Celebrating whatever it is

Saturday week is Dark Matter Day and the Australia Research Centre of Excellence in Dark Matter Particle Physics invites us to an event at its Stawell facility. Actually finding DM would really make it an event.

More time until Turnitin decision

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is interested in plagiarism detector Turnitin’s proposal t takeover over way-smaller (at least in Australia) competitor Ouriginal Group (CMM July 7).

“Barriers to entry appear to be high in this market, with strong network effects and economies of scale being enjoyed by Turnitin. What we are focussing on here, is whether Turnitin is buying out its most promising competitive threat to protect its market position,” ACC commissioner Stephen Ridgway said in September (CMM September 13)..

The proposal has attracted not much public comment from HE providers but teaching and learning observers who are concerned now have a while to wait to learn what the ACCC will do.

The Commission originally expected to announce its findings on November 18 but now states it is waiting information from Turinitin and will announce a decision date “in due course.”

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the rhetoric of conflict in university life. There are better ways to deal with people and set goals.

Plus Les Kirkup (UTS) makes the case for the lecture. It’s this week’s addition to Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed Now in teaching and learning.

And Jane O‘Dwyer on 30 years of CRCs – products plus the bedrock of the national innovation system.

But when?

I want to assure international students and the communities that rely on them, that I am fighting each and every day to make sure that you can return to study in Australia as soon as possible,” Gladys Liu (Lib-Victoria) in the Reps yesterday.

Uni Sydney proposes more teaching, less research for some staff

Management wants to reduce the numbers of academics embedded in the 40:40:20 teaching, research, service, workload model

VC Mark Scott signalled change was wanted, soon after starting, telling the university community, that while the workload model would stay for most academics, “some flexibility is valuable,” (CMM August 10).

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union does not agree, including “no erosion” of the arrangement in its enterprise bargaining log of claims. The union also wants the existing cap on teaching only roles that can be externally advertised to stay at 120.

However, while the university reiterates that while the formula will stay for most, “we believe that fostering the talents of academic staff who excel at teaching is crucial for the future of our university and that research and teaching excellence must be valued and rewarded equally.”

When there are no words

TEQSA has a new guide to help detect contract cheating when text analysis can’t

The regulator announces the snappily titled, “Substantiating contract cheating for symbol-dense, logical responses in any discipline, particularly mathematics. ” It sets out 16 labour intensive ways to find evidence of cheating in student work.

Uni Queensland announces payroll review

Management has commissioned an external examination of processes, “including for casual staff”

It follows the introduction of human resource system Workday over the last 12 months and a “casual academic work and pay review” by a staff group including Deputy Provost Tim Dunne. Its initial report, which will be provided to staff, is expected before year end.

A National Tertiary Education Union report by Victoria Bladen and colleagues has separately cited dozens of examples of classes and activities, with times and date and academic units, where people believe they were underpaid, (CMM September 22).

The university advises the introduction of Workday and the external review, “reflect UQ’s ongoing commitment to invest in platforms to ensure UQ staff continue to be paid fairly and consistently.”

The review will complete in 2022.

CQU wants out of English language teaching and testing at Rockie

The university advises staff it proposes closing the English Language Centre and the International English Language Test centre in HQ Rockhampton

“This proposal is being made in light of the serious financial situation the University is facing and is in no way a reflection of the hard work and commitment of the Rockhampton Centre and staff, or the value that ELICOS and IELTS brings to our students and test candidates,”  Workplace Relations told the local university community yesterday.

The proposal involves one redundancy and the early end of a senior staff contract.


Appointments and achievements

Of the day

Gary Brook moves from TEQSA to GM Student Experience for the career and industry division of Navitas.

Nicole Clark is appointed QUT librarian, she has acted since January, stepping up from associate director.

At Monash U Christina Mitchell (dean, Medicine, Nursing, Health Sciences) is reappointed a Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor. Jamie Cooper (Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre) and Aibing Yu (PVC Monash Suzhou) join the SJM professoriate.

Emma Redding is incoming director of Uni Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts. Professor Redding joins from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in the UK.

Of the week

Uni Sydney appoints Jennifer Barrett to the new role of PVC Indigenous (Academic).

Quin Chang (RMIT) is the new chair of Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia

Universities Australia announces Peter Chesworth will become Deputy CEO next month. He succeeds Anne-Marie Lansdown. Mr Chesworth moves from FAS for ministerial executive coordination and communication in the Department of Defence.

At Deakin U the MOOC team wins the 2021 VC’s award for teaching excellenceChie AdachiBlake Borcich, Jo ElliottNicholas EnglishBianca FrostLeigh GlanvillDaniel GlassLisa HanlonAnthony Neylan and Travis Zimmer.

Marcia Devlin (ex DVC Victoria U) is the inaugural CEO of the Victorian government’s Academy of Teaching and Leadership.

Jane Gunn is appointed dean of the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. She has been interim dean since February.  

The Heart Foundation announces 14 2021 Future Leadership Fellowships, Anna Calkin (Baker HDI), Rachel Climie (U Tas), Ryan Courtney (UNSW), Michael Falster (UNSW), Kylie Hesketh (Deakin U), Li Jiawen (Uni Adelaide), Lining Ju (Uni Sydney), Monique Kilkenny (Monash U), Yugeesh Lankadeva (Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health), Francine Marques (Monash U), Ziad Nehme (Monash U), Dion Stub (Monash U), Steven Wise (Uni Sydney), Rebecca Wyse (Uni Newcastle),

Susie Siew Yuen Ho (Monash U) is a foundation member of the advisory board for the new Victorian Skills Authority.

Jane den Hollander joins the board of “leading global education provider Navitas. Professor den Hollander is the nominee director for major shareholder Australian Super. After retiring as VC of Deakin U in 2019 she was interim VC of UWA last year and is now acting at Murdoch U.

Sam Jacob becomes DVC Student Engagement-Success and Voced at dual sector Charles Darwin U. Ms Jacob was previously PVC for student engagement.

Michael Kiernan will act as ED of Charles Sturt U’s Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Studies at Charles Sturt U, following Tracey Green’s departure next month. Jenny Kent will cover AsPro Kiernan’s deputy dean role.

Saeid Nahavandi (Deakin U) is Engineers Australia’s professional engineer of the year award for Victoria.

Business leader and football champion (Richmond FC chair) Peggy O’Neal will become chancellor of RMIT in January.  She succeeds Ziggy Switkowski who will step down as chancellor at the end of the month. Deputy Chancellor Janet Latchford will act.

The Snow Family biomedical fellows are announced. $8m each goes to Melanie Eckersley Maslin (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre), Marina Pajic (Garvan institute of Medical Research) and Shom Goel (Uni Melbourne and Peter MacCallum)

State Library of NSW announces the 2022 Fellows * Shuxia Chen (Uni Sydney) * Alexandra Dellios (ANU) * Molly Duggins (National Art School) * Johanna Ellersdorfer (Uni Sydney) * Damian Gleeson * Sarah Kirby (Uni Melbourne) * Sean Scalmer (Uni Melbourne) * Paolo Stracchi (Uni Sydney)

Uni Melbourne’s Universitas 21 fellowships for this year go to Elisa Bone (academic staff) and Mark Gregory (professional staff).