TOMORROW’S NEWS TODAY!
To suit the workings of national office, we will endeavour to produce “Tertiary Update” on Thursdays from today on.
LEGAL CHALLENGE TO MASSEY’S DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
The Association of University Staff (AUS) has issued proceedings to challenge the internal academic decision-making
processes followed by Massey University in its ‘repositioning’ exercise.
AUS Executive Director, Rob Crozier, said the Association believed that the mandated procedures at Massey University had
not been followed.
Earlier this week Massey University released University Council decisions relating to the controversial 'repositioning'
and cost-cutting project to AUS representatives. The University has agreed not to implement any decisions with staffing
implications until the AUS legal challenge is heard in the High Court, probably in mid-September.
Also in Tertiary Update this week:
1. Massey Council Rejects Staff Voice
2. Sad Day for Massey
3. Victoria (Very) Short List of VC Candidates
4. Auckland University Establishes First Research Institute
5. Otago Roll Drop Less Than Expected
MASSEY COUNCIL REJECTS STAFF VOICE
Massey staff were disappointed that discussions regarding the ‘repositioning’ proposals were held in secret last Friday
at a University Council meeting, with a number of staff refusing to leave when the meeting went into a closed session.
AUS Branch President, Associate Professor Tony Lewis said the only changes Council made to the draft proposals were in
the Humanities and Social Sciences College on the Albany campus.
Recommendations relating to the College structure and reduction of staff at Albany have been referred back to the
Vice-Chancellor for reconsideration. “This was a change that AUS endorsed and we are pleased with this result.”
Professor Lewis said that staff must become proactive around appointments to “these crucial decision-making bodies such
as Academic Board and, particularly, University Council”. He pointed out that many Council members were appointed by the
previous government, and their decisions were based on principles now out of step with current government policies.
“Our immediate focus is now to prepare for the case before the High Court and to turn to the industrial campaign
currently in progress over stalled contract negotiations.”
SAD DAY FOR MASSEY
Manawatu’s Evening Standard, in an editorial this week, said it will be a sad day for the cherished values of academia
if the fate of Massey University staff is finally decided in court, but there was an air of inevitability about the
direction in which things were headed.
The paper said the best that can be hoped for now is that everyone has their day in court sooner, rather than later, so
that people can then get on with their lives.
“The harm that has already been done to the university in the worldwide community of scholars, and in the minds of those
thinking about studying at Massey, is probably inestimable.
“As the university's council heard, what is proposed is the biggest mass lay-off of academic staff ever planned in this
country - surely history no-one wants to make.”
VICTORIA (VERY) SHORT LIST OF VC CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED
The two short-listed candidates for the position of Vice-Chancellor will be on campus on Monday 14 August to talk to
staff and meet with various groups.
The two candidates, Professor Neil Quigley, Dean of Victoria’s Commerce and Administration Faculty, and Professor Stuart
McCutcheon, currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Massey University, both appear to offer a top-down entrepreneurial
approach to the modern university.
AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY ESTABLISHES FIRST RESEARCH INSTITUTE
The University of Auckland is establishing its first major research institute — the Liggins Institute.
Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hood said the Institute would bring together three leading research teams to perform medical
research of the highest possible international standing, relevant to disorders in perinatology, growth and development.
It will also have the vital role of transferring knowledge to the clinical arena.
The Institute is named after Sir Graham Liggins, an Emeritus Professor of The University of Auckland, New Zealand’s most
respected biomedical scientist. His discovery of the factors controlling the birth process, and development of
preventative treatment of lung disease in premature newborns had a major impact on obstetrics and neonatology in the
late 1960s and early 1970s.
OTAGO ROLL DROP LESS THAN EXPECTED
University of Otago’s roll this year is likely to be better than expected, with a drop of less than 1% on last year, the
Dr Graeme Fogelberg said the latest estimate was 45 EFTS better than even the revised budget prediction.
Enrolment figures early this year had university officials fearing a 4% total roll drop. Since then they have undertaken
a marketing campaign to attract more first-year students, as that was the area of the largest decrease.
Health sciences had managed to increase its numbers and humanities had had the largest fall, but it was hoped the new
communications courses in film and media studies would help the humanities roll.
Dr Fogelberg said the university was ‘tracking well’ with its budget and was likely to meet its revised target operating
surplus of about $8 million.
This week the council approved 23 courses for the university's trial summer school.
MELBOURNE STAFF TO STRIKE
National Tertiary Education Union members at the University of Melbourne will strike for 48 hours from August 21.
They will also protest at the university's open day on August 20, handing out leaflets and staffing an information
Union members are aggrieved at the 22 months taken over enterprise bargaining on their latest pay claim. A union
official said the strike would be the longest held at the university.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AT USP
The recommendation for a new Vice-Chancellor, made by the Joint Committee of the Senate and Council of the University of
the South Pacific in May was rejected by the University Council.
A new committee has been appointed to look at the same applications and make another recommendation to the Council in
TERTIARY OMBUDSMAN MOOTED FOR UK
Vice-Chancellors in the UK are ready to accept an ombudsman to handle complaints by students and staff as the old
universities concede the demise of the visitor system. It seems likely that a single ombudsman could be appointed.
This accords with the AUS policy for the appointment of a tertiary ombudsman in New Zealand, an issue that the Labour
Government included in its pre-election policy.
AUS Tertiary Update is produced weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the union and others. Back
issues are archived on the AUS website: