No news on new CSU VC

Five months after applications closed there is no word on an appointment

Back in June Charles Sturt U Chancellor Michele Allan advised staff that VC Andrew Vann was about to go on sabbatical and leave (CMM June 19). His job had already been advertised with applications closing at month’s end (CMM June 16).

So how are things going? CMM yesterday asked the university when will staff will know who is the new boss. To which a university representative replied; “The vice chancellor recruitment process is continuing and an announcement will be made once it has concluded.” Perhaps the application pile is taking a while to read.


There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the benefits of learning rather than googling.

James Cauchy (IDP Education) warns we need a national plan to safely welcome back international students – they already changing study plans for 2021 and 2022.

Madelaine-Marie Judd (Uni Queensland) and colleagues on staff-student partnerships. This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift in her series on what is needed now in teaching and learning,

Macquarie U management warns: “further reductions in staff costs needed”

The university proposes reducing costs by $25m, through a professional services transformation, “it is inevitable that further reductions in staff costs are needed” 

The PST is intended to create: * a more service-oriented model and service focussed culture, * standardised processes and work structures and * a “sustainable financial model to allow investment in the academic mission.”

In a briefing for staff management specifies a $25m saving next year in professional staff costs – on top of the proposed cost reductions already outlined for IT, Finance, Learning and Teaching.

The plan is for three support organisations; * shared services, providing “outward-facing” services for staff and students and a high-volume operations centre * portfolio centres undertaking “specialist work for the whole university” and * professional services supporting research, learning and teaching at faculty/school level.

If the proposal is adopted plans for operating areas will roll-out in four cycles for completion by end ’21.  Responses to the prop are due December 11.

International students want in-person teaching. They will go where they can get it

International students “are growing restless as they face a drawn-out waiting game caused by ANZ closed borders,” an IDP Connect survey finds

In contrast, there is “increasingly positive sentiment” toward the US and UK for staying open to internationals.

The student recruitment research agency surveyed 5000 international students, current applicants and offer holders studying, or looking to, in Australia, Canada, NZ, the UK and US.

The survey reveals a willingness to wait – 90 per cent of survey responders accept the need to quarantine on arrival in their study destination and 43 per cent are willing to start studies on-line. However, patience is limited with 44 per cent wanting to move to face-to-face classes in three months.

Some 56 per cent of responders are willing to switch countries to access face-to-face teaching “earlier.”

In Features this morning James Cauchy warns there is no time to waste to bring international students back

MOOC of the morning

Macquarie U School of Education teams with IBM

Anne Forbes and Markus Powling present a new MOOC on AI for school teachers (via Coursera). “This course is designed by teachers, for teachers, and will bridge the gap between commonly held beliefs about AI, and what it really is. AI can be embedded into all areas of the school curriculum and this course will show you how.” It’s billed as offered by Macquarie U and IBM and started yesterday.

Uni Newcastle restructure savings

The switch to a college structure means the loss of 12.9 FTE positions 

In August management announced it would move from five faculties to three colleges and yesterday it set out resulting savings in a proposal sent to staff.

They aren’t enormous – $2.4m recurrent. They will come in part from a reduction of 12.9 FTE professional staff positions, with no reduction in fixed-term and on-going academic roles. The university made no mention of casually employed staff. Other elements of the savings are “streamlining” academic management and changes to funding models.

Vice Chancellor Alex Zelinsky says the university’s “focus has been building strong teams: not “seeking to drastically reduce staff numbers.”

Not much comfort for people fearing their jobs could go.

Appointments and achievements

Of the day

 Jane O’Dwyer leaves ANU to become CEO of the Cooperative Research Centres Association. She replaces the long-serving Tony Peacock.

Uni Sydney VC Michael Spence receives the Asia-Pacific Leadership Award for 2019 from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The external relations, fund raising focused council cites Dr Spence for achievements in teaching and research organisation and in particular the university’s corporate fund-raising campaign which reached $1bn in 2019, an Australian first.

Of the week

 The Australian Council of Graduate Research announces new executive committee members for 2021. Imelda Whelehan (UWA) is Convenor Elect next year and Convenor in ‘22.  She is joined by Anne-Marie Hede (Victoria U), Simon Moss (Charles Darwin U) and Stephan Riek (Uni Sunshine Coast).

The Australian Information Security Association announces its 2020 awards. * Cyber security educator: Box Hill TAFE * Student of the year: Emily Pendlebury (La Trobe U) * Researcher of the year: Matthew Warren (RMIT) * STEM promotion of the year: Charles Sturt U’s “Girls in cyber security advancing” (sic)

Atmospheric scientist Greg Ayers is new chair of the ANU-located National Computational Infrastructure Advisory Board, replacing Michael Barber.

Lyn Griffiths (QUT) wins the outstanding achievement award for 2020 from the Australian MedTech Industry.  Professor Griffiths is ED of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation.

 The NSW chapter of the Australian Association for Environmental Education chooses Lesley Hughes (Macquarie U) as the state’s tertiary educator of the year.

The Hunter Medical Research Institute announces its 2020 awards. Research excellence, Nick Talley. Mid-career researcher, Tracy Burrows. Early career, Andrew Gardner. All from Uni Newcastle.

Kelvin Kong (Uni Newcastle) wins the Menzies School of Health Research’s Medallion, “for his leadership in Aboriginal health service delivery, advocacy and research.”

Peter Leggat (James Cook U) is “formally recognised” as the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s Distinguished International Fellow.

Helen Lochhead is UNSW’s new PVC Precincts, which are where the university wants to co-locate university, industry and government organisations. Precincts include Randwick health and education (adjacent to UNSW Kensington), Canberra City and the Western Sydney Aerotropolis. Professor Lochhead moves from dean, built environment.

Simon Lucey is appointed co-director of the Australian Institute of Machine Learning at Uni Adelaide. He moves from major AI research centre, Carnegie Mellon U. Prior to Pittsburgh he was at CSIRO.

Tim Marchant is the incoming director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. He moves from Research Dean at Uni Wollongong.  Asha Rao (RMIT) was appointed interim director in August following Tim Brown’s announcing he would stand down (CMM August 21)

Enrico Palermo (COO Virgin Galactic) will become head of the Australian Space Agency next month. He will replace Megan Clark who moves to chair the agency’s advisory board.