This is the full letter from a UWAASA member that was published in The Post in March 2016
Following a resolution passed at the UWAASA Forum on methods used at UWA to evaluate academic staff, I have requested a copy of the model used in each Faculty from the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Request for Academic Faculty Evaluation Models. As noted in the letter, those at the meeting believed it would be useful to review and compare the approaches.
In summary, I have come to the conclusion that because of the history of Arts as a foundation faculty of the University, the overwhelming use of Arts in their nomenclature amongst 131 universities in Australia and overseas, the value of the Arts brand to students and alumni and the origin of disciplines and professions likely to be considering joining the new college, the proposed College must include ‘Arts’ in the title.
I have a specific question that I would like addressed because it is a fundamental premise in the Vice Chancellor’s very useful review document (Securing Success) that preceded the current recommendations. My question concerns the level of optimum subsidy to be paid from teaching to research in a University as outlined by the Vice Chancellor:
“I would like to acknowledge the participation of the Academic Staff Association in the broad consultation of the Renewal proposals first presented to the University community on 2 February. Since that date the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and I have conducted 11 staff forums in which we have presented information and responded to questions about the proposals to more than 1300 colleagues. More than 300 individual and collective submissions and comments on the proposals have been sent to the Renewal site. It is apparent from the scale of this response that there has been deep and broad engagement with the proposals from both academic and professional staff , and I am very appreciative of the careful thought and analysis that colleagues have directed to these proposals.”
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Dear Dr. Chaney and Professor Johnson,
We, the academic staff, are committed to the long-term success and viability of The University of Western Australia, to the communities it serves, and to its role as both a regional and international institution of note. The UWA Executive has put forward a proposal for the renewal of our university, but we know such a project can succeed only with the broad-based support and engagement of all staff.
Yet, so far, the UWA Executive has undertaken their project of renewal in a way that may have the effect of excluding and alienating the majority of the academic staff. UWA staff members have been asked to give feedback on plans for major structural changes, changes that the Executive claims will permanently reduce the cost base of the university, and contribute to our goal of becoming a ‘top 50 university’. However, we have been asked to give feedback without being provided with basic information about how the university budget is distributed and without a clear model of how the proposed changes will deliver the requisite savings. Further, we feel unable to respond to a vision of success defined by external, and often capricious,
indices rather than by a broadly shared and trans-generational sense of public mission.
We, therefore, respectfully insist that you engage with us in good faith. We ask to become full participants in this change process.