Save Dr Frank Valckenborgh!
Save Dr Frank Valckenborgh!
Dear Professor S. Bruce Dowton, Professor Magnus Nyden and the executive management of Macquarie University,
Macquarie University Mathematics Society (MQMS) members reject the forced redundancy of Dr Frank Valckenborgh from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and we petition the Vice Chancellor Professor Bruce Dowton and the Executive Dean Professor Magnus Nydén to repeal the decision to retrench Dr Frank Valckenborgh.
Dr Frank Valckenborgh is a Mathematician and Quantum Physicist.
Dr Valckenborgh sustains a high teaching load for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He has a unique ability to teach many units across a number of disciplines, we propose that by retrenching Dr Valckenborgh, the University is negligent in adhering to the following parts of the TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021:
1. The staffing complement for each course of study is sufficient to meet the educational, academic support and administrative needs of student cohorts undertaking the course.
11. The higher education provider has breadth and depth of academic leadership and expertise in the fields of education it delivers, to guide teaching, learning and academic governance.
MQMS are Macquarie University students who have been associated with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Most of us having obtained our degrees in this field. Dr Frank Valckenborgh’s pedagogy meets the critical needs of equipping STEM students with advanced mathematical knowledge as iterated by the Office of the Chief Scientist. His retrenchment is ineffective and will lead to a reduction in the quality of learning Mathematics at Macquarie University.
Dr Valckenborgh has been a Professor, tutor and mentor. We unreservedly state that Frank is one of the best and most respected lecturers in the University. He is a powerhouse of knowledge and imparts this to his students, his care for his students is indisputable and his teaching empowers students to reach their full potential.
Frank’s commitment to learning, teaching, education and academia is evident and for many of us he is the face of Mathematics at Macquarie University. Frank has had an integral role in helping us in reaching our goals and so many of us have obtained our degrees because of Frank’s commitment to education and teaching.
We testify to the leadership qualities and expertise that Dr Valckenborgh brings to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, seen in the time he spends teaching, supporting, empowering and mentoring students, his broad and deep knowledge not only in mathematics but across disciplines such as physics, statistics, biology and associated sciences, his expertise in teaching certain units such as Discrete Mathematics and his ability to inspire scholarship in his research area of Quantum Physics.
We know for a fact that Dr Valckenborgh’s reputation and teaching has brought new students to Macquarie University and increased the standing of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. We ask the University to value the role teaching plays in higher education and in the direction of students’ careers, a role which is espoused by Dr Frank Valckenborgh.
MQMS unreservedly calls on Macquarie University management to reconsider and overturn their decision to retrench Dr Frank Valckenborgh.
President of the Macquarie University Mathematics Society