All posts by fmc64

Does legal education have a future? – Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academia made by Professor John Hopkins as part of the Professorial Lecture Series in 2018.

Date:               Thursday, 5 July 2018, from 4.30 – 5.30pm.
Location:        F3 Forestry Lecture Theatre

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.


Law without lawyers: does legal education have a future? presented by Professor John Hopkins, School of Law.

Lawyers are popular, as Shakespeare’s most famous and much-repeated quote makes clear. However, the changing nature of law means that the extortions of Dick Butcher to “kill all the lawyers” may no longer be necessary.

The increasing cost of legal advice and the excessive formality of the legal system has left the way open for alternative ways to undertaking the ‘law jobs’, without the need of lawyers. From Blockchain to ‘Alternative’ Dispute Resolution, the way appears open for a legal system without the need for the high priests of the legal profession to navigate it.

If current trends continue, the much maligned profession may die out, all on its own. Given that the profession is facing such an existentialist threat, what does the future hold for legal academia?

Based upon the author’s published work, this presentation argues that the legal academy’s future is assured but very different from its recent past. Successful law schools will be those that shrug off their isolationist exceptionalism and embrace a multi-disciplinary future. In effect, the changing relationship between law and society will drive legal education back to its academic roots. The future of legal academia is the study, not the training of lawyers.

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

Online Vice-Chancellor Staff Forum – Monday 18 June

You are invited to take part in the June 2018 online Vice-Chancellor Staff Forum.

This is an opportunity for audience-driven discussion and to talk about our successes, challenges and any other matters.

This forum will be held online using Adobe Connect and can be accessed on or off campus, provided you have an internet connection. It is recommended you use your computer workstation with headphones or get together in small groups.

A link to the forum will be posted on the Staff Forum intranet site on the morning of Monday 18 June.

Remembering Dr Terry Austrin – 1950-2018

Dr Terry Austrin (formerly of the School of Sociology and Anthropology, 1987-2013) died unexpectedly and suddenly at home of a severe cardiac arrest on the morning of Friday 1 June 2018.

Many people throughout the University will remember Terry.  He was engaged on so many different levels – interdepartmental research seminars, department reviews, Academic Board, College of Arts committees, the Union, and was a member of the Staff Club.

He was an Adjunct Associate Professor in Sociology and Anthropology since his retirement.  He continued to engage in writing and research and, as the Library staff know only so well, was a voracious reader.

His academic interests were broad and eclectic, ranging from miners, bankers, meat workers, sex workers, new media and social networks, casinos, corporate universities, and more recently, following the tragic death of his son in a motorbike accident in 2015, death, grief and mourning.  He brought a fine sociological mind to all things that he engaged with.

Memorial service

His memorial service is available for viewing live online  for two months after the service (held on 11 June). If you would like to have the link, please contact and it will be forwarded to you as soon as it is made available.


QS world rankings

Kia ora Colleagues

You may be aware that in the QS world rankings released this week have placed UC at 231 (last year: 214) out of an estimated 23,000 higher education institutions in the world.

The latest results are disappointing, and point to the ongoing challenge of returning the university to a status we all aspire to post-2010-2011. Many of the metrics that underpin our current ranking are aggregated over the period of 2011-2017, including international reputation, employer reputation, and citations per academic. The events of 2010 and 2011 continue to have an impact. However, some scores have improved, including number of international students and proportion of international academics on staff. UC will continue to work hard on initiatives to improve our international reputation and employer reputation, and accordingly will continue to survey staff through HoD’s / HoS’s to connect with employers and international academics who may have a positive view of UC in the annual QS survey.

Further, UC is working on initiatives so that the University can return to a fuller programme of hosting national and international conferences.

UC continues to rank in the top 1% of the world’s universities and higher education institutes, as determined by the QS ranking system.

Ngā mihi

Dr Rod Carr
Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae 

‘Surrounded by live music’ – Naomi van den Broek

It’s well worth a visit to explore the UC Arts city location – and perhaps meet UC Arts City Campus Manager Naomi van den Broek along the way. She shares a little about a vibrant busy life, which is full of music both in the office and after hours.

It’s not often you read a position description for a job and think “that’s me!” but that’s what happened when I saw the role of UC Arts – City Location Manager advertised.  I love arts and I love education so to find a job that incorporates both of those, which also includes running over 200 public events a year, having a world class museum on site, and being surrounded by live music all day was a bit of a dream come true really. Working in the Arts Centre is nothing to be sniffed at either.

Arts Centre highlights – I’ve been in the role for a year now and some highlights include the staging of The Oresteia for last year’s Christchurch Arts Festival, the three exhibitions that have been on at the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, and seeing our talented music students perform alongside staff, professional musicians, and local high school students. The building is buzzing and no two days are quite the same.

I came into the role from a number of years spent in arts and not-for-profit fundraising. However, I’ve also had a 20 year history as a teacher of singing, performance and songwriting (I developed and taught songwriting at UC for a couple of years) as well as having a career as a singer, actress and pianist. Under the name Naomi Ferguson, I have done everything from large scale musicals and plays to festivals and concerts, both here in New Zealand and overseas.

As an independent artist, I primarily perform with my husband Alex van den Broek, a UC Alumni and former School of Music staff member. Alex is a well-known composer and arranger in New Zealand and plays piano, guitar and trumpet on our shows. We also write and record electronic music together under the name Speak Softly.

Slow fashion – some other fun facts about me are that I love to make my own clothes. Sewing is my number one hobby and most of my downtime is spent at my machine. I particularly like making clothes from second hand fabric (donations welcomed!) in support of the slow-fashion movement and to try and contribute as little to the huge quantities of textile waste polluting the planet every year. I also run a book club which is attended by a group of awesome women; some of my UC colleagues are regular attendees. We’ve been going strong for five years.

Top secret – in collaboration with UC colleagues, English Lecturer Dr Erin Harrington, and Head of School for Music Associate Professor Dr Glenda Keam, I am currently working on a really exciting piece of music and theatre for WORD Christchurch 2018. It’s top secret at the moment, but really worth keeping an eye out for once the festival programme is released later this year.

It’s been a great first year here at the Arts Centre site. If you haven’t come down for one of our concerts or to look through the museum yet, I encourage you to do so. We love seeing our Ilam colleagues down here, and given a few hours’ notice, I can usually arrange a look around the building.

Mā te wā.