CMM goes the Snagglepuss

This is the last issue for the year (unless we get bored). Back, if the fates allow, January 18. Thanks for reading and “exit stage left!”

All pedagogy is local

Uni Queensland’s new plan “clearly aligns (its) future with the Queensland Government objectives for the community… The Queensland Commitment reaffirms our position as the University for Queensland, and includes a pledge to provide greater opportunities for all Queenslanders to access a UQ education.”

Scroll down for details

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Frank Larkins and Ian Marshman (Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education)  estimate public uni income streams and how institutions would cope with a decline in international student fees this year. (Looking good ANU).

with Denise Jackson (Edith Cowan U) and Bonnie Amelia Dean (Uni Wollongong) on what the Graduate Outcomes Survey reveals about the ways (that’s plural) work integrated learning can deliver.  It  follows Jackson and Anna Rowe (UNSW) on WIL outcomes for graduate-level jobs.  They are both selections by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

Plibersek piles on the pressure over grant announcements

Labor’s education shadow asks if the government is so keen on industry-linked research why is long-awaited funding not announced

“We have got researchers trying to work out whether they have got a job in January,” Ms Plibersek told ABC Melbourne Radio yesterday.

“This is something completely within the government’s control, they announce when these grants have been successful or not and they are delaying. This is the latest these grants have been announced in 30 years,” she said.

Ms Plibersek joined the chorus of complaint which commenced when now stood-down education minister Alan Tudge did not decide in November on Australian Research Council recommendations for Discovery and Linkage grants plus Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities funding in November.

But that appears to be because he did not get the paperwork. A Senate-required report from the Australian Research Council on grant recommendations sent to the minister for November made no mention of these programmes.

Whatever the reason, the absence of an announcement on grants, notably the industry-partnered Linkage programme, is not a good look for the government, what with a research translation announcement anticipated.

As Ms Plibersek put it. “These grants include industry linkage grants, which are exactly where you get that collaboration between universities and business. … Why would any business do business with this government when they can’t say whether there’s going to be money in January for research projects that are supposed to start next year?”

So, when will researchers and industry get the word on funding?

Last night acting education minister Stuart Robert’s office advised,applications for the Discovery Projects and Linkage Projects are to be assessed, applicants will be advised of the outcomes and an announcement will be make in due course.”

“To be assessed” does not read like a synonym for soon.

Uni Queensland’s ten-year commitment

The 2022-25 strategic plan sets out specific achievements for 2032, including

Learning and Students

* top in Queensland for graduate employment outcomes three years after completion

* top five in Australia for UG “sense of belonging”

* doubled PG coursework commencements and 10,000 completions pa

Research and Innovation

* number one “in the national research excellence, impact and engagement assessments”

* top 50 in the Aggregate Ranking of Top Universities (CMM thinks this is the new-ish UNSW-created measure)

* minimum 10 per cent share of national funding of priority-driven research

* in global top 5 per cent for commercialising IP

Enriching communities

* 30 per cent of domestic UGs from low socio-economic or regional/remote background

*  proportion of domestic students identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander will reflects representation of people identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in Queensland

Global profile

* 10 per cent of international students from each of the top five source countries

* 15 per cent of UQ’s international students studying offshore


* women hold 50 per cent of senior positions

* proportion of staff identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander will reflects representation of people identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in Queensland


* 10 per cent annual EBITDA

* annual revenue exceeds expenditure


The Office of the Chief Scientist requires a correction.  CMM yesterday reported “research funders” were at Dr Foley’s “super forum” of science agencies. Her office states that “publicly funded research agencies,” were represented.

But not, it appears agencies that fund public research.

Union to Charles Sturt U staff: “knock-back cash”

Management wants to delay enterprise bargaining by a year – nothing doing responds the NTEU

VC Renée Leon wants 12 more months under the existing industrial agreement to sort out a new strategy. She promises a pay rise (which CMM suspects probably would be paid if there was a new deal) and $1000 for staff members if a majority of those of them voting for an extension (they have to sign-off) approve the arrangement (CMM yesterday).

But the university branch of the National Tertiary Education Union says better to begin bargaining without delay.

“We’re very worried about the risk of job cuts and higher workloads in 2022, particularly if bargaining is delayed. Management have not guaranteed there will be no more change proposals or job cuts. The sooner we bargain, the sooner we will have stronger protections from retrenchment and overwork” NTEU local president Helen Masterman-Smith tells staff.

As for the $1000, “a one-off payment won’t address any work problems you are enduring; bargaining now is your best chance to get life-changing improvements.”

CSU people have a week to think it through, the vote on extending the agreement is next Thursday-Friday

Even if a majority of the turn-out votes no, continuing, fixed term and qualifying casual staff will not be entirely quidless. The university has already announced a separate and unconditional $1000 bonus for a year of hard work in tough times.

 Appointments, achievements

Of the day

At UWA Romola Bucks will act as PVC Health and Medical Research, starting January and for an expected six months.

 La Trobe U’s 2021 education awards include * Early Career Educator: Kate Mai (Accounting) *Sessionals: Rhys Ryan (Law) Abby Srivastava (Business) * Teaching: Haider Al Abadi (Engineering), Fernanda Nava Buenfil (Public Health), Dell Horey (Epidemiology), Bandita Mainali (Engineering), Joanne Marcucci (Public Health),  Scott Ruddock (Rehabilitation Counselling) Tom Samiric (Physiology), Colleen Thomas (Physiology), Debbi Weaver (Education Services), * Education impact: Robert Ross (Engineering). “Cultural qualities” awards go to, * Care: Science, Health, Engineering Placement Team and Van Hoang (Health, safety consultant). * Connected: Hannah Arnold (“Advising and success”) * Innovative: Connie Koklanis (Orthoptics) * Accountable: Justin Manzano (Contracts and grants)

Uni Melbourne located AsiaLink announces Martine Letts is its new CEO. Ms Letts moves from Committee for Melbourne.

The medical research institute formally known as Walter and Eliza Hall Institute announces joint winners of its 2021 Burnet Prize. Najoua Lalaoui (cell death) and Shalin Naik (“clonal fate of dendritic cells”).

Of the week

Stephen Brady becomes (interim) MD of TAFE NSW. He moves from COO of the NSW government’s Department of Customer Service.

Adam Bridgeman becomes interim DVC E at Uni Sydney, during recruiting to replace Pip Pattison who retires this month. Professor Bridgeman’s substantive position is PVC Education Innovation. His role will be covered by Danny Liu, as Academic Director (EI).

Uni Queensland deputy provost Tim Dunne is off to the University of Surrey – as of April he will be its provost and senior VP.

The Engagement Australia awards, were in CMM Monday, here.

Flinders U announces its (too numerous to mention) staff awards here.

Geoff Gourley (Impact Investment Fund) becomes chair of Swinburne U’s Innovation Precinct Advisory Board.

Andrew Gunstone (Swinburne U) becomes board co-chair of Reconciliation Victoria.

La Trobe U announces its research award winners, in CMM Thursday.

Gayle Milnes will become the National Data Commissioner when necessary legislation passes federal parliament. Ms Milnes is a senior federal bureaucrat. The commissioner regulates access to national government data.

National Party minister for regions Bridget McKenzie announces former Nats federal minister Fiona Nash is regional education commissioner. Ms Nash now advises Charles Sturt U on regional engagement and government relations.

Susan Robertson will become head of Monash U’s School of Education, Culture and Society. She will arrive from Uni Cambridge in June

Louise Ryan wins Macquarie U’s Moyal Medal for stats research. Professor Ryan is chief investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Maths and Statistical Frontiers.

Lee Smith will move from Uni Newcastle (PVC Engineering, Science) to become Griffith U’s DVC R, in April

Garry Stewart (Flinders U) is honoured for lifetime achievement at the SA Government’s Ruby Awards, (for “arts and culture”).

Uni Sydney has two wins at the Public Relations Institute of Australia awards. There’s a gold for a regional comms campaign about studying medicine. The media and PR unit in the medicine faculty also won gold in the in-house team category.

Uni Sydney announces its 2022 Research Accelerator Fellows, here. Mathai Varghese (Uni Adelaide) is awarded the George Szekeres Medal by the Australian Mathematical Society.

Newish Victoria U VC Adam Shoemaker must be close to having his team in place. From next month Peter Radoll will be DVC People and Organisation at Victoria U. He moves from PVC Indigenous at Uni Canberra.  Andrew Hill also joins in January, moving from La Trobe U to become DVC Research and Impact.

Women in STEMM Australia announces two co-chairs, Madhu Bhaskaran (RMIT) and Sarah Chapman, a teacher in Cairns.