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Curtin University
Note to staff

2 May 2016


Reviews of Academic Reshaping and the introduction of Teaching Academics

At last week’s SET meeting, the management responses to the Academic Reshaping and the Teaching Academics Reviews were finalised. Both reports and their respective management responses are available online at the links included below. I thank all of the staff who were involved in these two important reviews.

The Academic Reshaping Review Report summarises the outcomes of a comprehensive analysis of the implementation of the 2013-2014 Academic Reshaping initiative and its subsequent impact on the University.  The management response outlines the action that will be taken in response to each of the Report’s six recommendations.

The Teaching Academic Review Report identified a number of important issues that need to be addressed in respect to the Teaching Academic role at Curtin University.  The University is strongly committed to ensuring that Teaching Academics feel valued and well supported. As outlined in the management response, we are committed to addressing each of the Report’s recommendations.

Greater Curtin Stage One invites commercial partners

Artist's impression of the main street project

Artist’s impression of the main street project

The University recently formally invited development partners for Greater Curtin Stage One via an Expression of Interest process.  Additional information is available online.

Greater Curtin Stage One is a key enabler for the long term Greater Curtin vision and the procurement phase is a significant milestone in Curtin’s long-term plan, which will see the development of a dedicated innovation precinct and a vibrant well-connected community on the Bentley campus.

Stage One will deliver a central precinct and the phased delivery of new accommodation for 2000 students plus short stay accommodation, academic buildings, research space, curated retail outlets, a bus transport interchange and a range of public spaces and amenity.

I would like to thank the many staff supporting this important project on reaching this milestone.

Driving simulator launch

The Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre (C-MARC) and independent road research body Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) last week launched one of the most advanced driving simulators in the Southern Hemisphere.

Officially launched by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Road Safety, Liza Harvey, the simulator is housed at our Technology Park campus. It will enable C-MARC and ARRB to undertake highly sophisticated driver behaviour and road infrastructure research with private sector automotive researchers from around Australia.

The simulator will bring together researchers from multiple disciplines, including road safety, engineering, ophthalmology, psychology, physiology and mathematics.  I look forward to seeing the opportunities and benefits this will have for Curtin.

With the Deputy Premier at the launch

With the Deputy Premier at the launch

CSIRO assistance for Curtin app

Congratulations to Professor Jeff Hughes of the School of Pharmacy, and all in the Curtin team behind the development of the novel pain management app ePAT which was recently selected for inclusion in CSIRO’s ON Accelerator program.

This is the first time the program has been open to Australian universities, with only two places available. Involvement in the program will assist the team to identify the best ways to market the app and to build a sustainable business.

ePAT analyses facial expressions for indicators of pain, making better pain management and improved quality of life possible.  It will be useful for patients with cognitive impairment, especially those with dementia whose pain often goes undetected. It is anticipated the app for dementia patients will be released by June next year. The team also intends to develop a version for young children.

International Award presented in Hong Kong

The University was recently presented with a prestigious Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) silver award.  The award recognises the importance of Curtin’s Carrolup Project, and its focus on the repatriation of the artworks by Aboriginal children of the Stolen Generations at the Carrolup Native Settlement and the impact of this on the Noongar community.  The award was accepted by Jane Coole (Director, External Relations) on behalf of the University.

The Carrolup artworks were thought lost for many years before they were discovered at Colgate University in the United States and later returned to Noongar country under the custodianship of the University.

It is wonderful to see this international recognition of the collaboration between Curtin, Colgate and the Noongar community.

Sue Cunningham, CASE President; Jane Coole of Curtin; and Sarah Dyer Dana, Colgate University Alumnus.

Sue Cunningham, CASE President; Jane Coole of Curtin; and Sarah Dyer Dana, Colgate University Alumnus.

Humans of Curtin coffee cups

I hope you have seen the beautiful Humans of Curtin coffee cups that are now available from most of our Bentley campus cafes. The cups have been designed to promote positive conversations around issues of diversity and inclusion and to showcase members of the Curtin community in a fun and vibrant way.

Each cup features a quote from one of our students accompanied by an image of an internal body part to draw attention to the fact that ideas and talent occur independently of one’s appearance, and that we are all connected as humans.

I would like to thank the various areas of the University involved in this project: Equity, Ethics and Social Justice; University Marketing; and the Student Digital Experience team.  This venture is an example of our ability to work collaboratively and deliver shared outcomes that make a difference.

Humans of Curtin cups

Humans of Curtin coffee cups

Staff members enjoying the new cups

Staff members enjoying the new cups

  1. Judy Campbell May 2, 2016 2:56pm

    I love these cups. Such a pity to throw them out. Would be great if something similar but re-usable could be done!

  2. Naomi Yellowlees May 2, 2016 3:09pm

    I love these cups too and have wrestled with the moral dilemma of whether to ‘forget’ my Keep Cup just so I could get one- I haven’t I just admire them from afar. A re-usable version would be fantastic.

    • Luke Webster May 2, 2016 4:13pm

      Thanks Judy and Naomi, so glad you’re enjoying the cups! We’ve definitely thought about expanding the concept into producing re-usable cups (among a range of other items). We went with the disposable cups to maximise our reach to students and visible impact across campus. We’re currently exploring options for extending the campaign, and if we can access the resources to produce re-usable cups we will be more than happy to look into it. If you have any ideas or want to talk further feel welcome to contact me:

  3. Steven Bottomley May 3, 2016 8:42pm

    It seems to me that the Academic Reshaping Review Report is a failed attempt to justify the despicable actions of the university’s senior executive prior to, during, and subsequent to academic reshaping during 2013 and 2014. Moreover the review is based on a false premise: that the ’academic reshaping’ strategy was the ONLY strategy available to the senior executive to implement changes to the research profile of the university.

    There could have been other, much less disruptive and devastating, ways to increase the research profile of the university. However, those other strategies needed the senior executive to believe in their existing staff, have empathy with existing staff, and work with existing staff. Instead the senior executive opted for the most disruptive and confrontational strategy available. Moreover, they replaced good, and long-serving staff, with so-called ’high profile’ researchers which they purchased in the hope that these ‘stars’ could lift the university’s capricious and ephemeral research profile. It still remains to be seen if this particular aspect of the ‘reshaping’ strategy has ‘worked’. You would probably expect a short term boost, but the current evidence (as outlined in the report) is both underwhelming and weak. The long term effect of buying in high profile researchers remains to be seen. Nevertheless, was it worth the tremendous workplace disruption, the financial cost of the strategy, and the considerable psychological (and financial) cost to people’s lives?

    The review also fails to mention that the stress caused to existing staff during the reshaping continues to this day and that the goodwill that once may have existed between the senior executive and existing staff (at least those that survived the reshaping debacle) is close to exhaustion.

    • John Cordery May 5, 2016 8:43am

      Thanks for your comments Steven. The Academic Reshaping Review was initiated in a genuine attempt to gather information on the approach and outcomes of the Academic Reshaping project, and the panel’s report (which has been released in full to the University community) clearly identifies aspects of the change that could have been better managed, and focuses on areas where anticipated benefits were not realised as well as areas where they were. We are committed to learning from the experiences of the Academic Reshaping project, and are responding in full to all the recommendations of the Review.

  4. Pavel Franger May 4, 2016 2:07pm

    I’m am another who is a big fan of the new Humans of Curtin coffee cups. Keep up the great work!

    • Luke Webster May 6, 2016 3:28pm

      Thanks Pav! It’s been a great team effort!

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