CHASS Newsletter #19

In this issue:

  1. New CHASS President
  2. Presidential priorities
  3. New Board members
  4. Retiring Board members
  5. Creative and Performing Arts Workshop
  6. Humanities and law: Panel 11
  7. History and political science

1. New CHASS President

Professor Stuart Cunningham was elected President of CHASS at the AGM in Sydney this week.

Stuart is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, based at Queensland University of Technology. He is known for his contributions to media, communications and cultural studies and is the author or editor of several books and major reports, the latest being The Media and Communications in Australia (edited with Graeme Turner) and What Price a Creative Economy?

He has served as a Commissioner of the Australian Film Commission and Chair of QPIX, Queensland’s Screen Development Centre, and is currently Treasurer of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and a member of the ARC’s College of Experts.

Stuart will be President for the next 2 years.

2. Presidential priorities

Stuart Cunningham has announced his priorities as President:

  • consolidating the sector’s profile with national parliamentarians and decision makers
  • connecting more effectively with industry and business
  • bringing the excellent research resources of the sector to bear more decisively on issues of national importance
  • engaging the membership base to reflect its concerns in our advocacy, research and activities.

In a media release, he said that too many of Australia’s policy settings overlook the enormous potential of the humanities, arts and social sciences to contribute to the national economy and well-being.

“Australia is a socially cohesive nation, and our writers, teachers, artists, urban planners and enterprise and political leaders have contributed mightily to that. Most of them have developed their careers engaging directly with the humanities, arts and social sciences.

“What value do you place on social cohesion at a time when civil strife and war rage across the globe?”

3. New Board members

A new Board was also elected at the AGM. The full list is:

  • Professor Sharon Bell* (University of Canberra, ACT)
  • Professor Greg Craven (Curtin University, WA)
  • Professor Stuart Cunningham (QUT, Queensland)
  • Ms Julie Dyson (AusDance, ACT)
  • Mr Stuart Hamilton (Open Universities Australia, Victoria)
  • Professor Elizabeth More (Macquarie University, NSW)
  • Professor Sue Richardson* (Flinders University, SA)
  • Professor Linda Rosenman University of Queensland, Qld)
  • Professor Kim Walker* (University of Sydney, NSW)
  • Professor Sue Willis* (Monash University, Vic)

Biographical details of the Board are on our web site.

Many nominations and suggestions were considered by the Search Committee, and CHASS is fortunate that such a strong pool of talent is willing to serve on the Board.

4. Retiring Board members

Malcolm Gillies steps down after two years as President. His massive contribution to establishing CHASS as an active and visible champion for the humanities, arts and social sciences was recognised at the AGM and the final meeting of the 2005-06 Board.

Also retiring are Andrea Hull, Libby Raupach and Sue Rowley. They were all Members of the inaugural Board, and their work helped establish a style and a presence for CHASS.

Each of the retiring Members was warmly thanked at the AGM and presented with a testamur “for outstanding service in the national interest to the humanities, arts and social sciences”. Similar testamurs have been prepared for Members who retired from the Board last year: John Byron, Tom Stannage and Julie Wells.

And CHASS would like to thank Professor Phillip W Jones (Director, Research Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney) for hosting the meeting in the splendid Darlington Centre.

5. Creative and Performing Arts Workshop

The CHASS workshop on the Research Quality Framework and impact in the visual and performing arts is at the VCA in Melbourne on Tuesday 26 September.

It’s a practical one-day workshop to discuss how “impact” might be applied in the arts, as well as reports from the trenches: music, art, theatre studies, dance.

Speakers include Mandy Thomas from the ARC, Margaret Seares (UWA), Anne Marsh (Monash); Su Baker (VCA and ACUADS); Maggi Phillips (WAAPA); Peter Roennfeldt (QLD Conservatorium and NACTMUS); Jonathan Bollen (Flinders); and Josko Petkovic (Murdoch and ASPERA)

The program was put together by David Williams and Julie Dyson, and there is still time to attend!

6. Humanities and law: Panel 11

CHASS was asked to provide advice on the proposed RQF Expert Advisory Panel 11: Humanities and Law. This request was made in response to concerns expressed within the sector that Panel 11 is likely to experience difficulty in assessing the wide range of disciplines included in that panel with the limited number of assessors (12 – 15 people) envisioned for each panel.

Nearly 50 written submissions were received from

7. History and political science

CHASS has been asked to investigate the appropriateness of the citation analysis process for History and Political Science. Data has been collected from universities round Australia.

We will be convening and facilitating a meeting of invited experts in these disciplines to assess the appropriateness of this process.

Toss Gascoigne
15 September 2006

For more information, please contact:
Toss Gascoigne
Executive Director
Council of the Humanties, Arts and Social Sciences
Phone: +61 2 6249 1995