Issue 12 - 19 April 2000

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Monash science moves forward

A new Monash Science Centre has already received external capital development funding as one of many initiatives under Science Forward, a paper released last week that sets out new directions and strategies for Science at Monash.

Science is to become a 'decentred' faculty, with schools, centres and programs drawing upon the research and teaching expertise of staff across the university and from outside bodies.

There will be several new interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs which build on existing strengths, and a greater emphasis on the preparation of first-degree students for life after university.

Plans include a Centre for Excellence in Science Education, and longer term, the development of a Science Precinct around a world-class facility for Science at Monash.

Meeting with Science staff last week, interim dean Professor Homer Le Grand explained that Science Forward had emerged from an intensive strategic thinking process begun in February by a broad-based group from the faculty who met in Queenscliff.

"The Queenscliff Group, as it is known, continues to serve as a powerful stimulus for change within the faculty," he said.

"We now have a compass to guide the faculty in new directions. All Science staff have a stake in the actual process of moving forward."

Addressing the meeting, vice-chancellor Professor David Robinson said senior Science staff had met with the Vice-Chancellor's Group (VCG) the week before to discuss the final draft of Science Forward, which he said had VCG's full support.

"An obvious question in the minds of all staff is why the new directions and strategies will guide the faculty any better than previous plans have done," he said.

"The answer is that they come from the heart of the faculty, from its staff. That's the difference.

"Science Forward crosses faculty boundaries, and also has the support of the other deans who will be involved in the new developments."

Professor Robinson said the appointment of a new dean of Science would move ahead as quickly as possible now that the directions and strategies for Science are in place.

He acknowledged "with enormous gratitude" the very intensive work undertaken by Professor Le Grand and Science staff over the past few months.

Working group reports and the full Science Forward paper can be found at www.sci.monash.edu.au/staff.html


Poems and songs in the suburbs

A record number of 215 Monash staff from across several campuses got up early recently to be welcomed to the fifth annual Administrative Support Staff Network (ASSN) breakfast by master of ceremonies and deputy vice-chancellor Professor Peter Darvall.

Professor Darvall, who started the morning with a poem penned on the way to work, welcomed special guests including speaker Mr Jack Hammond QC (pictured) and Law Professor Louis Waller.

Introducing Mr Hammond, ASSN member Ms Helen Clements pointed out that together with Professor Waller, Mr Hammond, a Monash law graduate, is immortalised in a painting hung on the ground floor of the Law Library.

The 1996 painting, by artist Irene Clark, depicts the highly successful impersonation of eminent British lawyer Professor Granville Williams in 1976 by law student Campbell McComas.

Mr Hammond, who is now a practising barrister and president of the pressure group Save Our Suburbs, spoke about the frustration felt by many residents from all walks of life about developments they believed were undesirable and what the group could do to help.

He promoted Suburban Backlash, a new book by Dr Miles Lewis about 'the battle for the world's most liveable city (Melbourne)'.

Following Mr Hammond's address, staff were treated to a special song, written and sung by dean of Law Professor Stephen Parker, 'The Globalisation, Higher Education Blues'. This preceded the drawing of a substantial list of prizes donated by sponsors, including traders on the Clayton campus and businesses from the Mt Waverley area.

The major prize, a return trip for two to Sydney sponsored by the vice-chancellor's Qantas Promotional Fund, was won by Mr Andrew Armstrong from Personnel Services. Mr David Coulton from Monash Student Association won the EdCredit deluxe package for two at the Sheraton Towers, and Ms Vanessa Fernandes won the Gateway on Monash Hotel luxury accommodation prize.

Professor Darvall brought the event to an end by praising the hard work and dedication of the ASSN organising committee, which included Ms Bev Olbrich, Ms Karolina Mosbauer, Ms Carolyn Aalotonen, Ms Helen Clements and Ms Elaine Allen.

The ASSN has about 380 members across the six Victorian campuses and would welcome staff from other parts of Monash. It is free to join, and keeps members in touch via an email network, bimonthly meetings and an annual cocktail party. Contact Bev.Olbrich@general.monash.edu for further details.


A new promotion tool

The Australian Higher Education supplement is soon to launch a website that will go beyond the content of the printed edition.

The new website will include an appointments column, new courses, a diary of conferences and other events in academe, and a list of award winners.

Staff wishing to promote activities or share information should forward written copy in the following format to dotcom@matp.newsltd.com.au

Appointments: person's name, new institution, position, old institution, and main research interest/publications etc.

Diary: events to be held after 1 May. Conferences information should include the event, city, brief information about the conference, and contact name, email, telephone and fax numbers.

Award winners: name, position, institution and name of award.


Singin' the blues

Dean of Law Professor Stephen Parker surprised and delighted staff attending the recent Administrative Support Staff Network breakfast.

The 'cool' dean, as his students call him, said he was somewhat pressured by his assistant, Ms Helen Clements, to strum a guitar and sing a blues number specially written for the occasion. The first few verses went like this:

Verse 1 (Dean)

Woke up this morning, I was feeling blue
No lectures written, last year's notes will do
The students won't notice, it's last year's syllabus too!
Dean of Law Professor Stephen Parker introducing
The 'Globalisation, Higher Education Blues'.

Chorus

I got Globalisation, Higher Education Blues
Semesterisation, and letting the customer choose
Apart from my mind, I ain't got nothing to lose.

Verse 2 (Assistant)

The dean's been on a training course, he wants it all done new
He'll do all the typing now - and do the filing too
But could I do the budget? Oh, and supervise postgraduates too.

Chorus

I got Globalisation, Higher Education Blues
Semesterisation, and letting the customer choose
Apart from my mind, I ain't got nothing to lose.

Verse 3 (Dean)

I started the New Year, with plenty of promise and hope.
But that Open Door policy, soon became a slippery slope
Now getting in to see me is harder than seein' the Pope.

Chorus

I got Globalisation, Higher Education Blues
Semesterisation, and letting the customer choose
Apart from my mind, I ain't got nothing to lose...


Academic Board election

Academic staff have until noon on Thursday, 27 April 2000 to nominate for election to Monash's Academic Board.

Vacancies for positions from 1 July this year until 30 June 2002 are as follows:

Art and Design

2 teaching staff members
0 professorial members

Arts

1 teaching staff member
6 professorial members

Business and Economics

1 teaching staff member
1 professorial member

Education

1 teaching staff member
2 professorial member

Engineering

0 teaching staff members
0 professorial members

Information Technology

3 teaching staff members
3 professorial members

Law

0 teaching staff member
1 professorial member

Medicine

1 teaching staff member
10 professorial members

Pharmacy

0 teaching staff members
0 professorial member

Science

2 teaching staff members
4 professorial members

Nominations for all positions should be lodged with the returning officer or assistant returning officers by noon on Thursday, 27 April 2000. Details are as follows:

A ballot will be held on Thursday, 1 June 2000 if nominations exceed the number of vacancies.

Qualifications of candidates, nominators and voters are as in accordance with Statute 9.1 - Election Procedure.

Monash University is endeavouring to achieve equal representation of women and men on committees. In making nominations and voting for Academic Board members in this current election, university staff are asked to take into account the need to have both genders represented.

For further details, please contact Mr Tony Calder on extn 59004 or email Anthony.Calder @adm in the University Secretariat.


Strategic Innovations Fund

Applications for the 2000 Strategic Innovations Fund round of grants are currently being sought. Particular emphasis for this round will be on internationalising the curriculum and/or increasing self-reliance.

The Strategic Innovations Fund is a key element in Monash's strategy to improve the quality of its learning environment. The fund was established in 1997 to enhance the university's commitment to the further pursuit of innovation, quality, efficiency and effectiveness in course delivery.

Projects funded under the scheme must be faculty-endorsed and contribute to the strategic directions of the university and/or faculty. Individual grants are made on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis with faculties and range in size from $50,000 to $125,000.

Dr Kym Fraser said the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) supports SIF applicants by conducting a workshop on the writing of applications. In 1999, team members involved with three-quarters of the successful applications attended the CHED workshops and/or consulted with a CHED member. As well, CHED staff continue to work with successful project teams.

The next SIF grant writing workshop will be held from 9 am to 1 pm on 5 May. To register for the workshop, contact Ms Vicki Mihalakopoulos on extn 56800 or email Vicki.Mihalakopoulos@adm.monash.edu.au

The SIF guidelines and application form are located at: www.adm.monash.edu.au/ paa/sif/

Next Monash Memo

Due to the Easter break the next issue of Monash Memo will be published on Wednesday 3 May.

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