Networked professionals

Ambiguity is always at the centre of an interesting experience because this causes us to question, to wonder why a thing holds our attention. – Bill Henson, Oneiroi How will the professional identity or professionalism of academics be supported, rather than eroded as the University is proletarianised? Richard Hall,  ‘On the HE White Paper‘ I can’t pin down when I started to say “professional” so much. Maybe I’m gesturing towards something that might help students think outside of the frame we place around…

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Making kin

A purpose built hospital can be an act of kindness. The politician spoke about a hospital she visited in Oslo that was built with the intention of making everyone there feel good to be a part of it. Lea McInerney, ‘Join the Gathering of Kindness in Creating a Better Healthcare System‘ A couple of months ago I was included in a two day event designed to create a better vision for Australian healthcare, that is safer for patients and offers a more…

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Heresy and kindness

There’s too much to do in too little time with too little money to be world-class in everything we do. What we can and should do is recognise the limits of what’s possible and encourage people to do their best – and I don’t just mean that managers need to do better. We all need a little more humanity. The Plashing Vole, Good enough Here’s a tale. When I first started thinking about how to write in public about the…

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Unleashed

As international mobility increases, competition for the best academic and professional staff will also intensify. This is why we’re unleashing our staff’s performance, reducing complexity and optimising professional achievements. This week the university that employs me released its new Strategic Plan with accompanying changes to our brand identity, vocabulary and collateral. Tucked into this bundle is a video that I can’t stop watching. There are images and sounds I genuinely don’t understand, and a faintly audible sigh about halfway through. (What…

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Standing room only

What do you stand for? Who are you? How can you know that—and operate from that position of power? bell hooks There are times that it’s hard to know what to say. Things seem to ask for a response, even just a raised hand to say “Here”. But how to start with this world? This week I discovered that the place where I work has a new brand tagline, and this is it: Stands For Purpose (It’s not that bad. My daughter’s primary school…

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Listening

The home to be lived in generation after generation, the violin passed down … we cultivate the disciplines of care and attention in small, pivotal ways that have large, far-reaching effects on ourselves and others. Out of what is hidden we make the visible and then call it work; work that makes sense of the hours we are privileged to live. David Whyte, Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity Storytelling is for an other just as…

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In Palo Alto

1. I’m still in Palo Alto, and I’m none the wiser about the street sign program that asks locals to look up and think about the meaning of their city.*  I’ve now found eight different examples, and they’ve started to take on an anxious tone. The whole place feels like it’s worrying about something. Would you say that things in your city are better or worse than they used to be? Do you ever find yourself longing for “the good…

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The stitches of the day

I sewed once a day, keeping a record of when I worked and marking the breaks between each session. While it is evident where one session ends and another begins, I took care to tie the thread or hair from the stitches of one day to the stitches of the next, so that the line is continuous. The result is an image of my commitment and the time that has passed. Maria T D Inocencio, ‘In and out of time’…

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Making change

So why are most universities monolithic, conservative, bureaucratic and resistant to change? F. M. Cornford’s splendid little monograph Microcosmographia Academica (1908) examines the “enemy of inertia” and finds that “there is only one argument for doing something; the rest are arguments for doing nothing”. While change is theoretically deemed to be a “good thing” by “change managers” – commonly known as vice-chancellors and deputy vice-chancellors – those managers often encounter resistance from ordinary academics. Steve Olivier, ‘How to manage rapid change‘ Ordinary…

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Access to care

The Site is owned, operated and/or provided by RateMyProfessors.com LLC (“RMP”), a subsidiary of Viacom International Inc., which offers television channel or programming services (such as Internet websites, applications or other interactive services) and offers other products and services under various brands, such as those Viacom Media Networks brands listed here. RateMyProfessors.Com LLC Terms and Conditions He always has a piece of paper in front of his mouth when he talks which makes it hard to hear. He also hisses like…

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