Set to forget

ANU’s cyber security squad briefed staff yesterday on signing up for the long awaited no-password ID

You need a smart phone or tablet to sign-up, which involves a bit of cyber palaver, but, a learned reader rhetorises, “the now regularly required change of passwords doesn’t?”

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) celebrates the election process and outcome. “When the whole world is investing in knowledge in science, developing understanding via the humanities and social sciences, how on earth did our past government appear to think the biggest issues at Australian universities are free speech and foreign interference, not teaching and research?”

with Samantha Hall reports a survey of PhD students on the space they need to thrive.

and James Guthrie (Macquarie U) has a detailed look at the University of Sydney’s annual report and what management wants to do with the bucket of money it reveals.

plus Jane Habner and Pablo Munguia on how Flinders U introduced an on-line enabling programme last year – which worked! This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

as well as Conor King (Tertiary Education Analysis) on changing HECs for some students isn’t easy .

Three research challenges for Jason Clare

There are two policy decisions to make and a loyalty test to pass

There are the usual impossible expectations on new education minister Jason Clare that he will make all well in higher education – but there are wins available in research.

win one

One is to reject the idea of more closely connecting research block grants to research commercialisation. A departmental discussion paper commissioned by the previous government proposes this but the research community generally thinks it is a bad idea (CMM yesterday).

Universities Australia pretty much speaks for the system,

“Australia needs to maintain a balance across the types of research undertaken and the disciplines supported. Without the fundamental insights and discoveries of basic research, there is no new knowledge to translate or commercialise. This fundamental, or ‘blue-sky’, research does not always fit easily into accepted short-term incentive frameworks, yet history repeatedly demonstrates the central role of basic, curiosity-driven research in driving prosperity and progress.”

Whatever Mr Clare and his colleague in Industry and Science, Ed Husic decide to do about unlegislated elements of the previous government’s research commercialisation programme, announcing no change to the allocation of research block grants will be popular

win two

Previous (acting) HE minister Stuart Robert established an Australian Research Council advisory committee which included industry reps and researchers from discipline groups – except the humanities, which its lobbies considered a deliberate act of “disregard.” Mr Clare adding a humanities scholar to the committee would have endless upside at virtually no cost.

and then there is the one that would endear Mr Clare to many, many researchers He could instruct the Australian Research Council to fund the six Discovery Grants it recommended last year but Acting Education Minister Stuart Robert rejected on Christmas Eve. All were HASS projects and the then minister’s claim they were, “not value for the Australian people” had more than a hint of culture-waring about it. The research community also wants an end to ministerial vetos of projects recommended by the ARC. For many in the research community this will be a loyalty test for the new minister.

Clayton train is coming

Construction started yesterday on the Melbourne underground rail station at Monash U’s HQ campus

Back in January the university’s submission to an environmental impact study included a long list of problems with the project (CMM January 25) but a rail link connecting the now car dependent Clayton campus to just about all of Melbourne can’t be all bad.


Uni Sydney asks now to receive later

It has questions for alumni and friends

Learned readers report receiving an eight page “alumni and supporter census” in the mail (as in Australia Post) from the university.

It starts with instructions on how to complete and continues in a tone that suggests to some recipients there is more in this for the university than them.

As well as basics on age, location and graduation there are questions about being a business owner/ board director, household income, community engagement and attitude to philanthropy.  Of which Uni Sydney knows a bit about – the “Inspired” campaign cracked $1bn in 2019 (CMM January 30 2019).


Appointments, achievements

of the day

Freya Campbell is ED comms at UNSW. She rejoins the university after a year at the NSW Department of Education

Women in STEMM Australia (the extra m is for medicine) announces three new board members, Hannah Brown (Victorian Heart Institute), Natalie Chapman (research commercialisation consultants, gemaker) and Sara Goldsworthy (Canva).

Tyson Yunkaporta (Deakin U, senior lecturer Indigenous Knowledges) wins the University of Notre Dame (the US one) Nasr Book Prize. It is for “scholars who reimagine the connection of religion and global affairs.

of the week

Behnam Akhavan joins Uni Newcastle to establish a plasma bio-engineering lab.

 Juliet Brown joins Uni Adelaide’s Council. She has been an external member of its risk committee since 2018. Ms Brown replaces Kathryn Presser who retires from the council.

 Tom Burton moves from PVC Global Engagement at Charles Sturt U to its ED Engagement and Enterprise

 Henry Cutler (Macquarie U) wins the inaugural fellowship from the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research.

Glyn Davis (former VC Uni Melbourne and Griffith U) is appointed permanent head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, effective Monday. He moves from the Paul Ramsay Foundation, (“break cycles of disadvantage in Australia by investing in partnerships”).

Deakin U announces ten Alfred Deakin Professors, its highest academic honour, * Catherine Bennett (Epidemiology) * Felice Jacka (Health) * Rachel Huxley (Health) * Liz Johnson (DVC A) * Emma Kowal (Arts and Education) * Sarah McNaughton (Exercise and Nutrition) * Kon Mouzakis (Artificial Intel Inst)* Alex Newman (Management) * Anna Peeters (Health Transformation) * Andrea Witcomb (Arts and Education)

Jane Edwards becomes dean of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education at Uni New England. She was appointed interim dean last year.

Darren Goodsir joins Uni Sydney as chief of staff to VC Mark Scott. His substantive predecessor was Kirsten Andrews who moved up to VP External Relations. Mr Goodsir worked with Professor Scott at the NSW Department of Education and a ways back at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Dame Jane Harding and her neo-natal glucose studies team at Uni Auckland wins the Prime Minister’s Science Prize

Michelle Lam joins MTPConnect (the medtech and pharma growth centres) in Melbourne, to be medtech clinical trials and commercialisation manager.

Sally McArthur becomes director of Deakin U’s Institute for Frontier Materials. She joins from Swinburne U.

Gaven Morris (ex ABC News director) becomes an industry professor at Western Sydney U.

Anne Orford (Uni Melbourne) and Rain Liivoja (correct) (Uni Queensland) are DFAT’s visiting fellows for 2022-23.

Sathana Dushyanthen (Uni Melbourne) and David Kok (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Uni Melbourne) win a gold medal at the 2022 Telly Awards (“TV and video across all screens”) for Dr Kok’s video-lecture on stereotactic radiotherapy (for cancer).