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AUS Tertiary Update Vol.3 No.8

AUS website
NO CERTAINTY YET ON FUNDING
We will have to wait until after the Budget in June to find out the
Government's intentions regarding the former Government's decisions to
institute the Universal Tertiary Tuition Allowance and to severely curtail
postgraduate tuition funding.
In response to our request last week, the Hon. Steve Maharey has given AUS
an assurance that a clearly differentiated sector, and the funding
principles that underpin this, will form part of the Tertiary Advisory
Commission's programme. AUS sees the realignment of funding as being a
priority for TEAC when it is finally established.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:
1. TEAC Chair Welcomed
2. Polytech Alliance Will Lower Fees and Staff Costs
3. Crossbearer and Whitefoot Strike Again
4. Otago Proposal Disenfranchises Academics from Voting on Council
Representation

TEAC CHAIR WELCOMED
The appointment of Dr Norman Kingsbury as chair of the Tertiary Education
Advisory Committee has been welcomed by the Association of University Staff
(AUS).

AUS President Neville Blampied said Dr Kingsbury has a great wealth of
knowledge and experience which will provide a very sound foundation to TEAC.
"Dr Kingsbury has an intimate knowledge of how universities, other tertiary
institutions and the Ministry work, and he is universally respected within
the sector," he said.

JOB LOSSES LIKELY FROM POLYTECH ALLIANCE
The Association of Staff in Tertiary Education (ASTE) were not impressed
that Otago Polytechnic staff found out about a new polytech alliance and
potential job losses from the Otago Daily Times.
The Tertiary Accord of New Zealand announced this week, involves Otago
Polytechnic, Auckland's MIT, Palmerston North's Universal College of
Learning (the former Manawatu Polytechnic) and Christchurch Polytechnic.
ASTE president Jill Ovens told the Otago Daily Times the union was concerned
that there might be intellectual property issues at stake in the
announcement that a key focus would be on the joint development and delivery
of programmes.
Otago Polytechnic CEO, Wanda Korndorffer, said student fees were to be
limited and staffing costs were predicted to fall as a result of the
alliance.

CROSSBEARER AND WHITEFOOT STRIKE AGAIN
Putting the AUS views before the public is assisted from time to time by a
morphic organisation, whose latest manifestation was as the Association for
United Science.
The chief spokespersons for this Association - Neville Whitefoot and Rob
Crossbearer - leapt to the defence of universities when it was suggested by
Dr Andrew West (see Tertiary Update Vol. 3 No.7) that only by merging
universities could New Zealand develop at least one world-class institution.
In a press release embargoed until 1 April 2000, Crossbearer and Whitefoot
supported rumours that a merger of Crown Research Institutes into a new
Department of Science and Innovation - DSI - was the only way to achieve a
critical mass expertise within NZ's research and development sector.
Organisations ringing the AUS for further information were gently advised to
check the date of the release!

OTAGO PROPOSAL DISENFRANCHISES ACADEMICS FROM VOTING ON COUNCIL
REPRESENTATION
Academic staff at Otago are bristling at the Vice-Chancellor's proposals for
the Senate that would see a downgrading of their voting rights on the
University Council representation.
Currently three of the Council's members are elected by academic staff. The
proposal involves the non-elected Senate having the capacity to 'elect' two
of its members to be two of the three academic staff members of Council.
This would mean that academic staff could only directly elect one of the
three academic members of Council instead of three.
"If the Vice-Chancellor wants overlap between the membership of Senate and
Council, there are other ways to achieve it short of drastically curtailing
the democratic rights of academics to participate in the governance of their
institution," said AUS Otago branch president, Michael Robertson. He
suggested that co-option was available to achieve overlap.


WORLD WATCH

· UK TREASURY APPOINTS NZ ECONOMIST
Current Director of Macroeconomic Forecasting and Policy in the New Zealand
Treasury, Roger Procter, has been appointed as Chief Economist in the Public
Services Directorate (PSD), one of the most senior and influential posts in
the UK Treasury.
His is the second appointment from outside the Civil Service to the Board of
PSD in the last two months.

· UNION TO CHART CHANGING SECTOR
Changes in work patterns, funding, the user-pays trend and quality in
universities will be revealed in a national audit to be carried out by
Australia's National Tertiary Education Union.
The report resulting from the audit, which will identify crisis points and
problem areas in universities, will be released next year in time to link
with the federal election cycle.
NTEU president Carolyn Allport said the audit would focus on material that
was not currently collected. The union wanted to use the data not just to
raise public consciousness but to reflect the need for broader
accountability.
The NTEU project comes amid concern about the lack of an independent
government advisory structure, particularly with a deregulation agenda in
the offing. A progress report is expected by September.

NO EDUCATION VOUCHERS IN FLORIDA
In a tremendous victory for families and children, a Florida Circuit Court
found last month that the Florida State constitution means what it says --
that children are guaranteed the right to free, public education. As Judge
Ralph L. Smith Jr. stated, "Tax dollars may not be used to send the children
of this state to a private school."
This ruling puts a stake in the heart of the voucher movement, sending a
strong signal across the States that vouchers are no substitute for a
quality public education.

****************************************************************************
**
AUS Tertiary Update is produced weekly on Fridays and distributed freely to
members of the union and others. Back issues are archived on the AUS
website: . Direct enquiries to Rob Crozier, AUS
executive director. Email: rob.crozier@aus.ac.nz.

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