Wide of the mark

“Some wonderful news to sweeten the Grand Final weekend. Monash U has ranked 48th in the US News Best Global Universities ranking for 20121.” Provost Marc Parlange, via Twitter yesterday. Because nothing says football than a not especially well-regarded US ranking.

No word on who will succeed Spence

Hard though it will be, time is getting tight to replace Uni Sydney’s VC

Michael Spence announced his resignation in February saying he would be out in December (CMM February 20). He will have to be, he starts at UCL (University College London as was) in January. But while Dr Spence gave the university a bunch of time to hire a successor, eight months on there is not dickey-bird on who that will be. “The search for our new VC is ongoing and we hope to have an update this year,” a university representative tells CMM.

With Dr Spence approaching his exit the university is looking light-on for leadership. Provost Barbara Messerle left last month and has not been replaced, the VC is acting. (CMM August 20).

No shows

A learned reader at U Tasmania points out Hobart had a day off yesterday – for the Royal Show – which isn’t happening. It’s also a holiday at universities in Victoria today, for a grand finale that isn’t being played there.

UNSW Global upping on-line learning

There’s a deal on content for international students

Ian Jacobs (UNSW VC) was righter than he could have imagined last year when he said, “there is a mismatch between where the need and demand for higher education is globally, and where the expertise resides, (CMM June 18 2019).

The latter is now wherever academics work from home and the former anywhere on the other side of Anzac Parade in Kensington to , say Kerala.

UNSW has been working on expanding on-line for a while. MOOCs are offered in India, via private provider Amity U. And now there is word that UNSW Global is expanding its work with Sydney based private provider OpenLearning Limited.

In May OLL started providing on-line UNSWG’s university-English language programme. And yesterday OLL  requested a share trading halt pending an announcement on a licensing agreement with UNSWG “to design and deliver a new on-line education programme for international students.”


Still standing, getting moving

Big ideas at ReMaking HE

Join Brian Schmidt (VC ANU) Ashley Farley (Gates Foundation) and Lucy Montgomery (Curtin U OA expert) as they talk about the future for research funding and where open access fits in. Another session at Remaking HE: ideas for the post (or perhaps continuing) pandemic university. Dates and details for the on-line conference, here.

Way of the day to improve ERA

The Australian Research Council is reviewing its two research metric schemes, Excellence for Research in Australia and Engagement & Impact

In their submission to the review accounting academics James Guthrie (Macquarie U) and Ann Sardesai CQU express firm views on ERA, including.

it’s a wasteful exercise: 76 000 “top scientists and scholars” graded 506 000 research outputs submitted to ERA 2018

differences in data: there is a dichotomy between ratings in fields measured by citation (high ratings grow) and peer review (they don’t)

antithetical to innovation: “Innovative work – the research that breaks moulds, shifts paradigms and redefines fields – may not even make it into the ERA because universities tailor their submissions to what they think ERA panels want, and ERA panels reflect disciplinary hierarchies”

enough already: “with universities losing the student fees and cross-subsidies to research, it is time to cut this costly exercise in data collection,” they advise the ARC.

Get the word out

The ARC plans to release submissions to the research metrics review after it is out, which seems a bit late for a debate. So, CMM will report and/or link to, as many submissions as it can – send them in people.

MOOCs of the morning and why we need more

Clare Collins and Uni Newcastle colleagues Tracy Burrows, Rebecca Haslam and Lee Ashton are cooking up a new MOOC

It’s Nutrition communication for health professionals: key concepts via edX, and is about conveying evidence-based “brief nutrition messages” to patients. Diseases specified are type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complaints.  Starts February

The team’s Nutrition comms … applying skills (also edX) follows in March.

Collins and Burrows also created MOOCS, Food for kids and the multi-run Science of weight loss.

The potential for MOOCs as a low-cost format for health and community-service messages has always impressed CMM (the U Tas Wicking Centre’s dementia MOOCs for example) – and he wonders why the feds do not fund researchers and teachers to create them. Health and Human Services could fund a bunch of MOOCs on specific issues for way less than packaged media messages that suggest change behaviour but don’t explain how to do it.

Appointments, achievements

Of the day

 John Hattie receives the inaugural Uni Melbourne Marles Medal in HASS. The medal “recognises excellence in research impact.” Professor Hattie is based in the university’s Graduate School of Education.

 Mary-Anne Williams takes up the Michael Crouch chair in innovation at UNSW. She moves from UTS where she is director of the innovation lab.

Griffith U announces VC awards for professional staff

Client partnership:  Catherine Turner (Law School), Nadine Painter (Australian Rivers Institute)

Enhancing teaching: Kamaljeet Kaur Assan (Education and Professional Studies)

Innovation: Giuseppe Poli, Kara Roffey, Stephanie Beland, Bec L’Estrange, Damien Brinin, Jessica Bravo, Tegan Valentine, Shrinik Pattan, Claire Sinsua, Lyn Koo, Tim Lane, Tony Neaton, Susan Schwabb, Katrina Moore, Mark Wright (Virtual Telehealth Implementation Team)

Equity, diversity, inclusion: Susanne Osborne (office of PVC Indigenous)

Community engagement: Holly Ruhle, Erin Copeland (Sports Events Team)

Student experience: Deanna Yourrell, Lucas McBurney, Michelle Wano and Luke Austin (Digital Solutions)

Leadership: David Camp (Environment and Science)

Enhancing research: Michael Batzloff (Institute for Glycomics)

Of the week

 Elizabeth Bardwell joins Swinburne U as comms director. She moves from comms consultancy Allegro.

James Brown becomes CEO of the Space Industry Association. Mr Brown is a former army officer who, works at “nexus of public policy, national security, academia, and industry.” He says he is, “passionate about leadership and public service and enjoy working with teams to solve complex problems with multiple stakeholders.”

Romola Bucks is incoming director of the Raine Study (formerly known as the WA Pregnancy Cohort Study). She moves from deputy dean of UWA’s science faculty.

Alisa Glukhova (Walter and Elia Hall) and Si Ming Man (ANU) win CSL Centenary Fellowships. Dr Glukhova researches cell communications to treat cancer.  Professor Man works on disease-fighting proteins. They each have $1.25m over five years.

Carol Grech (UniSA) becomes a life member of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses.

 The International Education Association of Australia announces new board appointments; Janelle Chapman (TAFE Queensland) – president. Simon Ridings (Edith Cowan U) – VP. Mike Ferguson (Uni Canberra) – board member.  Sarah Todd (Griffith U) – board member. Ren Yi (Uni Southern Queensland) – board member.

Shirin Malekpour (Monash U) is appointed to the drafting panel for the UN 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report.

Kate Power is inaugural artist in residence at Flinders U’s Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts, (“trans-disciplinary creative work”).

The 2020 Ramaciotti Medal for Biomedical Research goes to Andrew Roberts and John Seymour for their work on a drug for lymphocytic leukaemia. Both work at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Uni Melbourne. Roberts also researches at Walter and Eliza Hall.

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s 2020 medallists are here.

Karen Sutherland (Uni Sunshine Coast) is social media educator of the year in 2020 Social Media Marketing Awards. She was runner-up last year.

Erica Tong (Alfred Health and Monash U) receives the Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award for 2020.

The UK Academy of Social Sciences announces new fellows including ANZ based; Claire Annesley (UNSW), Anthony Elliott (Uni SA), Rob White (Uni Tas).

Grace Yee (Creative Fellow, State Library of Victoria) win the University of Melbourne’s Peter Steele poetry award.