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The axe swings on the School of Music

By johnboy - 3 May 2012 23

“All academic and general staff positions in the School of Music will be declared vacant”

This in from a source. It starts out sounding all flexible and modern and then BAM, you’re all sacked.

note

note

UPDATE 03/05/12 12:05: We now have the staff email:

[Staff.all] ANU School of Music
staff.all-bounces@anu.edu.au [staff.all-bounces@anu.edu.au] on behalf of VC [vc@anu.edu.au]

Sent: Thursday, 3 May 2012 11:37 AM
To: ‘staff.all@anu.edu.au’

Colleagues

Significant changes to the ANU Bachelor of Music are proposed for the start of 2013.

Announced jointly by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, and School of Music Head Professor Adrian Walter, the proposed program aims to be more flexible, more connected with the community and offer more student choice.

Under the proposed new model students can, for the first time, receive academic credit for contributions to musical activities in Canberra and beyond. ANU will also build on the already significant technological advances that connect students with master classes, other students and innovations at world-class music schools, across Australia and overseas.

This curriculum refresh has been in the making for the past three years, but has been accelerated by financial circumstances. The proposal suggests a model that is financially sustainable.

The 2011 Lomax-Smith review of higher education funding confirmed that government funding does not cover the costs of one to one music tuition, let alone buying instruments or providing appropriate teaching rooms.

Change is essential if music is to survive at a tertiary level here and across the rest of the sector.

The ANU School of Music has taken a creative and comprehensive approach to regeneration and devised what I believe will be a sector-leading curriculum model.

I would like to thank Professor Adrian Walter and his team for their intense and considered approach to the identification of educational options. His leadership in recent intense weeks, but also over 3 years of this curriculum change and review, has put ANU in the best possible position to adapt to present circumstances.

The revitalised program will strengthen opportunities for students to develop skills needed across a range of music jobs. Other unique features are proposed as well:

· a Professional Development Allowance (PDA) that will be allocated to students, allowing them to choose between specialist one-to-one tuition, attending a summer course, master class or conference, or learning a new piece of music software, and

· real-time, video-linked lessons and sessions with the support of the Manhattan School of Music.

I understand that these changes will cause significant stress and disruption for staff.

A change management process will run alongside the new curriculum, to ensure that staff and student needs are met. A smaller group of staff will be required to run the new offerings. To achieve this reduction all academic and general staff positions in the School of Music will be declared vacant, and applications invited for the new positions.

Existing staff have the option to apply before outside applications are invited. Those who do not secure a position, or who choose not to apply for one, will be paid their full entitlements.

Importantly we also guarantee that existing students will be able to finish the degree they started, with arrangements made to ensure they can complete.

Information sessions for staff and students will be run in coming weeks to discuss the changes and how they impact on individuals.

Professor Ian Young

Vice-Chancellor

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
The axe swings on the School of Music
Cummerbund 8:55 pm 03 May 12

How about printing a reminder of Federal Government grants to the Tasmanian Symphony? Millions of dollars routinely head south, no problem, thats how votes are bought in our ”democracy”… but in the ACT skilled musicians are denied the chance to teach or to be taught… because Canberra is so safe a Labour seat that our ”representatives” can wipe us like a dirty arse

I-filed 7:05 pm 03 May 12

ANU knows full well that advanced music tuition has to be one-on-one. This means unfortunately that music excellence will go back to being all-elitist and funded by rich parents. Why the hell wasn’t this likelihood considered when ANU absorbed the art school and the music school, and the transfer made on the basis that ANU couldn’t simply close it down and steal its money?

c_c 6:58 pm 03 May 12

qedbynature said :

You’re all sacked! Except for

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington (they keep their jobs for carrying the can!)

Never trust people with hyphenated or overly floral names, and certainly never trust someone with both.

Also let’s not forget Marnie recently came to ANU from Monash University, where she at least to an extent oversaw the redundancies of over 350 staff – absolutely massive cuts.

It seems quite clear now we’ve got a razor gang running the place, and an incompetent one at that. PR 101 says you don’t come out with some of the crap they’ve been saying. Yet Ian announced the ambitious growth project last year he readily admitted the targets for probably wouldn’t be met. Now he announces to consecutive plans for cuts in a way that boggles the mind.

qedbynature 6:35 pm 03 May 12

To: ‘staff.all@anu.edu.au’

Underlings

Significant changes to the ANU Bachelor of Music are proposed for the start of 2013.

You’re all sacked! Except for

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, and School of Music Head Professor Adrian Walter (they keep their jobs for carrying the can!)

Under the proposed new model students can, for the first time, receive academic credit for contributions to musical activities in Canberra and beyond. Which means you get a degree and we don’t have to teach you anything…it’s a win-win really when you think about it.

ANU will also build on the already significant technological advances that connect students with master classes, other students and innovations at world-class music schools, across Australia and overseas. We might have been a world class music school but we couldn’t be bothered and it’s easier with computers.

This curriculum refresh has been in the making for the past three years. We didn’t just cook this up to save a bit of dough but we figured that music students aren’t really serious academics anyway. We considered making them all sing for their courses but decided we would rather play with particle accelerators.

The 2011 Lomax-Smith review of higher education funding confirmed that government funding does not cover the costs of one to one music tuition, let alone buying instruments or providing appropriate teaching rooms. So it’s official, only those who can afford one to one tuition, musical instruments and appropriate teaching rooms can afford to learn music.

Change is essential if music is to survive at a tertiary level here and across the rest of the sector, but frankly we don’t give a toss. All we want is the prestige and the land that sits under the school of music.

The ANU School of Music has taken a creative and comprehensive approach to regeneration and devised what I believe will be a sector-leading curriculum model. In fact if this takes off we might sack all the academics and replace them with state of the art eLearning facilities. That will save us a packet!

I would like to thank Professor Adrian Walter and his team for their intense and considered approach to the identification of educational options. His leadership in recent intense weeks, but also over 3 years of this curriculum change and review, has put ANU in the best possible position to adapt to present circumstances. He’s kept good files and all the possible trouble makers have been identified.

The revitalised program will strengthen opportunities for students to develop skills needed across a range of music jobs. I’m sorry if you thought music wasn’t about jobs, but it’s a dog eat dog world kiddies, let this be your wake-up call. Other uniquely stupid features are proposed as well:
– a Professional Development Allowance (PDA) that will be allocated to students, allowing them to choose between specialist one-to-one tuition, attending a summer course, master class or conference, or learning a new piece of music software. In fact this option sound too good to be true so don’t get too excited because
– most of you will be stuck in front of a computer getting a virtual lesson from the Manhattan School of Music. We will of course have to pay the Manhattan School of Music a shitload of money but since they’re our friends we don’t mind.

I understand that these changes will cause significant stress and disruption for staff but I don’t care. That’s why I’m the boss.

A change management process will run alongside the new curriculum, to ensure that staff and student needs are met except those staff who think they need a job and students who think they need those expensive things we can’t afford.

And in case you missed it at the start, you are all sacked, could the last one out the door turn of the lights? If you behave yourselves and go quietly a lucky select few will be required to run the new offerings. Just to turn on the computers and sweep the floors, that kind of thing.

Importantly we also guarantee that existing students will be able to finish the degree they started, with arrangements made to ensure they can complete. Mainly because we think we might get into some sort of legal biffo which we would like to avoid. Frankly, we don’t give a rat’s arse about any undergraduate degrees as long as we get people paying for something.

Information sessions for staff and students will be run in coming weeks to discuss the changes and how they impact on individuals. It’s unlikely that these discussions will have any effect whatsoever on our objectives so we are happy to make it look like we are consulting.

Yours most sincerely

Professor Ian Young
Vice-Chancellor

jdazzle 6:26 pm 03 May 12

Not liking you Mr Young. Life is so much more than $.

Deref 5:59 pm 03 May 12

WTF does Young think the ANU is – a business?

Oh. Wait…

johnboy 5:39 pm 03 May 12

This in from the CSO:

Message Body:
MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday, 3 May 2012

CANBERRA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (CSO) CONSIDERS FUTURE OF MUSIC COMMUNITY IN ACT

SCHOOL OF MUSIC RESTRUCTURE ANNOUNCEMENT

As the professional orchestra of the national capital the CSO has long employed ANU School of Music (SOM) staff and students to perform in our concerts. The CSO is not alone in having benefitted greatly from the SOM’s rich history in performance tuition excellence. Indeed the fundamental music fabric of Canberra has grown out of the School of Music.

The announcement today by the ANU of their new curriculum vision for the SOM would appear to reflect a shift in the educational philosophy of the school away from the original concept of performance-based tuition.

“There are many exceptional teachers at the SOM, some of whom play with the CSO. We acknowledge the devastating impact today’s announcement is having on them and their families,” said CSO CEO Henry Laska.

The CSO makes no criticism of the proposed new courses and recognises that the new curriculum vision will no doubt generate different outcomes for future students. The CSO’s concern is that these future students will not graduate as highly trained performers ready to develop their professional career through the CSO, amongst other orchestras in Australia and the world.

From the documents issued today the restructure would appear to offer exciting new opportunities for students interested in studying music from the aspects of research, administration, management and education. We believe that a curriculum such as this will not attract leading performance staff which in turn means that the top performing pre-tertiary students may not come to Canberra.

We hope that the ANU SOM will recognise its place in and responsibility to the community that nurtures it. The CSO and many other arts, government and commercial organisations in Canberra have benefitted from the activity at the SOM and students who have graduated from it. The community as a whole will feel the long-term loss of not having high quality musicians at its disposal.

It’s too early to know how the SOM changes will affect the use of Llewellyn Hall as a performance venue and in turn the many local and national organisations that rely on it as a hired venue.

HenryBG 4:55 pm 03 May 12

Who needs to teach culture when there’s lots of money to be made selling degrees to dodgy foreigners?

damien haas 3:36 pm 03 May 12

c_c said :

Can someone remind us why the ANU even absorbed the Schools of Music and Arts in 1992?
I know it was part of the adjustment post self-government, but to hand it to an organisation that was always traditionally research and post-grad centric, with more emphasis on theory that practical, it was always an odd choice.

Were there any property assets involved ?

johnboy 2:39 pm 03 May 12

Woroni’s got a lengthy take too.

johnboy 2:34 pm 03 May 12

For what it’s worth there’s a Facebook protest group.

johnboy 2:03 pm 03 May 12

The VC’s blog post on this is now up.

c_c 1:37 pm 03 May 12

Can someone remind us why the ANU even absorbed the Schools of Music and Arts in 1992?
I know it was part of the adjustment post self-government, but to hand it to an organisation that was always traditionally research and post-grad centric, with more emphasis on theory that practical, it was always an odd choice.

Ben_Dover 12:31 pm 03 May 12

Thank you and good night!

Slice 12:30 pm 03 May 12

Be bop doo baaa bopa de boo!!!

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