Be prepared

TAFE NSW suggests having an Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management), which will be handy if there is a tsunami. Not to mention a giant asteroid crashing into Sydney.

Union plans to keep Facebook friends

There are cases of conniptions among big content providers who base their readership strategies on people accessing stories via Facebook feeds. There is also alarm among organisations that use Facebook to reach a mass audience. Both are upset as the social media behemoth prepares to reduce what it calls “public content”, at least stories and videos that providers don’t pay for.

To get a sense of responses so far search, “mullet, stunned” but the ever-vigilant National Tertiary Education Union is on to it. The Victorian branch has instructions on how to keep receiving communiques from the comrades, via, yes, Facebook.

Business deans appoint journal rankers

The Australian Business Deans Council has (finally) announced the reviewers charged with the third assessment of its journal quality list, created in 2007. They are Monash emeritus professor Kim Langfield-Smith and Essex University Business School dean Geoffrey Wood, who holds honorary positions at Monash and Griffith.

Learned readers who know Professor Langfield-Smith say she is a great pick, pointing to the way she created a journal ranking at Monash. “There were people who disliked the concept but no one could question her efficiency or transparency,” one says.

The ABCD advises she and Professor Wood will “recommend a revised methodology for determining rankings that will seek to create a regular and consistent application of the existing ‘relative standing’ component of the 2007-2016 process.” The ranking is “mainly” based on “citation metrics and other reputable journal quality lists, including recognised disciplinary lists.”

Langfield-Smith and Wood will report to the Business Academic Research Directors Network, which will recommend a response to the council. However, there is no public timeline for the process and ABDC says submissions to the review are not open. Business researchers will be keen to submit when they can, some are anxious to argue against an emphasis on high-status international journals in the new list, lest local researchers writing on local issues and publishing locally suffer, (CMM August 28).

That’s the one

John Grundy is moving to Monash from Deakin University where he is a professor of software engineering and leads the Australian Research Council’s Industrial Transformation Research hub for “digital living,” (CMM June 5 2017). At Monash, Professor Grundy will be the IT faculty’s senior deputy dean and professor of software engineering. It took a while for Monash to get all its information out, yesterday morning’s announcement had career details for a bloke only referred to as John. CMM found his full name via Twitter and link, around 3pm.

UNSW takes the lion’s share of Linkage Grants

The University of New South Wales has won nearly half of the first round of Australian Research Council Linkage Grants for the year. With nine awards UNSW has triple of the awards of the University of Sydney which is in second place with three.

Winners include:

Mark Browne (UNSW): redesign of marine plastic pollutants

Graham Goodwin (Uni Newcastle): sugar production and electricity co-generation.

Benjamin Eggleton (UniSydney): microwave photonic processor technology for use in radar, electronic warfare and mobile comms.

Christopher Johnson (UTas): deer damaging the environment.

Klaus Neumann (Deakin U): library collections of Australian multicultural history.

Changzhi Wu (Curtin U): road network operations.

Enterprise deal ready to be done at UoQ

An enterprise agreement at the University of Queensland could be just one bargaining meeting away (CMM yesterday) but it seems management and union might both have to bend a bit to get a deal done. Campus observers confirm there are two issues which matter to the National Tertiary Education Union. One is management’s push for simplified discipline proceedings – the union wants to keep a full appeal committee system and says such is still in place elsewhere.  As for the proposal to extend the university’s span of opening hours, to 7am-7pm, the union is said to be very aware that rank and file professional staff are bruised by restructures and are feeling put upon. Word is neither of these is a cover for more money, with the union and management in the same arena on pay. Still, St Lucia locals suggest it is hard to see the union holding out on the hours issue, which will not effect that many members.

Sad fate awaits

The estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research reports that 83.2 per cent of the 1.5 Australians aged 15-19 in 2016 were in education or training. Which is good. What isn’t is that a quarter of a million people were not studying, anything, at any level. As a way of setting them up for a lifetime of low-pay and unemployment this is hard to beat.

La Trobe U hires senior code safe keeper

Jill Slay is the inaugural La Trobe U Optus professor of cyber security. Professor Slay will move from the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at UNSW Canberra to build a teaching and research resource at LTU, including a “virtual facility” for research into practical security applications. She will continue as the Australian Computer Society’s director of cyber resilience.

The LTU investment follows last month’s announcement of a joint Flinders U and Cisco cyber security course. A multi-state TAFE partnership committed to industry-linked cyber security diplomas and certificates was announced in December and last September an Edith Cowan led consortium won seven years of funding for a Cyber Security CRC.

Forgotten but not gone

TAFE Directors Australia warns that 100 000 students, displaced by the VET FEE HELP disaster, have not received support. “Our experience in helping students has shown that the majority started their training course aspiring to change jobs and build their career; they were not simply chasing a fee iPad,” TDA states.

Its budget submission TDA calls on the government “to support displaced students … who through no fault of their own, are not covered legislatively for tuition assistance but still have a debt but no results.”

CMM does not like TDA’s chances but the victims of a spectacular public policy failure should not be forgotten.

Dolt of the day

Is CMM. In yesterday’s issue the University of Canterbury VC Rod Carr was named Rod Jones. But how, you ask did this happen. Stupidity, CMM replies.