Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Greenfield doesn't follow the rules his own university teaches

As both I and my son are graduates of UQ, it pains me to have the university's name dragged through the mud by this foolish man. The university is not getting much for the million dollars a year it pays him

IT IS a case of not practising what it teaches at the University of Queensland. The university has so far refused to reveal the full details of the "misunderstanding" that vice-chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield said had led to "irregularities" that benefited a close relative.

But this lack of transparency contradicts the courses taught at the university, most notably the postgraduate unit in Public Sector Accountability offered through the School of Business.

The course outline talks about "the issue of responsible, open and accountable public management" to ensure the debate "remains as prominent as ever".

Taught at the St Lucia campus, the six-month course is described as providing "an overview of fundamental elements of the accountability framework governing the public sector".

Future business students could well use the university's unwillingness to reveal the details of the "irregularity" in the Student Case Study Report, a compulsory assessment students must complete to pass the course.

Unlike his students, the professor is not judged by the intensive course's graduate attributes, which include "an understanding of social and civic responsibility".

Yesterday, the academic press turned a national spotlight on UQ with Campus Review revealing the student at the centre of the controversy had gained entry to the medical school.

The paper reported: "Campus Review understands Greenfield's relative is enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate pathway course into UQ's Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program.

"The pre-med course, which students know as 'Twosie', is open to high-school graduates who receive an overall position (OP) score of 1 and then pass an Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admissions Test (UMAT). "It is understood that Greenfield's relative attained the OP but did not meet UMAT."

The Federal Coalition rural health spokesperson Andrew Laming yesterday asked the university for a clearer public explanation of the events surrounding last year's enrolment incident.


Julia kills off homosexual marriage

The Labor party Left are disgusting. They want members of their own party to be forced to vote against their conscience

JULIA Gillard has effectively killed off the prospect of gay marriage by ruling out government legislation and allowing Labor MPs a conscience vote that would be destined to fail.

The prime minister's intervention has fuelled a backlash from the Left of the party, which is set to endorse a push against the PM's proposals at a meeting in Canberra on Sunday.

Ms Gillard says she expects "fireworks" at the conference, arguing that disputes will be a sign the party is not afraid of debating policy ideas.

"I expect and want to see a noisy conference," she said. "That shows we are a political party full of ideas and working through how Australia deals with challenges of today and the challenges of tomorrow."

In a compromise deal on gay marriage, Ms Gillard will allow Labor MPs a conscience vote if a private members' bill is introduced to the parliament.

But she has ruled out government legislation to change the Marriage Act, even if this is endorsed by the national conference.

A conscience vote on gay marriage would be doomed to fail because some members of the Labor Party would oppose it and the Coalition planned to block it.

Advocates of gay marriage have warned they will not be dissuaded from their campaign if a conscience vote failed to pass the parliament. Key Labor Right figures - including some who support gay marriage such as Paul Howes and Mark Arbib - backed the conscience vote.

Labor Left powerbrokers Doug Cameron and Mental Health Minister Mark Butler have vowed to campaign against a conscience vote. Senator Cameron said the conscience vote was a "tactical manoeuvre" by the PM that was "not appropriate".

But Queensland backbencher Graham Perrett, who is a Labor Left convenor and has argued for gay marriage, said people who opposed a change for religious reasons should have the right to vote against it.


Marriage breeds better children?

The AIFS is a Federal government body but its website seems not to be up to date. I could find no mention of the study described below

From the information below, however, the study conclusion seems outstandingly silly. The data seem more indicative of highly educated mothers having better adjusted children, rather than anything else. Just another case of the general high IQ advantage, it seems

CHILDREN of married couples are more mentally and socially developed than children brought up by a single parent or an unmarried couple, a study claims.

A report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, released today, suggests a gap between children from single-parent and married families that will continue to widen as they grow, the Herald Sun reported.

Family studies researcher Ruth Weston said love and affection was shown by all families in the study of 5000 children, but twice as many women in wedded couples had a university degree and were more likely to be employed.

"The study shows 31 per cent of the married mothers had a university degree or higher-level education compared with 15 per cent of single or cohabiting mothers," Ms Weston said. "A family's financial circumstances are clearly very important for the wellbeing of children."

But Victorian president of Parents without Partners, Rhonda McHugh, slammed the taxpayer-funded study, describing it as "detrimental". "It is unfair assuming children of single parents are not going to do well. A lot of our kids are doing well in sports and going to university," Ms McHugh said. "These studies create a stigma, and single parents go out of their way for their kids to achieve."

Married couple Rebecca, 39, and Troy Harris, 42, of Croydon, agreed that having two breadwinners made things easier, but a child's development depended on time spent as a family. "Because there is two of us, we get more time to sit with them and interact, but sometimes families are better off separated," she said. "Marriage is great for kids, but it has to be a positive environment for them."


Anti-gun hysteria in the Qld. parliament

PHOTOS of Gold Coast MP Ros Bates brandishing a rocket launcher have this afternoon caused furore as State Parliament debates weapons laws.

Public Works Minister Simon Finn, who tabled the photos from the Mudgeeraba MP's Facebook page, said it was irresponsible for community leaders to "proudly pose" in such a way.

But Ms Bates said the photos were taken last year during a march out in celebration of her army rifleman son being awarded "most outstanding soldier".

She condemned the move, which came just hours after the Parliament paused for a minute’s silence in honour of three Diggers killed in Afghanistan. "I think it was a grubby attempt for a day that we have a condolence motion for our soldiers – it had absolutely nothing to do with this weapons Bill," she said.

Among the photo thumbnails Mr Finn produced were pictures of Ms Bates’s son and his army friends.

Speaker John Mickel is now considering whether the photos should be banned from public tabling amid fears it could pose a security risk for the army men.

Mr Finn insisted leaders should not tolerate any glorification of weaponry. "This might be all very innocent and taken at an event she attended with a family member but it behoves all of us as community leaders not to be seen enjoying the company of weapons," he said.

The photos were taken from Ms Bate’s private Facebook page. She believes one of her "friends" handed them over to the ALP. "It’s just dirty, grubby politics," she said. "It’s an insult to the three Australian soldiers … and an insult for every young Australian who is brave enough to represent their country."

Mr Mickel this afternoon ruled the photos could be withdrawn as they posed a security risk to the army men, some of whom are about to embark on active services overseas.

Mr Finn then withdrew one document that contained thumbnails of multiple photographs. “I stand by my contribution to the substantive issues of the debate. I accept, however, that this was an inappropriate document to table and I apologise to the House,” he said.

The photo of Ms Bates with the rocket launcher was tabled.


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