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AUS Tertiary Update Vol.3 No.27

History will be made tomorrow when Massey University staff strike for the first time. Union pickets on each campus will express staff members' opposition to University management's dismal contract offer.
Combined Union Industrial Campaign speaker, Dr Karen Rhodes said union organisers have also informed students and non-union staff members about the issues in dispute and the plans for tomorrow’s strike.
“We thank the students' associations who support the action we are taking. We also acknowledge that some veterinary staff will need to continue working to care for the animals but will show their support by wearing 'we support the strike' stickers.”
“We have never come this close to strike day without a settlement offer. We have indicated to the employer that we are willing to talk but our members will need to see significant movement from them before they will consider ratification,” said Dr Rhodes.
Tertiary Update readers are invited to send messages of support to

Also in Tertiary Update this week:
1. Massey Litigation to Proceed
2. Competitive Madness Continues
3. Victoria Holds Fundraising Auction
4. Academic Freedom Book Available
5. Potential Peak Performances at Former Polytech

The AUS has succeeded in resisting Massey University’s attempt to make two members of the Association liable for damages if their impending court case was lost.
The Association’s Council resolved earlier this week to proceed with litigation challenging Massey’s ‘repositioning’ project.
The case argues that contrary to the Education Act, the University Council had not ensured that all academic bodies within the university had been properly consulted, nor the academic consequences of the decisions properly debated and considered, before it agreed to the ‘repositioning’ proposals.
AUS Executive Director, Rob Crozier said that Massey University’s lawyers had argued that if AUS held the process up and lost the court action, both AUS and the two members in whose name the case was being taken would be facing a damages bill of up to $600,000.
“We therefore decided to proceed with the action but not to give an undertaking for damages.”
It is thought that the matter will be heard in the Wellington High Court on 6/7 September.

Palmerston North’s former Manawatu Polytechnic (now glamorously renamed as UCOL) advertised on 26 August for a Sales and Marketing Manager. The advertisement states “…the competition for students is intense and it’s only going to get tougher. That’s why we’re looking for a hungry sales person to jump on board and lead our sales and marketing department into the future…”
Will someone in authority in the present Government please do more to ensure that the message of co-operation and collaboration is understood out there in competition land?

Equipment left idle from staff purges is to be auctioned by Victoria University. More than 350 items will go under the hammer, including surplus desks and filing cabinets, lawn mowers, fertiliser spreaders.
The sale is an attempt to assist in the current financial crisis at Victoria and is a likely precursor to future property sales, including, possibly, the sale of the jointly-owned School of Architecture/Design building. [Tertiary Update notes with alarm that Massey is rumoured to be spending more than $30 million in developing its new design facility in the former Dominion Museum.]

A book about Academic Freedom in New Zealand universities is now available. Troubled Times: Academic Freedom in New Zealand, is edited by AUS Executive Director Rob Crozier, and published by Dunmore Press. The book details the findings of Dr Donald Savage who surveyed the topic in New Zealand and includes chapters by Professor Jane Kelsey, Sir Ken Keith and Kathie Irwin.
Copies can be purchased directly for $25 (incl. postage) from Dunmore Press by sending an email to For overseas readers, the price is $US16 including airmail postage.

The announcement last week by Waikato Polytechnic of a name change to the Edmund Hillary Institute of Technology has raised doubts from some students.
Media arts student Kim Marsh, also winner of the Telecom Art Award, said Hillary's name had little relevance to her studies.
“It makes it sound like a mountain climbing school. It came as quite a surprise at first - lots of us thought it was a joke,” Ms Marsh said.
Polytechnic chief executive David Rawlence said reaction to the name change appeared to have been “generally positive”.
The institute would emphasise Sir Edmund's personal qualities of “courage, leadership, pragmatism and the drive to succeed” in its marketing, rather than his mountaineering achievements, Dr Rawlence said.


Ever wondered how a university could serve a student body of up to 300,000 with an annual budget of between $500 million to $1 billion, and tuition fees of no more than $3,000? Try the MetaCapitalism model! Under MetaCapitalism, first-rate faculty and "content providers" will join forces and form VACs—Value Added Communities—to offer courses through an interactive, Internet-based global education model [sound familiar?].
From just a glimpse at PriceWaterhouse Cooper’s website you can find out all about MetaCapitalism, VACs and MetaMarkets.
Here’s a wee sample: “MetaCapitalism is a global economic model that incorporates the evolving power of the Internet with recent improvements in productivity, then extrapolates that model to its logical conclusion—a complete inversion of the traditional manufacturing model.”

Canadian scholars are shocked that their theses are being offered for sale on a commercial basis.
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) president Tom Booth says graduate students have provided copies of their theses to the National Library of Canada for over a generation. “But when they discover that their work is now feeding private profit and corporate control of scholarly material, they are justifiably angry. The fact that this has been occurring without notice or consultation merely compounds the problem.”
The National Library of Canada has collected theses and dissertations since its founding in 1965. But budget cutbacks and the growth in the number of theses and dissertations resulted in this service being contracted out to private industry. offers Canadian theses for sale at US$30-60, remitting any royalties to the National Library at a rate of 10% of all sales of a particular dissertation in excess of seven copies in any given year. The practical reality of this arrangement is that authors are unlikely to ever share in the private profit being generated by their work.
CAUT is urging that students be better informed about their distribution and reproduction agreements. They are also calling on the National Library to set up a consultative committee on this matter with all interested parties.

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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