Credit where it (may not be entirely) due

Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s moves Uni Wollongong from negative to stable

The university responds that this “vindicates UW’s approach to addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

But perhaps not all of previous management’s approach . Uni Wollongong poneyed up $169m to terminate a student accommodation partnership which went bad when occupancy fell below agreed income.

What’s next for researchers? CMM asks experts with ideas

People get research can help everybody – the pandemic proved that

But popularity does not set priorities and researchers face new challenges of policies and purpose. Join opinion shapers at CMM-Twig Marketing’s on-line conference next week, “What’s next for the people who can save the world.”  Details HERE.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

James Guthrie on the financial state of NSW public universities, what their reports reveal and don’t, HERE.

plus, Angela Carbone and Kerryn Butler-Henderson (both RMIT) warn that “despite decades of effort, there remain significant barriers to women achieving leadership in higher education teaching and learning.” The pandemic, they suggest, has not helped. This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s for her celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching, HERE .

with Angel Calderon (RMIT) (critically) reviews two big-name rankings, U-Multirank and Nature Index, HERE .

joined by Marnie Hughes-Warrington (Uni SA) on a partnership approach to research creation, and translation, HERE.

and Verity Firth on the Carnegie Commission on community service standards expanding in Australia, HERE.  Scroll down for more,

And in Expert Opinion

Dawn Gilmore and Chin Nguyen extend their suggestions for what can work in on-line learning partnerships. They make their original case for CMM, HERE.

Need to know

As of Friday the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources became the Department of Industry, Science and Resources

Which may not mean much, until you need to find the Australian Institute of Marine Science, which moves from DISR as was to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Carnegie Commission’s community service standards expand in Aus  

Verity Firth (UTS) argues it’s a big chance to make up for a missed opportunity

From Friday Australian universities will be able to apply for accreditation from the Carnegie Commission for its Community Engagement Classification. Professor Firth explains how this has happened and what’s next in Features this morning.

The US scheme allows accredited institutions “to demonstrate their commitment to the communities they serve and to share good practices in the sector.”

The launch meets a need, Professor Firth suggests, that the previous government missed.

“Although universities lobbied hard for the definition of ‘industry’ to include ‘community’ as part of the previous government’s National Priorities Industry Linkage Fund, the focus of the funding remains narrow, primarily concerned with industry partnerships and work integrated learning.”

“University engagement should be, and is, much broader than commercialisation.”

She adds that the new government’s proposed universities accord will be “a perfect opportunity to renew the commitment to universities as public purpose institutions.

“The launch of the Carnegie Classification is therefore perfectly timed, offering a national, data-driven overview of the public benefit of the higher education sector in relation to community engagement.”

Uni Tas offers inflation-focused pay rise

VC Rufus Black announces a 4.6 per cent increase this month, plus there’s one-off $1000 payment for people earning under $80 000 a year

“Part of paying people fairly is recognising that we are in an inflationary environment and cost of living pressures are affecting everyone,” Professor Black told staff late Friday.

He adds the university is acting in-line with the Fair Work Commission, which has increased pay under awards.

The announcement comes outside enterprise agreement negotiations now underway. There is no word on how this administrative pay-rise will shape management’s offer for the two subsequent years covered by the agreement however Friday’s announcement is in-line with the National Tertiary Education Union’s April demand for a bigger pay rise. The union originally called for 12 per cent over three years, but has increased this to 15 per cent.

This is a bold move by Professor Black.

By appealing directly to staff he may hope to erode the union’s authority in negotiations. The NTEU responded to the news late Friday that “announcing new claims without talking to the union shows disrespect for bargaining.” Management need to listen when we say key employment conditions need improving. Reducing workloads, making jobs secure, genuinely consulting and protecting academic freedom are core issues for our members, NTEU Tasmanian State Secretary Ruth Barton says.

The vice chancellor might also hope to take some of the heat out of the forthcoming Legislative Council inquiry into pretty much everything at the university – if campus is content-ish he will be better positioned to respond  to community criticism of the relocation of much of the university from Sandy Bay to the city – on which he cannot be for turning.

Professor Black’s decision also establishes a precedent for the union at other universities. This will be bad news for VCs hoping to stick to pre-inflation pay offers. If U Tas can find the money for an inflation-acknowledging pay rise VCs of institutions running surpluses in the ten and hundreds of millions may struggle to cry poor with straight faces .


Researching … the future

What’s next for the people who can save the world? 20 experts (plus CMM) seven Zoom sessions from CMM next week. “Experts, such as?“ you ask.  Such as, for starters, Chennupati Jagadish (Academy of Science pres), Caroline McMillen (SA chief scientist) Margaret Sheil (QUT VC) – check out all the others HERE .

Federal Court decides: staffer not contractor

JMC Academy (“Australia’s leading private college in the Creative Industries”) said lecturer Nichollas Harrison was a contractor, the Federal Court says no  

The Commissioner of Taxation and JMC were in court over whether it should pay super contributions for him.

In the Federal Court last week Justice Wigney found Mr Harrison was an employee.  “The totality of the legal rights and obligations provided for in the contracts reveal that Mr Harrison was engaged or retained to work in JMC’s business of providing accredited higher education programmes to its students. The rights and obligations were such that it could be fairly said that Mr Harrison’s work under the contracts was so subordinate to JMC’s business that it could be seen to have been performed as an employee of that business, rather than as part of an independent business or enterprise.”

The National Tertiary Education Union has a case against JMC Academy pending.

More WA money for med research 

State government’s like funding medical research – voters like it and the Commonwealth pays for most of the infrastructure

The WA Government announces $8m for 17 new health and medical initiatives.  The Telethon Kids Institute has five and UWA has four, Curtin and Murdoch U have one each, with the balance going to corporates.

It follows last week’s announcement of same amount fellowships for four researchers who were near misses for National Health and Medical Research Funding grants (CMM June 23).

The NSW and Victorian governments have both made sizeable recent med research investments (CMM June 14, 20).

Appointments, achievement

Former Commonwealth chief scientist Ian Chubb heads an independent review of the national carbon credit scheme.

 Bronwyn Fredericks (PVC Indigenous Education, Uni Queensland) wins the 2022 National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee award for education.

 The Statistical Society of Australia celebrates its Diamond Jubilee with four $5000 fellowships for EMC researchers, Clara Grazian (Uni Sydney) Alysha De Livera (RMIT, Luca Maestrini (ANU) and Nicole De La Mata (Uni Sydney)

Uni SA reports Peter Stevens moves from MBA director to director of the new Enterprise Hub.Ruchi Sinha becomes interim MB director.

 Jo White (science director at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens) is new chair of the NSW Smart Sensing Network. She replaces foundation chair Susan Pond.