Something I’ve been meaning to do is say something about Mike Spence’s arbitrary firings of tenured academics at the University of Sydney.
The truth is that like many busy academics – and most academics are busy teaching and researching – I basically avoid thinking about what has been happening in Sydney and how it affects the rest of Australia.
It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current Sydney VC are basically a gradual, long-run form of institutional suicide — and that’s bad for all Australian universities.
The nature of the sacking of tenured academics in Sydney means that no up-and-coming academic will want to work in Sydney and that all serious senior academics in Sydney will be looking for new jobs. It could also mean that it will be difficult for any Australian university to attract senior research talent from overseas; especially in areas like Business, Economics, Mathematics, and Physics where tenure is important.
(Indeed, I paraphrase Paul Krugman’s short post, not about Sydney or tenure, in this short post about Sydney)