What on earth is happening to Australian universities?! For years I've heard that Australia has no tenure system, but that de facto this makes little difference. Really? I sense that the whole Ozzie university system is being turned into a showpiece (read: Kijŏngdong) for the "free market" of "services" and "educational content"--which translates into open season on any academic who does not supply immediate financial gratification for students or higher-ups.
At University of Sydney one hundred academics have been told they will lose their jobs for not publishing frequently enough, apparently a cost-cutting move designed to pay for new buildings and refurbishment to the university. Wonder how many of them are simply working on a book that does not result in bite-sized pieces of what the administration now calls "research outputs."
And now this just in from Australian National University:http://music.anu.edu.au/news/proposed-changes-anu-school-music-bachelor-music-degree
Here we have all the usual: two "leaders" whose jobs are of course never at stake, announcing the latest round of "reforms." They seem so thoroughly brainwashed by the cant and doublespeak of the business world that it makes your head spin: "integrating professional outcomes," "delivery of educational content," you've heard it all before--apparently there's nothing left in the world but marketable or unmarketable commodities. Ah, how "excited" they are about dressing up an opportunity to trash half of the faculty in the name of changes to the "curriculum"! Let's hope for their sake that they are just going through the moves and don't believe in what they speak. But what kind of audience to they presume? The IMF? The Australian business world? They mention that five other departments besides music are up for castration. What are the other ones? Sounds like in the music department everyone will be fired and those who can do two and three jobs at once will be rehired--i.e., those who never had any real competency in anything and have sailed on through by appealing to vague notions of "interdisciplinary" and "borderless" studies. No doubt this decision will turn ANU music into a better source of vocational training for the entertainment industry, but perhaps most importantly it will no doubt generate more "important" work in "advising," "planning," "reforming" for the dear leaders, who are expected to grin the whole time and offer more drivel for public consumption.