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AUS Tertiary Update Volume 3, No.12 19 May 2000

AUS website
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AUS Tertiary Update Vol. 3 No. 12, 19 May 2000
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NO OLDIES AT OTAGO THANKS
Otago Vice-Chancellor, Graeme Fogelberg, has applied to the High Court for a declaration that he can still force employees to retire at age 65. From 1 February 1999, the law made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of age. However, the Vice Chancellor wants to exploit a little-used savings provision in the Human Rights Act. The case was being heard by the Chief Justice in the Dunedin High Court this week. The Human Rights Commission was also represented.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:
1. Government Moratorium on Universities Welcomed
2. Commission Seeks Written Submissions
3. University of Auckland Joins News Corp in Global Education Venture
4. SOS To Minister From ASTE Members at CIT
5. Staff Wear Stickers to Graduation
6. ACT Misleads Employers
7. Universities Acting Like Brats
8. AUS Website Revamp

GOVERNMENT MORATORIUM ON UNIVERSITIES WELCOMED
University staff and students have welcomed the Government's move to place a moratorium on the number of universities in New Zealand. Legislation limiting the number to eight was announced this week.
The Bill will prevent further universities being created while the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission carries out its work on the structure of the tertiary sector.
Neville Blampied, National President of the Association of University Staff (AUS) expressed a note of caution, however, saying "we do not want this to set a precedent for ad hoc statutory interventions in the university sector."

COMMISSION SEEKS WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS
Written submissions from organisations and individuals with an interest in the tertiary education sector have been called for by Dr Norman Kingsbury, Chair of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission.
With a tight timeframe set by the Government, the closing date for submissions is 20 June 2000.
Copies of the Commission's Terms of Reference and other information regarding the Commission and its work can be obtained from http://www.teac.govt.nz/.

UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND JOINS NEWS CORP IN GLOBAL EDUCATION VENTURE
The University of Auckland, as a member of Universitas 21, will be part of a joint venture with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation that plans to secure a substantial share of the global higher education market in e-education.
The new venture will provide premium higher education programmes throughout the world using new information technologies and learning methods. These e-education programmes will lead to the awarding of degrees or diplomas endorsed by Universitas 21, a grouping of 18 leading international universities. It is expected that the first courses will become available in 2001.
University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hood said the development enabled the University to be part of the new generation teaching and learning technologies.
An AUS member has asked Auckland University for a statement on Universitas 21's policy on academic freedom and how it would operate in the global e-University.

SOS TO MINISTER FROM ASTE MEMBERS AT CIT
Three-quarters of Association of Staff in Tertiary Education (ASTE) members at the CIT have lost faith in the CIT Council and have passed a vote of no confidence in the senior management group.
Their concerns come in the wake of 17 redundancies in academic staff and 18 in the general staff. Most of the academic staff were members of ASTE and many took voluntary severance, indicating a loss of confidence in the institution and low morale.
CIT management said it wants to mark itself out as a regional institution and plans to 'relocate' its original programmes of podiatry and dental technology.
ASTE is concerned that the CIT Council appears to have missed the Minister's message that the competitive era is over and we are now in a co-operative environment where the concept of national schools or "centres of excellence" is part of the plan.

STAFF WEAR STICKERS TO GRADUATION
Massey University staff have been encouraged to show their support for retaining current staffing levels on the Massey University Palmerston North campuses by wearing stickers during graduation ceremonies.
"The Association of University Staff (AUS) believes the current 'repositioning exercise' does not have the support of staff, is short-sighted and will have a negative impact on students," said AUS spokesperson John Waldon.

ACT MISLEADS EMPLOYERS
The ACT party is misleading employers about proposed new employment legislation, says AUS University of Canterbury Branch Organiser, Marty Braithwaite.
He was referring to an analysis by Canterbury senior law lecturer, John Hughes, of an ACT Party media release (Newsroom 17/4/00) which contained 12 significant errors of fact.
"These ... misrepresentations will fuel the already high level of ill-informed employer opposition to the Employment Relations Bill," said Marty Braithwaite.
The errors include talk of 'industrial inspectors' issuing spot fines and a widening of personal grievance grounds.
"The irony is that such mis-information has the potential to damage the business confidence of the very constituency ACT purports to represent," Marty Braithwaite said.

UNIVERSITIES ACTING LIKE BRATS
Wellington's Architectural Centre is accusing Massey and Victoria Universities of acting like 'petulant brats' over the School of Architecture and Design building, which it's trying to save.
The school was set up in 1994 when Wellington Polytech's School of Design was brought into the same premises as Victoria University's School of Architecture.
President of the Architectural Centre, Guy Cleverley says since Massey's merger with Wellington Polytech, the two universities can't work together, and should be looking at options such as government help, mediation and alternative funding plans.

AUS WEBSITE REVAMP
We apologise to members and others who have visited our website recently and found it to be out of date. We will be launching a 'new look' AUS website on Friday 2 June. In the meantime, we will continue to post all AUS media releases on the site. Check us out on Friday 2 June!

WORLD WATCH

* USP STUDENTS CONTINUE PROTEST ACTION
University of the South Pacific (USP) Students Association members protested earlier this week against the USP's Joint Committee of Council and Senate's recommendation to appoint USP academic Dr Rajesh Chandra as Vice-Chancellor to replace the incumbent, Esekia Solofa.
Students claim improper procedures were followed in the selection. The Council's decision was to be made on 18 May.
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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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