Newsletter December 2023

Well, another academic year comes to a semi-close. Semi-close because we all know that many are preparing deferred exams, and others for the inevitable supplemental exams. Of course, some are working on end-of-year reporting and/or on new research grants… Oh well, just forget the comment about any “close.”

A quick look back over the year reminds us that many Schools remain under-staffed with reports of overwork and burn out not uncommon.

UWAASA sponsored a discussion of a WA Universities merger – an idea under investigation by the WA State government. No news on the outcome of that as of yet.

UWAASA will start our year of activities with a February forum on understanding who our current students are and how they interact with the University. We’d love to hear from anyone actually doing research and with actual data on this.

The UWA ASA Committee and its members were stunned to hear the announcement about the latest senior executive-level appointment. It appears that the old Chief Operations Officer (COO) role has been ‘rebranded’ with an ‘academic’ title as a DVC Operations. I can only imagine that UWA academic staff are thrilled to hear that we have appointed someone whose background is “banking, financial services, insurance and health. ” It appears that UWA is adding yet another person to the senior leadership with no discernible background working in the tertiary sector but with skills developed “leading large and diverse teams” in, say, banking —  which must be entirely transferable. Not such a good look that, having ripped the academic heart out of anthropology and sociology and molecular sciences etc, and ‘streamlined’ Student Life, we are putting some of those savings to good use with another outsize Exec salary. While UWA managed without the role for 3 years, surely there must have been a good business for reinstating it … as well as a case for giving the role an academic title?

Nevertheless, here we are approaching December which means a bit of time officially on “leave.” As is our practice, we will wind up the year with drinks for members (and feel free to bring along a soon-to-be-new-member guest!) starting at 3 pm on December 4th at the Uniclub café. We look forward to exchanging news, re-invigorating our group identity, and engaging in a bit of seasonal cheer. Be sure to register so we can figure out catering appropriately.

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