact of the fourth industrial revolution for VET and five was a skills analysis of internet job postings (CMM thought this one had especial potential.)

However the present state of training intruded with the second and third best-read-both of which looked at student outcomes and numbers.


Victor Pantano will join the Digital Health CRC as CEO next month. He leaves the University of Canberra where he is associate VP, innovation and strategy.

Lisa Harvey-Smith joins UNSW as professor of practise in science communication. The university will also host her role as the Commonwealth’s women in STEM ambassador.

Dolt of the day

Is CMM. Clare McLaughlin is indeed moving to the National Health and Medical Research Council (yesterday’s issue), but she is replacing Tony Kingdon, not Tony Willis, However Mr Willis has left the NHMRC, for the Australian Research Council.