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Murdoch University Senate



23 February 1981

Minutes of a meeting of the Senate held in the Senate Room at 4.30 pm on Monday 23 February 1981


The Hon. Sir Ronald Wilson (Chancellor)

Professor F.M.G. Willson (Vice-Chancellor)

Ms M. A. Anthony

Mr. G. Aplin

Assoc. Professor C. Baldock

Sir Noel Bayliss

The Hon. K. E. Beazley

Ms C. A. Bolton

Rabbi Sha1om Coleman

Ms V. Cook

Mr. S. D. Corser

Dr. J. Gawthorne

Mr. W. Hare

Mr. R. M. Hillman

Dr. J. Leavesley

Mr. M.A. Lewi

Mr. R. A. Lindsey

Professor J. F. Loneragan

Mr. H. W. Louden

Ms A. MacBeth

Mrs A. McTaggart

Mr. J. Slattery

Professor A. M. Kerr

Mr. D. D. Dunn

Mr. R. H. Campbell

Mr. R. Elsegood



 Dr. P. Jennings


The Chairman welcomed those members attending their first meeting of the Senate, Professor Baldock, Ms Bolton, Mr. Hare and Dr. Leavesly, and two members rejoining the Senate in another capacity following a break in service, Mr. Aplin and Ms MacBeth.

Members of Senate extended their congratulations to Rabbi Dr. Coleman on his appointment in the New Year’s Honours list as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.


The minutes of the meeting of the Senate held on 24 November 1980 were confirmed.


The Senate noted that Mr. K. C. Beazley had written to express his thanks to the Senate for its congratulations on his election to the House of Representatives.


The Senate noted that a meeting of the Executive Committee had been held to confirm decisions taken by telephone on two matters, the membership of the Finance and Staffing Committee and the conversion of a position in the School of Education.


The Senate noted:


 that following the recent amendment to the Murdoch University Act Associate Professor Cora Baldock had been elected as a fourth academic staff member;


 that Mr. Cordon Aplin and Mr. William Hare had been elected by and from amongst the students for terms of 12 months commencing on the 1st, January 1981;


that Ms Ann MacBeth, Ms Carol Bolton and Dr. James Leavesley had been elected by Convocation for terms of three years, two years and one year respectively from 1st January 1981; and


that an election was now in progress for the election of one person by and from amongst the full-time officers and servants of the University who were not members of the full-time academic staff of the University.




that Mr. R. M. Hillman be re-elected as Pro-Chancellor for a term to commence 26th February 1981



     The Chancellor stated that he felt that the time was now opportune for an examination of the structure of Senate committees by a small group and for the same group then to suggest the allocation of members to the various committees. He pointed out that this review could involve some reconsideration of the existing membership of each committee and also that it might result in committee places not being available for all members of Senate.



that the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor be requested to bring forward a proposal for the restructuring of Senate committees and for the allocation of members to them.

The Chancellor assured members that the group would welcome any submissions on this matter.


 A number of changes in the membership of committees were agreed, it being noted that some changes might be effective only until the committee review had been completed.



that the following changes in the constitution and membership of Senate committees be approved:

(i) Finance and Staffing Committee

the appointment of Mr. Lewi and Mr. Louden.

(ii) General Purposes Committee

(a) acceptance of the resignation of Mr. Beazley and Mr. Slattery following their appointments to the Finance and Staffing Committee.

(b) the appointment of Mr. Hare.

(iii) Property Committee

(a) variation of the constitution by the addition of one further member of the Senate.

(b) acceptance of the resignation of Mr. Lewi following his appointment to the Finance and Staffing Committee.

(c) the appointment of Mr. Aplin and Ms MacBeth.

(iv) Senate/Guild Liaison Committee

the appointment of Ms Carol Bolton.

University Health Service Committee

Dr. Leavesley indicated that he would be pleased to accept co-option to this committee.


The Report of the Vice-Chancellor was received, those items requiring consideration by the Senate being dealt with separately hereunder.


The Senate noted that His Excellency Sir Richard Trowbridge as Visitor of the University had made his first appearance on campus on Wednesday 11th February. Sir Richard had made a tour of the site, displaying a keen and informed interest in the various activities. He and Lady Trowbridge, who had not been able to join in the tour, were later entertained to lunch.

The Vice Chancellor reported that Sir Richard had also said that he would be pleased if possible to accept an invitation to dine with members of the Senate following one of their regular meetings. It appeared that this might be arranged to follow either the September or the October meeting of Senate.


The Vice-Chancellor reported on his attendance at a meeting of the AVCC at Deakin University on the 16 and 17th February. He said that one of the major items discussed at the meeting had been that of research funding where concern had been expressed at meetings with Sir Geoffrey Badger, Chairman of ASTEC, and with the Minister, Mr. Fyfe, at the trend for funding to be directed towards applied research, with a consequent reduction in university funding Some reassurance had been not yet been called for the centres of excellence proposed in the Prime Minister’s policy speech but it was hoped that this would occur within the next few weeks; it appeared likely that there would be only six to eight centres established in the first instance so that competition would be very strong.



    The Senate noted that the visit of the Academic Salaries Tribunal to Perth in connection with the inquiry into academic salaries had been postponed following the appointment of the Chairman, Mr. Justice Ludeke, to the Full Court of the Arbitration Commission for the inquiry into wage fixation. It was now expected that the Tribunal’s visit including a visit to Murdoch and discussions here would take place in April.

    (ii) The Vice-chancellor reported that there had been some uncertainty regarding the application of the Tribunal’s decision on part-time academic rates of pay which had set rates below those actually being paid in some universities, and that the matter had accordingly been referred back to the Tribunal with a request for clarification.

The Vice-Chancellor reported that, while it was still too early for formal estimates of the final enrolment figures in different areas and at different levels, there had been some rise in first preference applications, in first and second round offers for undergraduate places and in offers and acceptances of postgraduate research places. A shift at undergraduate level towards full-time study and an increase in the number of school leavers were apparent and he was hopeful that the final WSU count would approach 1900, compared with 1818 in 1980 and the TEC guideline target for 1981 of 1925 to 2025.


The Senate noted that because of the expected increase in the flow of migrants the University had been informed that places could not be made available for Murdoch students at the Noalimba Migrant Centre in 1981. Representations to the Minister for some temporary deferment of this decision had been unsuccessful and accordingly a number of alternatives had been investigated as a matter of urgency. As a result, arrangements had been made for the University to lease a number of furnished flats in Coolbellup from Commonwealth Accommodation and Catering Services Ltd and in addition a small number of unfurnished flats from the State Housing Commission. There had been quite a strong demand from students for places in these flats but it now appeared that all applicants could be accommodated there or in private accommodation which had been offered following advertisement. The heads of colleges at the University of Western Australia had also cooperated very fully in offering prospective Murdoch Students the opportunity to apply for places at those colleges but in fact the student response had been quite low apparently because of the relative cost of this accommodation and the problems associated with travel from Nedlands.

The Senate noted that while this question of student accommodation was causing some concern and some financial outlay at the moment the loss of the Noalimba places would in the longer term strengthen the University’s case for Commonwealth and State support towards the provision of student accommodation on campus. This had been the University’s first priority for capital development for a number of years and had also been accepted by the Fund-Raising Committee as the major item for which support was being solicited.


The Vice-Chancellor reported that he had had further correspondence on this matter with Mrs Betty King, who had sent him a copy of a letter from the Deputy Prime Minister in response to her proposal that an Institute for Peace Studies might be established on the Murdoch campus but independently of the University. The Deputy Prime Minister had made it clear that the Government would be guided in matters such as this by the Tertiary Education Commission.


The Senate noted that Dr. F. School of Social Inquiry, had which he intended to take up R. Pascoe, Senior Tutor been awarded a Harkness at Harvard in September in the Fellowship 1981.

Having noted that Dr. Pascoe was one of the first intake of postgraduate students to the University in 1974 and one of the original student members of the Senate



that the Senate congratulate Dr. Pascoe on this award.

  1. 6UVS/FM

The Vice-Chancellor reported that the new manager of station 6UVS/FM, Ms Pieta O’Shaughnessy, had taken up her appointment in January and that members of the Board of Directors were confident that the initiatives she had since taken would greatly strengthen the station both administratively and in its programming. Greater use was being made of volunteers and planning was proceeding for the introduction of a distinctive breakfast programme, probably in April, and for other changes in programme format without the need for additional full-time staff and without resorting to the type of commercial sponsorship which it had earlier appeared would be necessary to support such developments. It was expected that other changes would encourage and assist more members of academic staff and students of Murdoch University to contribute to the station’s programmes.


The Deputy Vice-Chancellor stated that while there was still no assurance of Commonwealth funding for the development of Community Television it appeared to be generally accepted that one of the first stations to be established would be at Perth. Discussions had accordingly been proceeding for the formation of a consortium including the various tertiary institutions and also for the possible use of Murdoch facilities.


Attention was drawn to a booklet concerning the facilities available at the University, which had been printed for distribution to disabled students and prospective students. The Vice- Chancellor noted that the University took some pride in the extent to which facilities had been developed and in the merit award it had received in 1977 from the Australian Council for Rehabilitation of the Disabled, and it was seen as appropriate that this special booklet had been published in this Year of the Disabled.


The Vice-Chancellor stated that he would be absent from the University from 26th February until 6th April on recreation leave and attending a meeting in Hong Kong of the Executive

Heads of Commonwealth Universities. During his absence Professor Kerr would be Acting Vice- Chancellor.


A report of the meeting of the Academic Council held on 4th February 1981 was received, those items requiring consideration by the Senate being noted separately hereunder.


On the recommendation of the Academic Council,




 that Degrees and Diplomas be awarded as set out in Appendix A

 that, having fulfilled the relevant degree requirements, the following students be awarded the degrees indicated


Mr. Pritam Singh (769005G) - the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy, for his thesis

entitled "Cation Solvation in Mixed Solvents".


 Mr. D. J. Reuter (789005G) - the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy for his thesis entitled

"Distribution of Copper ,and Zinc in

Subterranean Clover in relation to Deficiency Diagnosis".


Mr. B. C. Jenkin (759024C) - the degree of

Master of Philosophy for his thesis entitled

"Aanalysis of the Political, Economic and

Social Changes brough about in West Malaysia by the 1969 Election Crisis, to the end of 1975".


 On the recommendation of the Academic Council following a request from the Australian Veterinary Association



that the title of this prize be changed to "Australian Veterinary Association Federal Student Award in Veterinary Pathology".


Senate noted that some concern had been expressed that the provision for unrestricted student membership of certain academic committees and boards could result in students participating in academic judgements on the performances of other students. After considering various ways of dealing with the situation the Vice-Chancellor had proposed to the Academic Council that a statute should be drafted to provide that students should not participate in the deliberations of any board or committee of which they were members on any matters relating to the assessment or progress of individual students. The matter had been discussed at length in the Academic Council and, while some reservations had been expressed concerning the full application of the proposal, which would exclude students from deliberations on appeals relating to academic progress, the Council had eventually recommended the drafting of a statute. The Council had been assured that the proposed statute would not reduce the Dean’s discretionary authority to consult as he saw fit regarding any appeal against an individual course grade.

In introducing this item the Vice- Chancellor made it clear that there was no suggestion that there had been any improper activity and that the concern was not with any possible breaches of confidentiality but rather that it was essentially improper for one student to sit in academic judgement on another and that if the existence of this possibility became widely known it could throw some doubt on the value of the Murdoch qualification and hence harm all students. He therefore suggested that a statute should be made in unequivocal terms to bar student members of committees from any part in individual assessment.

In discussion, while there seemed to be a consensus that students should not be involved in the actual examination process, there was some concern that student representatives should continue to have some involvement in any appeals against assessments and in more general deliberations on student progress. It was pointed out that the Academic Council vote on this matter had been split.

Attention was drawn to the possibility of a student being treated unfairly because of a personality clash with a lecturer and it was suggested that in a case of this nature it was desirable that the student concerned should be able to have another student present as a friend or advocate. It was not seen, however, that this possibility would be infringed in any way by the proposed amendment. An assurance was given that the Statute if made would not affect the administration and assessment of Independent Study Contracts.

It was claimed that student representation on a committee dealing with academic progress under previous conditions had been instrumental in averting some inequities and it was also suggested that there could be a case to ease the ban by extending the exception to include part-time as well as full-time staff members enrolled as students.

Several changes in the wording proposed in the Academic Council Resolution were agreed with the object of defining the area of concern more closely as "the assessment or examination results or academic progress of individual students".



That a statute should be drafted to provide that, 7/81 notwithstanding the provisions of any statute or

regulation or resolution of the Senate, the Academic Council, or any other Board or Committee within the University,

 an enrolled student, other than a person who is also a full-time member of the academic staff, shall not participate in the deliberations of any Board or Committee of which he or she is a member on any matter related to the assessment results or academic progress of individual students, and shall withdraw from any meeting of the Board or Committee during such deliberations; and

 the Secretary of a Board or Committee shall ensure agenda papers relating to the assessment or examination’ results of individual students are not distributed, or other wise made available, to any student other than a student who is also a full-time member of the academic staff."

  1. PRIZES 1980

The Senate noted a list of 1980 Prize Awards.


Attention was drawn to the establishment by the Vice-Chancellor, following a request from the AVCC, of a committee on overseas academic relations to deal with matters of development assistance, exchanges and cultural missions. The Committee would consist of the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor ex officio, together with one representative of each school and a student member. The Committee’s terms of .reference would be

(a) to advise the Vice-Chancellor on matters of policy concerning relationships between Murdoch University and overseas universities;
(b) to advise on the establishment of special links between the University as such, or sections within it, and particular overseas universities;
(c)  to consider requests from government agencies for assistance with the placement of students and to facilitate arrangements for the placement of students and the exchange and secondment of staff; and
(d) generally to act as a reference point for all matters of academic cooperation arising between this University and overseas universities, and between this University and national and international agencies, including those concerned with international development assistance programmes.

The Minutes of the meeting of the Finance and Staffing Committee held on 2nd February 1981 were received, those items requiring consideration by the Senate being noted separately hereunder.


On the recommendation of the Finance and Staffing Committee



that position EN 0592 Lecturer in Southeast Asian Studies, which was originally established on a three year basis, be established on a permanent basis.


On the recommendation of the Finance and Staffing Committee



(i) that the casual teaching rates recommended by the

Academic Salaries Tribunal and updated by


4.2% - National Wage adjustment, July 1980

4% - Academic Salaries Tribunal: interim increase in academic salaries

3.7% - National Wage adjustment, January 1981

for lectures and marking be adopted.


(ii) that the existing rates for tutoring and demonstrating be retained until such time as the recommended rates catch up as a result of national wage or other adjustments, with the proviso that the University does not suffer any funding loss as a result.



The Senate noted that the Animal Resources Centre building had now been completed, the Director had taken up duty and action was being taken to commission the facility. However action had not yet been taken by the State Government to establish a statutory authority and as it was necessary to begin the progressive recruitment of technical staff the Project Committee had asked the University to establish the first six positions on the basis that they would be transferred to the centre when the appropriate authority was established and that all costs would be met by the members of the consortium.

On the recommendation of the Finance and Staffing Committee




that the following positions be established:

Chief Technician, GIl 6/7, $17565 –19627, 1-4-81

Secretary/Typist (Grade 1), C3 1/2, $1149 7-12181, 1-5-81

Animal House Assistant, Gl0, $5299-12515, 1-6-81

Animal House Attendant (2), G7, $4608-11458, 1-7-81

Senior Technician, GII 5, $16540-17028, 1-9-81 and


that the University accept no commitment to the cost of these appointments beyond the agreed share of the cost of the State Animal Resources Centre.


The Senate was informed that a concept proposal for the student housing project would be submitted to the Universities’ Council by 31 March 1981 as the University’s first priority for capital funding in the 1982/84 triennium. In addition the Fund-Raising Committee was seeking support for the project from various firms in the form of materials and services.

In these circumstances the Finance and Staffing Committee had considered the possibility of a contribution from the University’s own funds to the project and had recommended that the Senate shoulc1 underwrite the cost of the detailed planning and documentation of the project.

On the recommendation of the Finance and Staffing Committee



to underwrite the cost of the detailed planning tender stage of the student housing project to a limit of $100,000.


On the recommendation of the Finance and Staffing Committee





that wage rates for grounds staff employed under the Municipal Employees (Kings Park Board and Others) Award Number 12 of 1972 be increased as follows:

Group 1 (a) - Motor vehicle and sanitary service workers $9.30 per week

Group (b) - Machine drivers $8.20 per week

Group (c&d) - Mower operators and gardeners $10.40 per week

Group (e&f) - General and foremen $8.60 per week

(ii)  that Murdoch University be named as a respondent to the above award.

The Minutes of the meeting of the Property Committee held on 12th February 1981 were received, those items requiring consideration by the Senate being noted separately hereunder.


The Senate noted that there had been some preliminary discussions concerning the possibility of the development on the University site by a private developer of an indoor tennis complex comprising six courts, a gymnasium and associated facilities. The discussion had been on the basis that all costs would be met by the developer, with the University offering a lease of the land required at a nominal rental for up to ten years with the option of a renewal of the lease at a negotiated rental for a further ten years. At the expiry of the lease the whole property would revert to the University. In discussing the proposal the Property Committee had noted that the University would wish to exercise control over such aspects as the aesthetics of the buildings, the naming of the complex, ongoing mainten and other similar considerations and had recommended that, subject to these issues, the Senate should accept the proposed development as compatible with the overall development of the campus.

During discussion it was urged that the interests of students and staff be raised during any further discussions and some concern was expressed as to what immediate benefits there might be for students if the complex would be managed on a commercial basis for 20 years. It was pointed out that, besides providing convenient access to a facility which could be of interest to many members of staff and students, there was the possibility of concessional rates or of reduced rates at times which could be particularly convenient for members of the university and also that there should be real possibilities of part time employment.

It was noted that the site proposed was remote from other developments and in an area designated on the campus plan for sporting facilities.

On the recommendation of the Property Committee




that the proposed development comprising

  • six indoor tennis courts

  • gymnasium

  • sports shop

  • change rooms and sauna facilities

  • office and lounge

  • creche

  • kitchen facilities and dining facilities

be accepted as compatible with the overall development of the campus.


The Vice-Chancellor reported that a meeting of this Committee had been held on 19th February at which the main item of discussion had been the indoor tennis complex.


The minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 29 January 1981, at which the Committee had discussed further the possible extension of the University Health Service by the provision of the services of a doctor on a sessional basis, were received.

The Senate was informed that inspections had been made of the current service by a private practitioner and a member of the Occupational Health Division of the Public Health Department and that both had suggested that the cost of modifications to the present centre to accommodate a doctor on a full-time basis would be of the order of $24,000. In the light of this information, the favourable comments made by both doctors on the present service, the small number of referrals from that service to practitioners or to hospitals and the lack of any other clear evidence as to the need for a medical service on campus, the committee had agreed that no change should be recommended at this stage in the existing service and that the matter be looked at again when the funding position for the next triennium was known.


The Senate noted with interest that proqress was being made by the Fund-Raising Committee in obtaining offers of construction materials for the student housing project and that one firm had offered to supply all the roofing and guttering. Some offers of financial support had also been received not necessarily related to the housing project, and there also appeared to be good prospects of progress with the equestrian track.

The Vice-Chancellor was asked to convey to members of the Fund-Raising Committee the Senate’s deep interest in and appreciation of its work.


In response to a question as to whether the University might be able to co-operate with service clubs- in developing emp1oyment opportunities for young people, the Senate was informed of the university’s heavy involvement with the Commonwealth Employment Service in offering work experience opportunities for young people. Up to thirty people at one time had been employed within the University under this scheme and it was known that the Commonwealth Employment Service regarded the University as a model employer for this purpose. Consideration was now being given to ways in which the University might assist with the employment of aborigines under a similar scheme.




that in accordance with Sections 14 and 10 of Statute No. 14, Mr. B. W. Rowland QC be appointed Chairman of Appeal Boards and Mr. T. A. Walsh Chairman of Boards of Reference for 1981.


Having noted that Professor Kakulas had been unable to accept re-appointment to this Foundation and on the recommendation of the Board of the School of Veterinary Studies



that Dr. R. Nowotny be appointed a member of the Foundation for Continuing Veterinary Education for a term of three years commencing on the 1st January 1981.


The Senate noted the following academic staff promotions and accelerated incremental advancements approved by the Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of the Academic Staff Promotions Committee with effect from 1st January 1981.

Promotion from Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor:

Dr. L.R. Davidson - School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Dr. P.J. Jennings - School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Dr. C.J. Marsh - School of Education

Dr. M. Renfree - School of Environmental and Life Sciences

There were nine applications for promotion to Associate Professor.

Promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer:

Dr. J.C.L. Cornish - School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Dr. K.G. Johnson - School of Veterinary Studies

Dr. P. Newman - School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Dr. P. Williamson - School of Veterinary Studies

There were eleven applications for promotion to Senior Lecturer.

Promotion from Tutor to Senior Tutor

Dr. L. Layman - School of Social Inquiry

Dr. R. Pascoe - School of Social Inquiry

Dr. A.M. Van Der Kraan - School of Social Inquiry

There were four applications for promotion to Senior Tutor.

There were nine applications for accelerated incremental advancement, of which three were approved.


The Senate noted that the review of lectureships due to expire between 1st April 1981 and 30th September 1981 had resulted in the grant of tenure to one Associate Professor and two Lecturers.


The Vice-Chancellor reported that seventeen applications for outside studies programmes to commence after the end of first semester 1981 had been received. Sixteen applications had been approved and one was not approved.

Reports from Professor Hill and Dr. Huxtable on their outside studies programnes were noted.


The Senate noted the attached statement giving details of appointments and resignations of members of the academic staff since the last meeting of the Senate.

Attention was drawn to the resignation of Associate Professor Marilyn Renfree who had been a foundation member of the lecturing staff and whose promotion to associate professor had been approved earlier in the meeting.



that the Senate express its appreciation to Professor Renfree for her services to the University s and its best wishes for the future




that Leave of Absence be granted

(i) to Sir Noel Bayliss for the March meeting of the Senate, and
(ii) to The Hon. Mr. Beazley from 25th February 1981 to 1st June 1981,when he would be overseas.



that the date of the next meeting of the Senate be varied from 30th March 1981 to 23rd March 1981.

The meeting closed at 6.25pm.