Research Professor, Human Resource Management
with UniSA since 2006
I moved from the University of Melbourne to UniSA 18 months ago, attracted to its research focussed culture.
Living close to work is great, but the biggest thing for me is the work itself. It was the nature of the job that first drew me here.
Iím really passionate about research; I spend the majority of my time on it. At other universities, I had to teach and play an administrative role in addition to research. UniSA has capitalised on my strengths to achieve its initiatives while allowing me to pursue my passion. We spend so much time at work, so you really want to make sure you enjoy it.
UniSA and I share a responsibility to make sure research is a priority. Every time I notice a barrier to research, I highlight it and the problem is removed. This is very unique for a uni. UniSA has research as its mission and it shows. Organisations run so much better if they let people work to their strengths. UniSA is willing to experiment and take chances. Itís all about trust. Weíre inventing ourselves as we go along.
When Iím teaching other people (colleagues or PhD students) how to do research, and I see how excited they are about what weíre doing, itís a great feeling. As people get stuck into research they can become isolated, but weíve actively created spaces where people can interact and comment on other peopleís research.
Within the school of management weíre very conscious about developing our junior staff. So we have funds to help them travel to international conferences to give them face-to-face contact with world-renowned figures in their research areas. These relationships can have massive benefits.
If someone was thinking of working at UniSA Iíd tell them to think about not just the parameters of the job on offer, but what your life will be like. At UniSA youíll be doing work you enjoy, with people who want to talk about what you enjoy, and that means a lot. UniSA has focused on creating a community, uniting people to produce the best work as a team. You wonít find people locked in a room for six months at a time.
As some universities get bigger, they can become jaded. UniSA is at a great place; itís friendly and encourages collaboration. As an academic, Iím reliant upon support staff. At the University of Melbourne the number of support staff is huge, but it can feel quite distant and bureaucratic. At UniSA the hierarchical support comes from a much smaller group of people, giving you a sense of immediacy.
Itís great to have a diversity of intellectual perspectives. Our model is: we care about a common problem and we use a diverse range of approaches to tackle it. We cover so many areas and methodologies that our creativity is always on show. Other universities may have the same ideal, but they are bound by their traditions, often unintentionally.