The questionable future of Adjunct Professor Barry McGlasson (a HAC graduate himself) sums up the absurdity of over-politicised university management that places more importance in self-preservation and economics than in pursuing excellence in teaching and research. Barry’s position at the University is unpaid. Here is a man who has dedicated his life to his profession and continues to strive towards providing invaluable assistance and inspiration to students and colleagues.
Barry’s work at UWS has allowed for the opening of a life science centre that has increased community engagement with the University. He has also proposed a transfaculty research facility to encourage interdisciplinary research projects and innovation.
As one student stated:
“Because of him [Barry], students like me have the chance to carry out research projects in the former Faculty of Horticulture, bringing new life to a once very popular field on the Hawkesbury campus. His vision allows students from disciplines such as food science, nutrition and agriculture, to engage and carry out unique research projects that are not only very interesting and rewarding but also generate continuous interest with new students.”
So why then is Barry being forced out? The Hawkesbury Student Campus Council was made aware that the decision not to renew Barry’s contract was made by the Dean of Science and Health due to “piss weak” political reasons.
According to staff members, UWS has attempted to cut costs by integrating degree-specific courses into generalised units (that cover everything but focus on nothing, as we say) to accommodate students from a huge range of studies. The University has also minimised the number of electives offered and forced students to choose from the core units that comprise other key programs. Even field trips and hands-on practicals –the reason why students choose UWS over inner-city universities– have come under fire due to “risk assessment” and have been halved in some courses. Meanwhile Agriculture, which Hawkesbury Agriculture College (HAC) was founded on all those years ago, has been wiped off the map completely as if there was no thought into the necessity of food production in our Nation’s future.
A recent petition to review current methods of student feedback regarding lecturers revealed that many students were fearful of retribution in response to speaking out. In this day and age where universities must provide both community engagement and the basis of learning to achieve excellence in all areas, opinions of staff and students must be heard rather than discouraged to ensure that the University is continually improving and remains competitive.
The actions of UWS have highlighted the need for the University to seriously consider the consequences of the provision of poor feedback mechanisms that smother any attempt for genuine improvement. At the expense of your own education and of mine, I implore you - if you give a damn about the value of your degree, speak out! We’ve all invested our futures in UWS. Together, let’s ensure that decisions that are made by the University will be for our benefit and not to our detriment.
DON'T LET THE UNIVERSITY REMOVE BARRY MCGLASSON!