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AUS Tertiary Update Vol.3 No.35

Latest figures from the State Services Commission show the salary packages of the country's Vice-Chancellors rose by between 8% and 16% last year, with the lowest-paid – Lincoln’s Frank Wood and John Hinchcliff of the Auckland University of Technology – receiving a salary valued at between $210,000 and $219,999. Other figures are: $240,000 - $249,999 for Massey and Waikato, $280,000 - $289,999 for Victoria, $285,000 - $297,000 for Auckland, and $290,000 - $299,999 in the case of Canterbury and Otago.
AUS Executive Director, Rob Crozier, notes that the rises come at a time when the staff at the heart of the tertiary sector – those involved in teaching and research – have not being adequately rewarded. As he points out, why should the Vice Chancellors receive "grandiose" salaries when it is the quality of the academics and general staff that attracts students in the first place. "So far as I know, students do not seek information about Vice-Chancellors before they decide which university to study at.” But Mr Crozier hopes this will be the last of the big pay rises for VCs. “Hopefully, the era of managerialism is coming to an end,” he says.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:
1. AUS Technical Vice-President for 2001
2 First hockey at Canterbury, now athletics at Massey
3. A welcome return to manpower planning
4. NTEU to monitor global alliances in education
5. . 'Credible' e-uni planned
6. Crackdown at Mafia-run university.

Tertiary Update extends a welcome to Jane Guise of Canterbury University’s Department of Geological Sciences who has been elected as AUS Technical Vice-President for 2001. In that position she will represent the interests of technical members of AUS to the General Staff Vice-President.

It may come as something of a shock to followers of recent events at Massey University, but the Council has approved construction of an all-weather athletics track estimated to cost around $2.2m. The Council decided to go ahead after raising $1.55 m. for the track through variety of grants. The Central Power Trust is also giving $565m. for track floodlighting and electrical components. The project is currently up for tender and is expected to be completed by late April. The new facility is also expected to include pole vault, long and triple jump, javelin, shotput, discus and hammer areas, and high jump circles. Massey already has its Rugby Institute, and John Callesen, who has been instrumental in getting the athletics project off the ground, says he would like to see it become the site of a high-performance centre, along the lines of the sports institute in Australia. Tertiary Update believes there will be others who will point out that Massey University has been crying financial hardship, cutting back on what are core areas for a university. Can it, they might wonder, afford athletics facilities for the elite

In what must be a welcome innovation, the Health Minister, Annette King has announced the formation of a new workforce advisory committee to tackle the problem of chronic staffing shortages in the health system. As the minister pointed out in announcing the new committee to a conference in Palmerston North: "There are serious shortages across many areas of our health workforce, and many of these shortages can be attributed to a lack of planning in the past. "This shortfall in planning is preventing us moving as quickly as we would all wish to move to make our public health service as good as it could be." Among the new committee's terms of reference will be to facilitate co-operation between organisations involved in health workforce education and training.


Australia's equivalent of the AUS, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is to closely monitor the growing trend for global alliances between Australian universities and on-line providers to deliver higher education. In a resolution passed at its recent annual meeting, the NTEU is concerned at the implications the alliances may have for intellectual freedom, intellectual property rights, accountability for the expenditure of public funds, and quality assurance. The decision follows the formation of Universitas21 -- a consortium between News Limited and three Australian universities.

An elite university education service taught by "virtual" lecturers will be launched next year on the internet by some of Britain's leading academics. Boxmind is a commercial venture offering interactive links and will rival a new non-profit alliance between the universities of Stanford, Princeton, Yale and Oxford. It was devised by three recent Oxford graduates, Richard Halkett, David Auckland and Richard Comish, and has the support of some of Oxford's best-known academics, including Richard Dawkins, the neo-Darwinian professor of the public understanding of science, John Kay, founding director of the Said Business School, and Peter Atkins, a professor of physical chemistry.
The London School of Economics has described it as "an opportunity to waste an awful lot of taxpayers' money", while Oxford and Cambridge are holding back

Investigators have arrested 37 academic staff and students at one of Italy's leading universities, alleging that the Calabrian Mafia has been running the university for 25 years. A further 79 professors and researchers at the University of Messina in Sicily have been placed under formal investigation. The arrests follow a three-year inquiry into allegations of Mafia-organised violence and corruption at the university, which was founded more than 450 years ago. In recent years, a lecturer in medicine has been murdered, two Messina professors have been kneecapped by unknown assailants, four bombs have exploded in university buildings and the cars of several academics have been set on fire outside their homes. One university source, who refused (perhaps understandably) to be named, said: "Threats and the possibility of violence were always in the background here. This has been like no other university in Europe." It is alleged that, under the direction of Giuseppe Morabito -- nicknamed "Shootstraight" -- the Calabrian Mafia's agents in Messina turned the university into their private fiefdom, ordering that degrees, academic posts and influence be awarded to favoured associates.. On the administrative side, the clan also ensured that substantial proportions of the annual budget fell into the hands of "friendly" local businesses. Professors who refused to follow instructions and turn a blind eye knew that they risked violence and the loss of their career -- with good reason it would appear.

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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