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AUS Tertiary Update Vol.3 No. 25

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INQUIRY LAUNCHED INTO KUPKA CASE
Waikato University Council, under pressure from staff, students and the Jewish community, agreed this week to an independent inquiry into the handling of the Kupka affair.
The inquiry will examine the enrolment and supervision of Hans Joachim-Kupka, the German PhD student accused of denying the Holocaust in internet writings.
Vice-Chancellor Bryan Gould, the only council member to oppose the motion, has always maintained the matter was dealt with properly by the appropriate ethics committees on campus, and has rejected calls from the Race Relations Commission, the Law School Board of Studies and the students' union for an inquiry.
Mr Kupka was studying the use of the German language in New Zealand. He is being investigated for race crimes in Germany and was once a senior official in the far-right Republican Party.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:
1. McCutcheon for Victoria
2. Anger at Pay Rises for Massey Senior Staff
3. Students Can’t Read or Write
4. Collective Sigh of Relief
5. Lincoln University Honours Moore

McCUTCHEON FOR VICTORIA
Victoria University Council has confirmed the appointment of Professor Stuart McCutcheon as its new Vice-Chancellor. Professor McCutcheon is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Massey.

ANGER AT PAY RISES FOR MASSEY SENIOR STAFF
Massey University has confirmed it paid out almost $210,000 in pay increases, including bonuses, to its senior managers earlier this year.
Massey Vice Chancellor Professor James McWha acknowledged the pay increases had been paid to the university's 53 senior managers in January this year, after seeking independent advice from consultants.
Confirmation of the payments attracted renewed condemnation from the Association of University Staff, who said the increases looked particularly bad in light of the university's refusal to give staff on collective employment contracts pay rises of more than 1.25 percent.
AUS branch president associate professor Tony Lewis said comments by Prof McWha about paying to keep senior staff while the university refused to budge over pay increases for lecturers, support staff and others on collective contracts showed how little those staff were valued.

STUDENTS ‘CAN’T READ OR WRITE’
University students cannot read, write, or even spell properly, University of Canterbury academics have said in a university questionnaire.
A large number of academics across all faculties expressed concern that students had been let down by the ‘primary and secondary school systems, flawed curriculums, (sic) and deficient teaching methods’.
Canterbury's dean of undergraduate studies, Dr John Freeman-Moir disagreed with academics who blamed deficiencies in primary and secondary schools for students' problems.
Chairman of the Canterbury-West Coast Secondary Principals' Association, Gerald Edmunds, said academics were saying the same things when he was at university in 1966, and he attributed their concerns to an increase in undergraduate enrolments with a wider spread of student abilities than in the past.
Dr Freeman-Moir said the questionnaire would be discussed with local secondary school principals when they visited the university next week.

COLLECTIVE SIGH OF RELIEF
Council of Trade Unions President Ross Wilson said workers would be breathing a collective sigh of relief at the demise of the Employment Contracts Act.
He said that with the Employment Relations Act, workers expected a new era of industrial relations where they could achieve a better deal.
Commenting on the passing of the new Act, Association of University Staff national president, Neville Blampied, said the AUS is fortunate to work in environments where aspects of good faith bargaining have already been practised. “We will strive to preserve, enhance and extend this under the new legislative umbrella of the Employment Relations Act.”

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY HONOURS MOORE
Former prime minister Mike Moore was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from Lincoln University this week, recognising his contributions as a minister of international trade, marketing, tourism, and recreation, all important areas of teaching and research at Lincoln.
Chancellor Margaret Austin said Lincoln University had special reason to acknowledge his leadership. Studies he instigated in 1987 were important forerunners of the explosion in the number of international students studying in New Zealand. At Lincoln they comprise about 25 percent of students.
Foreign fee-paying students injected $415 million in foreign exchange into the economy last year, making export education a bigger earner than wine.

WORLD WATCH

MORE ANUTECH LOSSES FEARED
Losses at the Australian National University commercial company Anutech are feared to be higher than the $4.48 million disclosed in the university's annual report.
ANU would not say whether it would consider bailing out Anutech, indicating the final losses were not yet clear.
Collapse of the company would damage the image of ANU's commercialisation performance and that of universities in general.
The National Tertiary Education Union said academics would be angered if the university paid millions of dollars to rescue Anutech, a commercial entity, when academic programmes were being cut. NTEU branch secretary Barry Howarth said a growing area of the arts faculty, theatre studies, for example, faced a ‘virtual halving of staff’.

SOUTH AFRICAN UNIVERSITY STARTS FELLOWSHIP TO FIGHT BRAIN DRAIN
The University of the Witwatersrand, one of South Africa's leading universities, is offering a new postdoctoral fellowship in health sciences that will match the value of those offered abroad. Started last month, the Friedland Fellowship is intended to ‘attract the best brains to Wits’, says Dr. Cleeton-Jones, assistant dean in charge of research at the Witwatersrand Medical School.
“It is totally flexible and will match the amounts a fellow could get overseas.”

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AUS Tertiary Update is produced weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the union and others. Back issues are archived on the AUS website:

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