A marathon not a sprint

Even though the Brisbane Olympics aren’t on to 2032 demand for “senior sport industry executives” will ramp up, according to a Deakin U pitch for its masters of sports business.

Never too early to start training for the sellathon.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

James Guthrie (Macquarie U) sets out the seven gaps between university managements’ rhetoric on the state of finances and the very different realities.

plus, Robert Vanderburg and Michael Cowling (both CQU) on what to expect if there are no lectures, this week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.  (In CMM tomorrow, Michael Sankey (Charles Darwin U) and Chris Campbell (Griffith U) respond.)

and Merlin Crossley, makes the case for science comms and the good that comes from getting the word out

Andrew Parfitt named VC of UTS

He’s been acting since Attila Brungs left, preparatory to taking over at UNSW 

Professor Parfitt joined UTS from Uni Newcastle, where he was DVC A at the end of 2016, taking over as provost from Peter Booth the following February.

Parfitt’s credentials put the tech in UTS – he has led IT and engineering at Uni SA, been CEO of the Satellite Systems CRC and GM for space programmes at CSIRO.

He is also an administrator game to have a go in challenging times, as UTS now financially faces. In Uni Newcastle 2014 enterprise bargaining he floated linking salary rises to the Commonwealth Higher Education Grant index. It did not happen but it made management’s point about resources, (CMM April 7 2014).

Hard bargaining ahead at Macquarie U

Cuts set a context for tough talks

Macquarie U members of the National Tertiary Education Union met Monday to sign-off on bargaining claims for the new enterprise agreement and protest the professional staff restructure just announced. There are also academics still smarting from recent redundancy rounds.

Which may not make for the best of negotiating moods when bargaining begins in the new year.

While one of the NTEU’s claims is that there be but one restructure per agreement there are people at MU touched by two in two years. The union also wants modelling of workplace change in advance and reviews after implementation.

In the last bargaining round, MU management and NTEU used the Fair Work Commission’s “new approaches” model – which starts with parties setting out issues and searching for solutions rather than beginning with demands and then escalating arguments (CMM October 24 2018).

Hard to see the NTEU buying that again given the mood among members.

Peak body sets med research priorities

The seven Medical Research Future Fund strategies through to 2026 (CMM yesterday) are ready and now the two-year priorities are proposed

Both are set by the MRFF-supervising Australian Medical Research Advisory Board and are an indication of what the great and the good want done and how, including,

* research infrastructure and capability: “emphasis should be placed on building capacity and capability, including through collaboration and partnerships with industry. This includes better integration with NCRIS (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) on infrastructure support.”

* translation and commercialisation: “support for translation of research into improved healthcare, new healthcare technologies, treatments and models of care. This includes supporting transitions through the ‘valleys of death’ and de-risking projects to support commercial viability and implementation”

* health and medical researcher capacity and capability: “a focus on priority areas including clinical researchers and early to mid-career researchers, and building research translation, innovation and commercialisation skills”

* data, digital health and AI: “support research that leverages and enhances data platforms, linkage, data storage and analytics; applied artificial intelligence, end-user digital utility; and the development of novel decision tools”.

Uni Sydney shares the wealth

VC Mark Scott announces a $2000 “COVID recognition payment”

The money will go to continuing and fixed-term staff. Plus, casuals who worked a minimum of three pay periods in second semester will receive the full $2000.

““It has been an extraordinary time, and this extraordinary measure is our way of saying thank you to our much-valued community,” Professor Scott said yesterday.

The VC alluded to the COVID-caused staff pain as the university anticipated revenue downturns last year and this, including a spending freeze and voluntary redundancies. And he warned that while the financial future is “hard to predict,” “what is clear for now is that our academic and professional staff have made an enormous contribution to our success.”

And successful Uni Sydney was given the toughness of the times, as revealed by federal government figures last month.

While 2020 revenues were down $95m (3.5 per cent) on 2019, the university still recorded a $106m positive net operating result on revenues of $2.644bn.

Ask the experts on VET course creation says Claire Field


Government involving industry in qualification design is good but excluding training providers isn’t

The COVID-19 pandemic was a long way off when Steven Joyce provided the Australian government with his reform recommendations for the VET sector.

The government has recently committed to new industry advisory arrangements for VET which adopt some, but not all, of Joyce’s recommendations.

It is commendable that the government has recognised the problems with the current arrangements. The worry is that, based on the available details, training providers will yet again be excluded from the design and development of qualifications.

It was 29 years ago when governments first committed to reforms for an industry-driven VET system. The problems since then (and on-going reforms to fix them) have not been due to any lack of will to give industry prominence in the sector. It has been that in doing so we have confined educators to being an afterthought.

In that approach, we are out-of-step with other leading VET systems (think Germany, the UK, New Zealand and elsewhere) where industry representatives and educators jointly develop qualifications.

In Australia, we understand that knowing how to build a house or design telecommunications infrastructure are specialist skills. We ignore the fact that it is educators and not industry who know how to design programmes to teach these skills.

If the new Industry Cluster reforms are to work they must include a clear role for educators, particularly given the changes the VET sector and many industries have gone through as a result of COVID.

Further, as Jenny Dodd from TAFE Directors Australia recently pointed out, with the world of work rapidly digitising – TAFEs need greater flexibility within training packages to tailor training to local needs, and they need a new VET funding agreement which gets the balance right between national and local skills development priorities.

As the sector waits for governments to implement the new Industry Clusters and settle the new National Skills Agreement – the question is what the new arrangements will mean for TAFEs and other providers.

 Claire Field spoke with Jenny Dodd, interim CEO of TAFE Directors Australia on the latest episode of the free ‘What now? What next?’ podcast. Listen in your favourite podcast app or online

Local hero: Victoria U hires a former cabinet minister  

Wade Noonan to join as DVC External Relations

Mr Noonan is a former state Labor minister for police and industry in the first term of the Andrews Government. He gave up the safe Melbourne seat of Williamstown, not contesting the 2018 election.

Mr Noonan is embedded in Victoria U’s heartland, recently serving as executive director of the West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance.

His roles after leaving parliament include associate director, Social Enterprise and Investment at RMIT. So, politics tougher than Spring St will not be a surprise.


Regional tech partnerships

Uni Newcastle partners with KPMG to create 100 graduate roles over five years. The consultant will establish a national “technology hub” in Newcastle.

Charles Sturt U announces a partnership with IBM, which will establish a client support centre in Bathurst NSW, the location of CSU’s HQ campus. The partnership includes IBM work placements and scholarships.

Appointments, achievements

The Council of Australian Law Deans selects Ian Malkin (Uni Melbourne) for its outstanding career achievement award.

 Chris Fleming becomes Griffith U Business School research dean. He replaces Andrew O’Neil, now acting dean of the university’s Graduate Research School.

 Richard Hu (Uni Canberra) wins the ACT award for planning excellence for tech and digital innovation from the Planning Institute of Australia.

The Legal Education Associate Deans Network announces the Australian Legal Education Awards. * Teaching: Kerstin Braun and Noeleen McNamara (Uni Southern Queensland) * Early career teaching: Aidan Ricciardo (UWA) * Sessional teaching: Alexander Chan (Uni Adelaide) * Teaching engagement: Linda Steele (UTS) * Research supervision: Paul Babie (Uni Adelaide),

International education researcher Ly Tran (Deakin U) receives a Melbourne Asia Game Changer Award from Asia Society Australia.

The Associations Forum inducts Troy Willams (Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia) into its Hall of Fame.