“When” is sooner at UNE

University of New England announces contractors to create its Tamworth Central Campus

Tenders were called last August (CMM August 19) and architects (Architectus), project management (Touchstone Partners) and site inspection (Lockart Architects) were announced yesterday.

The project, on the site of a disused velodrome appears unavoidable for UNE. Local MP Barnaby Joyce has said it is not a matter of “whether” it is built but “when and we want the ‘when’ to be as soon as possible,” (CMM May 25 2021) and former VC Brigid Heywood warned if UNE did not do it another university would (CMM April 21 2021).

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Cameron Neylon (Curtin U) and James Wilsdon (Imperial College London) argue the rankings tail wag the research strategy dog and point to better ways to assess achievement, HERE.

And in Expert Opinion, with Tim Winkler, this morning they explain why Australia has to join the international debate on new ways to rate research, HERE

plus Open ed experts are talking about how to embrace AI for student and staff productivity. Michael Sankey reports the results from the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and eLearning, HERE

with Jaymee Beveridge and Kylie Austin (Uni Wollongong on how their university reimagined graduations by connecting them to Indigenous history. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection for her series Needed now in learning and teaching, HERE

Recruitment future for career metrics: what for-profit publisher has in mind

Journal giant Elsevier is working on an interactive dashboard, “that has the potential to transform academic recruitment.” QUT VC Margaret Sheil was interested in it as an “academic exercise”  

The project is “designed to avoid gender bias in recruitment by expanding the definition of researcher success.” The basis is for researcher profiles, with 30 indicators in five areas, including “innovative” and “multi-dimensional.”.

As such it is intended to expand career records and reduce the selection-influence of factors such as publication-count and H-index, which favour male academics, who generally do not take family-required career-breaks.

According to Elsevier, the result could be a graphical CV for academics using data, “from a variety of sources” which individuals can annotate.

The company’s intent appears to be for participating academics’ profiles to be housed with Elsevier’s International Centre for the Study of Research which would respond to employers seeking staff.

“For researchers, benefits include a more transparent and equitable recruitment process.” Elsevier states.

The company add it “might be possible” to create a dashboard using its SciVal product, “or even select a researcher who fits a vacancy’s requirements and then ask the dashboard to find lookalikes.”

SciVal “allows you to visualise your research performance, benchmark relative to peers, develop strategic partnerships, identify and analyse new, emerging research trends, and create uniquely tailored reports.”

To which research metrics expert James Wilsdon (University College, London) replies, “essentially this is a form of predictive analytics based on the usual data, now washed with a gloss of benefiting disadvantaged groups. …  But how on earth do they reliably measure ‘innovation’ …? ”

Elsevier’s announcement reports QUT VC Margaret Sheil’s interest in the project. Professor Sheil is presently chairing the Commonwealth’s review of the Australian Research Council, terms of reference for which include, “the measurement of the impact and excellence of Australian research and advise on contemporary best practice for modernising and leveraging these measure.”

However Professor Sheil tells CMM, “this was an academic exercise done by the (Elsevier) team arising from my long standing interest in the issue of metrics and gender bias. … . We have not done any work on this since well before the ARC Review started and the Review will not address details of metrics and methodology in any way in any case.”

What ChatGPT can do now

The previous GPT could write papers for you – the new one can do some teaching

OpenAI announced ChatGPT-4  yesterday which includes new capacities which only sound innocuous, like alternatives to the “fixed verbosity, tone, and style” of the “classic ChatGPT personality”.

One is a “socratic style.” “You *never* give the student the answer, but always try to ask just the right question to help them learn to think for themselves,” is the brief.

The example it uses is how Chat teaches solving a linear equation.

Life just got harder for law schools

First up there’s Harvey (“unprecedented legal AI”), that does work lawyers are taught to do, creating contracts, due diligence and so on (CMM February 20). And now OpenAI announces GPT-4, passes a “simulated bar exam” in the top 10 per cent. GPT-3.5 also passed, but in the bottom top per cent.

Reckon that mark five will be writing High Court appeals?

New home for student voice  advocates

Student Voice Australasia (“embed a culture of authentic, meaningful and inclusive student engagement in institutional decision-making”) exits Uni Adelaide

SVA moving to Uni Southern Queensland.  And it’s Australasia because Victoria U of Wellington has joined the 27 Australian members.

Appointments, achievements

Per Davidsson (QUT) receives the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research, (it’s from Swedish research agencies).

Former Vic Labor Health Minister Jill Hennessy becomes a board member of the Hudson Institute (of medical research).

Megan Munsie (Uni Melbourne) is elected to the board of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

Andrew Stewart starts at CQU as Dean of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences. He moved from Victoria U.