Just add Anne

Charles Sturt makes the Big Idea finals – again

It’s a marketing comms competition run annually by the International Advertising Association. Students are briefed by a real-world client and pitch a strategy – in CSU’s case, quite a few strategies – it’s had a student team (sometimes two) in the final for 12 straight years.

So, what’s the miracle ingredient? Advertising lecturer Anne Llewellynn, might know, she has worked with CSU student teams for all 12 years.

This year’s client is ANZ and the brief is a financial product for young people.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Indigenous Research could be an unfair-fail in the next ERA. Bradley Smith (James Cook U) explains what the Australian Research Council could do.

Mollie Dollinger (La Trobe U) makes the case for student partnerships, at a same distance. It’s Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection for her series on what’s needed now in teaching and learning.

Garry Carnegie and Lee Parker (RMIT) respond to Merlin Crossley on performance metrics and the way universities use them.

David Kellermann (UNSW) on creating a serious solution for on-line lecturing. Curated content from Microsoft.

ReMaking Higher Education

The CMM-Twig Marketing on-line conference starts Monday

And what a strong start it will be. Join Ashley Farley (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) Lucy Montgomery (Curtin U) and Brian Schmidt (ANU) for a discussion on research – who controls it, who decides what is worked on.  Details on all the panels all the week here.

Please explain: intel inquiry calls for submissions

Just in time for Christmas – deadline is December 18

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has terms of reference for the inquiry announced in September (CMM September 1).

The TOR are largely in-line with issues raised by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in an August 31 letter to committee chair Andrew Hastie (Lib-WA). They ensure the committee can investigate just about every possibility of foreign involvement in teaching, research, funding and campus life.

And there will be direct questions for institutions, agencies and lobbies with the committee considering; “the sector’s awareness of foreign interference, undisclosed foreign influence, data theft and espionage, and its capacity to identify and respond to these threats.”

This is a big deal indeed, the committee is powerful and respected, members are not given to expressions of outrage, as occasionally occurs in other parliamentary inquiries. Whatever the committee concludes will be considered seriously by government and the security community.

Submissions to the inquiry are due December 18, presumably with hearings in the new year. Mr Dutton suggests that, “the committee should, as far as possible conduct its inquiry in public.”

More oversight

This is not the week’s only news of extra oversight the HE and research community will face. The proposed federal integrity commission will cover universities and research agencies that are funded by the Commonwealth (CMM yesterday).

No harm in asking

There is no faulting for optimism NSW petitioners who call on the state government, “to ensure that no job is lost from a public university in NSW”

It won’t happen but at least they will get a response. The petition has 7300 signatures and was presented to the Legislative Assembly by shadow tertiary education minister Clayton Barr.

Shame it fell short of 20 000 signatories – that would have led to it being debated in parliament (CMM August 14).

TEQSA investigating Charles Sturt U

The regulator states it “is considering a range of recent concerns and media reporting in regard to Charles Sturt University” 

While the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency is silent on the causes and content of its considerations the confirmation follows vocal criticism of the university by Regional Education Minister Andrew Gee (Nats-NSW), whose electorate includes two CSU campus towns.

Last week TEQSA Chief Commissioner Nicholas Saunders told Senator Faruqi (Greens-NSW) in a committee hearing that, “the minister recently referred matters regarding the financial status of Charles Sturt University to TEQSA. We have had a preliminary consideration of that matter.” (Professor Saunders did not specify the minister he referred to).

For months Mr Gee has called on CSU management to release an independent report on its finances. “There is enormous concern about CSU and its future, the future of certain of its campuses and also the future of hundreds of jobs. … TEQSA’s work will provide the Australian Government and the community with confidence,” Minister Gee told Jac Underwood on local radio 2BS.

Mr Gee said he is now waiting on the outcome of TEQSA’s work, next year. The regulator tells CMM it “is at the preliminary stages of its assessment.”

It’s been a tough year for the CSU community, with the unexplained departure of former VC Andrew Vann (CMM June 19) and a job-shedding (CMM June19), course-cutting savings plan (CMM June 17).

TEQSA also had a critical look at CSU last year, when it renewed its registration for four years, rather than the usual seven – although this appears to do with governance issues, including oversight of a private provider (CMM May 6 2019).


Distance does not lend enchantement

Uni Tas is scaling back local delivery of some foreign language teaching

Next year all French and upper-level German and Chinese students will be taught Macquarie U units on-line. In-person conversation classes continue. Other language programmes will be taught by Uni Tas at Uni Tas, COVID-19 permitting. Local language classes went on-line in March.


Appointments, achievements

Deena Amorelli steps up at UNSW to become head of HR. She replaces David Ward.

 Robert Carver joins Australian Catholic U as director of the new Ramsay Programme in Western Civilisation. Professor Carver move from the University of Durham in the UK.

Kathy Laster (Victoria U) is chair of the Victorian Government’s interpreting and translating service.