Council report. June

Hi comrades, not much to report.

I can confirm to council that any rumours of my retirement from the Guild are false and I look forward to carrying out my full elected term. Goals for the remainder of the term include getting FacSocs together, launching The Guild Wiki and keeping the deregulation dogs at bay.

  • The good news is that the FacSocs don’t hate me, it seems that they just didn’t receive the mass email I sent out back in May. Thank you to Brodie for bringing this to my attention. I’ll try to resume contact with the FacSocs again after exams.
  • The Guild Wiki is almost, almost, ready to go. Many of you helped me bug test the units index on the Facebook group the other day, thank you, but I’m having the IT Society and a web developer friend look over the wiki to see what’s up with the Cascading Stylesheet that seems to be causing the problem.
  • I am also optimistic that deregulation will remain off the Government’s agenda for the remainder of the year, despite it being in the budget. It’s clear they included it just to make their forward estimates look good and are gearing up for an early election instead.

I am though completely disillusioned with the University and it’s unproductive internal culture. If I was the VC, I’d assess the situation and decide that Murdoch had tried it’s best and had a decent run over 40 years, but that it was time to admit defeat and pack it in. The place is a fucking mess at the moment.

The breadth unit situation is an absolute mess. In 2012 when the new curriculum greenpaper was before the Guild breadth units were envisioned as a way for the university to promote interdisciplinarity to make graduates more employable and custom made breadth units allowing students from across different courses to work together to tackle themes and problems. Sounds great and a lot better than token attempts to prescribe random units from outside their major to students at other universities. Just 3 years later though, and before 3rd year breadth units even have the chance to be rolled out, all that is coming undone. It’s been speared by The School of Arts, who have no idea how to budget claiming that breadth units are costing them too much money in casual staffing costs and that they won’t have to pay this money if they could instead use their pre-existing units, in particular foreign languages. Never mind that if more people have to sit their existing units then they’ll have to quickly hire more staff, probably on a casual basis, and will face the same associated costs or possibly even more. At this loosening of the guidelines, recommended by ACAC, each other school began listing off their ‘breadthy’ units which they wanted to add to the breadth unit offerings, a grab bag of wishy washy units, some of which include pre-requisites! After this shopping list of shit was read out everyone in the committee voted to exempt 8 or so IT majors from third year breadth units, despite having no outside professional accreditation requirements to meet (as the other exempted degrees do.)

This reconfiguration of next year’s curriculum has to somehow gel with the new curriculum building support, the reconciliation action plan and the PVC’s marketing brochure which she claims has a Learning and Teaching strategy in it it, tucked between the profiles of successful alumni and pictures of test tubes. There’s also a new assessment policy, which doesn’t contain any substantive changes but will piss off all the bureaucracy weary academics.

Have a fun meeting