NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Edition 21, 2019 – The Measurement Game

By Jenny Wilson — As a former university research administrator, one of my favourite books is Management Fads in Higher Education: Where they come from, What they Do, Why they fail[1] by US writer Robert Birnbaum. At the same time that Australian universities were enthusiastically adopting new management practices, Birmbaum’s book was clearly documenting their failure in the US.
By Professor Larissa Hjorth — When NISA released their innovation report that led to the ARC developing the Engagement and Impact (E&I) framework, people were palpably nervous. Not yet another framework which already over-worked academics had to consider in their research trajectory.
By Professor Simon Biggs — How do the current criteria we use to evaluate the quality, engagement and impact of research relate to the priorities of creative arts research? What do these criteria capture and what do they miss?
By Professor Craig Batty — While the sector has a pretty broad understanding what creative practice research is – and how its outcomes align with the ARC’s definition of research (e.g., new materials, devices, processes, understandings) – there are still conflicting views about where the new knowledge resides, even from those doing the work.
By Professor Jen Webb and Professor Ross Gibson — In 2017 the Deans of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences agreed to survey decision makers in creative arts disciplines about the perception that “While every other FoR has increased its average score in each of the ERA rounds … FoR19 is the only code in which the average score across the sector has decreased in each ERA round” (McKee 2018).[1]
Professor Clive Barstow interviews Professor Jill Durey — Within the broad definition of practice-led research, how has contemporary literature fared in terms of its categorisation, measurement and funding compared with the visual and performing arts? I interview Professor Jill Durey, previous head of English at ECU and now retired, and who has lived through the various incarnations of ERA.
By Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet — Impact is something that cuts across the lives of artists both outside and inside the academy.
By Professor Su Baker AM — Thirty years, conventionally, represents a working life, and if that is still true, then that has been mine, so far.
By Professor Marie Sierra — Now that the Federal election is over, we can likely expect the next ERA to be 2021, instead of some later year. While it’s an enormous amount of work for what some deem a “beauty pageant”, more infrequent ERA exercises mean having to manage a larger, more unwieldy data set. And it’s all about the data.