Letters to the Editors - Mar 2013

Dear Staff and Students,

Welcome to another new year at this venerable institution of Learning. On behalf of Management, I would like to congratulate the entire university community on the successful introduction of trimesterisation, which has resulted in a 27% increase in student unit flowthrough, 32% increase in UNE profits and only twelve nervous breakdowns of staff and students. Following the float of the academic dollar, we are now trading at 12.7 on the intellectual stockmarket, up 3 points from July 2011.

However, the sector still retains some unnecessary costs. In particular, you will see on the UNE Statistics site, which no doubt most of you visit daily, that there are 748 administrative staff to only 544 academic staff, and this ratio has been growing. A more efficient processing of student units will occur with a further 100% reduction of academic staff, and the introduction of duodecemesterisation. That is, twelve semesters of one month each, marked via a complex computerised system which judges essays and exam papers on the length of words used (smaller being better), and the frequency of the terms ‘profit’ and ‘privatisation’ (more being better, as in the real world). Students can tweet in their answers (no more than 30 words) while driving or from anywhere in the world. N.E. sought of Eengleesch iz axeptible. Or you can upload a two-minute YouTube clip or video streamed live from your i-comb, on the topic of your choice.

The Education Faculty with its old fashioned communistic bible-based notions of ‘leading the Israelites out of the wilderness’ will be replaced with a new faculty – Training for Integration into the Corporate World. Disciplines such as Archaeology, History, Natural Resource Management, Philosophy, Peace Studies, Linguistics and Politics are ludicrous extravagances, as indeed is the whole Arts faculty with its dangerous insistence on teaching students to question and think. It will be replaced with a Faculty of Industrial Pig Farming, and a Faculty for Making the Reimbursement Process Incredibly Bureaucratic and Requiring Frequent Courses. We intend also to phase students out of the university system, as many of them are young, smelly and troublesome.

If you have any queries about these decisions and their implementation, please do not hesitate to put them in writing and send them in triplicate to our Faculty-Utilising Knowledge Youth Unit (F.U.K.Y.U.), located in East Azerbaijan, where they will be given due consideration and/or read out for our amusement at pool parties.

Warmest regards, (Mrs) Agnes Clutterbuck, Dip.So, DFC, KBE Senior Pro-Vice Executive Administration Officer, Faculty-Utilising Knowledge Youth Unit

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Dear Editors,

Just a quick reflection from an old bird!

It was this time 34 years ago that I arrived at UNE as a seventeen year old, having just completed high school and leaving home for the second time in my life (this occasion being my own decision), to discover what Uni life was all about. I unpacked a suitcase of light, summery frocks, no winter gear and no idea of the four seasons or in which order they flowed throughout the year! Going from Darwin where we really only knew about ‘The Wet’ and ‘The Dry’ (generally no rain or big rain), to cold Armidale was a bit of a shock. The first week was spent swapping most of my clothes for jeans, warm shirts, Ugg Boots, thick socks and ‘Desert Boots’ (remember them?!).

The next few years of my life was absolutely wonderful - Uni and UNE was all that (and more than) I hoped it would be. The course was great as were my co-students and the staff in all the faculties and services such as Dixon library. (There used to be a rumour that the turnstile counter recorded more students entering the library than leaving it!) Radio UNE was a favourite haunt and I always treasure the experience of learning to be a radio DJ way back when we recorded tapes and carts (cartridges). Computers were nowhere to be seen except over in the Rural Science Building where we sometimes went and watched in awe as it churned out pages of concertina folded printouts that meant very little to me. Earl Page College provided more than just Residential accommodation because the friends I made through being involved in the JCR, College events, O week and other activities were a great influence and I still remember the fun we had, the learning we did and the achievements that everyone gained.

When controversies arose, we marched down the main street shouting our messages and then enjoyed a few drinks at the New Englander or Railway or whatever other pub happened to be close by! Student Rep Council meetings always provided thought provoking debates and quite a good dose of entertainment, however, I often used those experiences to later on Chair meetings, record minutes and teach students over the years about how to conduct a meeting. Last year I re-enrolled at UNE in a Master of Nursing course and have often reflected on the fact that our first day as an undergrad is the start of a long journey that is never travelled alone, but instead is quite like a snowball that picks up many extras along the way. We enlighten and encourage many others to make the most of educational and vocational opportunities and gain all they can through the journey of life.

Thank you UNE and all the other Uni’s, for providing rich learning experiences for everyone forever.

Cheers, Leanne.

 

 

MOOCs

Editorials: March 2013