Tertiary union drops legal action against Western Civilisation degree
“The fast track approval process has been used regularly by successive University of Wollongong vice-chancellors for more than two decades, including for approving whole courses. It is a well-established process,” he said.
Professor Wellings said the university was making rapid progress on establishing the degree, which is slated to welcome its inaugural cohort of students next year.
But NTEU national president Dr Alison Barnes said the union stood by its opposition to the Ramsay Centre’s academic plans.
“Just because the council’s decision is legal doesn’t make it the right decision,” Dr Barnes said. “The council decision underscores the lengths to which university managements have gone to erode the centrality of academic governance within universities.”
And Dr Barnes said the “overwhelming majority” of staff remain opposed to the new degree.
The Ramsay Centre also took a significant step towards the establishment of the degree at the University of Queensland on Monday, when that university’s academic board endorsed the establishment of a major in Western Civilisation.
Senior university administrators will now review the planned major before it is formally incorporated into the university’s curriculum.
A university spokesman said negotiations with the Ramsay Centre for a memorandum of understanding were continuing to ensure it is “consistent with the university’s policies of autonomy over curriculum, academic appointments, academic freedom and governance arrangements”.