First, we saw the Ramsey Foundation’s incursion into universities with bribery and their Western Civilisations degree. Now News Corp and Google have moved in on Melbourne University’s Business School. and the L-NP removal of research funding to the commercial sector. What we are seeing is the replacement of an Indpendant Tertiary Institution with the Trump University model being deployed in Australia? We know how well that went. Will shares too be issued sometime soon? The division between private and public seems to have been accelerated by this L-NP.
Why then are we as journalism academics concerned? There are several reasons. The first and most obvious is the incursion of a high-profile and controversial media company into the higher education sector and the extent to which that is funded by a large disruptive digital search company.
Source: News Corp’s deal with Google and the Melbourne Business School questioned by journalism academics
Why should this conservative think tank be given pride of place in a world-reputed university? It’s been given pride of place voice on Sky News After Dark, and linked to the IPA has Melbourne University now become an extension of these organizations with $7mill boost from the LNP? Who said cabals don’t exist in Australia? Of course, they do. Once in the 60s and 70s there were only conservative individuals, academics like Prof Knofflmacher who debated left-wing ones like Geoff Sharp, now there are organizations being given pride of place. Would the CPA ever be given the same largesse on campus? There is nothing intellectual here but just another step in the political culture war and another step in the policing of thought on a world-leading campus.
The institute is a partnership between the university and the Menzies Research Centre, a self-described “think-tank that champions Liberal principles” that “is affiliated with the Liberal Party of Australia”. The institute’s board includes: Sky News commentator Peta Credlin, a former chief of staff to PM Tony Abbott; Geoffrey Hone, chair of the right-wing think-tank, the Institute of Public Affairs; and David Kemp, a former Howard government cabinet minister. A former chair of Qantas and a University of Melbourne pro vice-chancellor and dean also sit on the board.
Some students and academics. They question the appropriateness of the university hosting a platform, set up with A$7 million in federal government funding, that lauds Menzies’ achievements but overlooks negative aspects of his legacy.
Source: Should the University of Melbourne host the Menzies Institute? The answer hinges on academic freedom
After starving universities of funding, Australian conservatives now want to set up an institute dedicated to right-wing leader Robert Menzies. Its only purpose will be to shift public debate to the right and provide Liberal hacks with subsidized employment.
Source: Melbourne University’s Robert Menzies Institute Is a Right-Wing Con
Students and academics at the University of Melbourne are mobilising against the opening of a Liberal-aligned research institute on campus that counts conservative commentator Peta Credlin and the chairman of right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs as board members.
Source: Melbourne University students mobilise against Liberal Party-backed Robert Menzies Institute