University of Sydney announces art school’s future

U Tas warning: building the new navy will take more than trades

“more professional naval architects is paramount for the success of the naval shipbuilding plan” says Aus Maritime College leader

 Deal done at Deakin: staff overwhelmingly approve new agreement

 With big IR issues on the agenda UoQ to lose workplace director Jane Banney

 They don’t make ads but they know what they like: union applauds Uni Notre Dame advertising

The short and the long of it

Last week chair of the Cooperative Research Centre selection committee Philip Clark suggested round 19 bid teams keep their applications short. Trouble is the new stage one application now allows twice the words of last year’s.  “There is a law of nature that applicants feel the need to fill all available space,” a CRC observer suggests.

Delighted at Deakin

Deakin University staff have endorsed the proposed enterprise agreement, with a 95 per cent yes vote. “I am invigorated again by your overwhelming support and will use all that I have to offer to ensure our continued success,” Vice Chancellor Jane den Hollander told staff yesterday.

This is also a big win the National Tertiary Education Union. While 2 per cent per annum pay rises through to 2o2o are modest (at least by NTEU standards) the agreement does not have the stripped-down statements of working conditions the Higher Education Industrial Association wants. As the first agreement of this round, one adopted without outrage, it is likely others on the same lines will quickly follow. Both union and AHEIA will now step up efforts in Western Australia, where university managements are arguing hard for simplified statements of workplace rights.

High price of old ideas

To celebrate 60 years of the Australian Journal of Education the Australian Council of Educational Research is pointing to the founding issue – which you can easily read if your library subscribes. If not publisher Sage is charging  $30, that’s for each article. Who says education research is undervalued.

Crucial negotiator to negotiate no more

The University of Queensland is losing its well-regarded HR director Jane Banney who has decided not to stay for a new contract. The news comes as enterprise bargaining is getting to the serious stage. Restructures are also underway in Finance and HR with 80 jobs to go and large numbers of staff having existing roles abolished and invited to apply for lower paid replacement positions (CMM March 23). Despite all this, people at UoQ will miss Ms Banney, who is well-regarded by people on both sides of negotiating tables.

The university is already recruiting to replace marketing director Graham Bethune, who left in April ( CMM April 13).

MacMillan DVC at RMIT

Mark MacMillan is RMIT’s inaugural DVC indigenous education and engagement.  The former human rights lawyer is tasked with “supporting the university’s aspirations to achieve reconciliation between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people.”

UniSydney rates with Economist

The University of Sydney is all but alone in enthusing about The Economist’s new master of management ranking, perhaps because it is the only ANZAC uni on it, ranking 35th of 40 worldwide and third in the Asia-Pacific, behind Tsinghua University in Beijing (12th) and Sun-Yat Sen University in Guangzhou (38th). UniSyd is also a member of the CEMS multi-school consortium, which ranks ninth. Sydney will host the CEMS annual events and graduation ceremony in November.

Notre Dame sells on its strengths

The WA branch of the NTEU has slammed the state’s public universities for spending $20m on crook marketing communications. But there’s more to the debate than the comrades’ critique; as the union point out Notre Dame Australia sells on what it delivers

The union’s assessment of the public university’s brand creative is as scathing as it is succinct;

Curtin emblazons doors with the cringe worthy, ‘it’s more than these doors which will open for you’, and ‘Awesome Awaits’. Murdoch appears to have dropped its ‘think Murdoch’ slogan in favour of, well, er, nothing, and the University of Western Australia persists with its grammatically flawed ‘Pursue Impossible’ and the meaningless ‘Create the Future.’ Meanwhile ECU invites someone, anyone (we’re not sure who really) to ‘ ‘Get Ready’ ‘with one of the world’s best young universities’.

“In contrast, says the union, NDA promotes student-focused specifics. “Notre Dame elegantly displays its rankings for such things as quality of educational experience, student support and graduate employment.”

CMM hears a major Australian university is about to launch a new brand-campaign, it will be interesting whether it sells on student-centred benefits like Notre Dame or relies on slogans that can mean whatever managements want them to like, well most universities.

Sidoti leaves Whitlam Centre

Eric Sidoti is retiring as CEO of the Whitlam Institute at the University of Western Sydney. “Always true to our guiding principles and mission, he has built the Whitlam Institute into the leading prime ministerial centre in Australia, chair John Faulkner said yesterday. Mr Sidoti’s work and character are widely admired at WSU, with veterans saying he will be missed.

Sydney SLAM for art college

A new chapter in the Sydney College of the Arts saga opened last night, with the University of Sydney announcing, again, that the college will be moved from its old harbour-side park-like pleasantness to the main campus. It is an unpopular decision with many staff as well as students, who generated a mass of media with their occupation of the old premises last year. SCA dean Colin Rhodes also resigned during the controversy which dragged on for months (CMM October 6 2016).

Yesterday UniSyd was spinning what it has as best it could. As of July 1 SCA will fold into the School of Literature Art and Media (known as SLAM). This is part of a plan, “to build on SCA’s reputation as an internationally renowned art school, and enable focus on the core business of teaching, learning and research.”

According to the university, the new arrangement means opportunities for interdisciplinary research and teaching. What’s more SCA, will not be bothered by “the financial overheads associated with faculty status,” which may mean it may keep its old budget independent of SLAM, or may not. But whatever happens, the university is sure, “our plan will support this goal in a way that preserves SCA’s distinctive qualities.”

Good-oh, but CMM wonders whether all the grief was worth it and whether the university should have stuck with its original plan for the college to join the University of New South Wales art school. (CMM July 29 2016).

 Skills mix on the slips

There is more to shipbuilding, than cutting steel, the Australian Maritime College explains, as the government looks for organisations to run its naval construction school.

With the government looking for proposals to run the Adelaide outfit, supposed to start teaching trade skills next year, Jonathan Binns from the University of Tasmania’s maritime college says, “more than half of the personnel hours that go into the production of a ship are needed to design the ship and facilitate the production.

“The need for more professional naval architects is therefore paramount for the success of the Naval Shipbuilding Plan and will secure the life-long careers for a great many graduate naval architects.”

AsPro Binns also leads the ARC Research Training Centre for Naval Design and Manufacturing, which includes industry and educators, including Flinders U.  Flinders is also a member of the South Australian Defence Industry Education and Skills Consortium, which is thinking about bidding to run the training school.

Big ideas  

The Australasian Association of Philosophers has announced the short-list for this year’s Annette Bair Prize, for a paper or book chapter by a woman working as a philosopher in an ANZ university. Candidates are Miriam Bankovsky (LaTrobe U), Tracy Llanera (Macquarie U), Talia Morag (Deakin U), Dalia Nassar (University of Sydney), Anik Waldow (University of Sydney).

Learning leadership transformed at Swinburne

Swinburne U’s former PVC Learning Engagements Mike Keppell left last week. Staff got the news in a management statement which referred to his “huge effort” to build “a team of capable experts across the learning transformation unit … well-positioned to help take the university through the next exciting period of its learning and teaching journey.” PVC Education and Quality Chris Pilgrim now leads learning transformation which “builds on the strong foundation laid by Professor Keppell.”  Professor Pilgrim is recruiting for a director level position to lead a learning transformation unit.

Robertson takes the lead

After years of appearing to do not much TAFE Directors Australia is back in the policy and public affairs game under new CEO Craig Robertson. Yesterday he was in the Sydney media explaining what students caught up in the latest college collapses could do and how TAFEs could help some of them. Quality performance.

TDA is also stepping up to assist students who are victims of one of the latest private college crunches, with Career Australia going into receivership. TDA also manages CA’s tuition assurance scheme which can give VET FEE HELP students the opportunity to complete a course at another provider.

In contrast, Rod Camm from the Australian Council of Private Education and Training was not his normally irrepressible self yesterday.

“My grandmother used to tell me that when things are tough all you can do is tell the truth and finish one thing at a time. I am sure you are out there thinking that Rod has finally lost it! My point is, despite everything, despite the poor behaviour and mistakes of some providers, does the sector really deserve what has transpired? The slashing of support for job pathways, limited access to loans, a lack of discretion and respect in many dealings and a cut back in funding that is unprecedented,” he told ACPET members.

Mr Camm has a point, just not one that anybody in politics will pay any attention to for quite a while.

Humanities endowment to end

The US National Endowment for the Humanities has submitted what will be its last-ever budget ask, if Donald Trump gets his way and the agency closes. The NEH wants $42m for 2018 to wind everything down.

As a federal government agency, the NEH is obliged to act on the president’s budget but the agency still uses most of its  appropriation request to Congress to explain what a great job it has done. The agency will spend $120m on grants this year.

Could it happen here? Hacks who write stories about HASS grants that do not have “cure for cancer” and “economic growth” in their titles hope not – they make for easy outrage. In any case, with the Australian Research Council handing less than 10 per cent of funding to humanities, they are too small a target.