Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
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NEWSLETTER NO. 28         FALL 2003


The Silverton Foundation, which is located in Austin, has donated $250,000 to UT-Austin to create an endowment that will support the Clark Center. Wanting initially to support programmatic opportunities for excellence in Australian Studies, the Foundation anticipates making further donations that will enable the University to endow a Silverton Foundation Professorship in Australian Studies.

Dr. Higley, who directs the Clark Center, observed that this generous support will permit a significant expansion of Center activities during the next several years.  “It puts the Center on a firmer and more permanent footing,” he noted. The Silverton endowment complements the Jack S. Blanton Chair, the Caltex Professorship, and the Texas Instruments /James Voss Professorship that facilitated the Clark Center's founding in 1988 and that have sustained its operations ever since. 


Jack S. Blanton, who was instrumental in founding the Clark Center, is a recipient of the 2003 Presidential Citation “for service that has made a significant and positive contribution to the achievement of UT-Austin's mission”. An alumnus of UT-Austin, Mr. Blanton is President of Eddy Refining Company in Houston. He has for many years been one of the University's staunchest supporters, perhaps most conspicuously by endowing a major part of the Jack S. Blanton Art Museum, which is currently being constructed on the UT campus.


The Clark Center has taken advantage of Dr. Pam Ryan's presence in Austin this spring to enlist her as instructor of a special undergraduate course in Government dealing with Australia's people, politics, and foreign relations.  Dr. Ryan, who has long been a prime supporter of the Center and who is normally located in Adelaide, organized major deliberative polls in Canberra in 1999 and 2001 about the republic referendum and Aboriginal Reconciliation.  Some 40 UT students are enrolled in her course and are benefiting from her extensive knowledge of contemporary Australia.


Dr. Jane Carlisle Maxwell, a Research Scientist in UT-Austin's School of Social Work, has received a Fulbright Senior Specialists grant to conduct research during 2004 at the Queensland University of Technology. She is a specialist on substance abuse and its epidemiology.


Message from the Director

Fall became winter before I could find enough time to produce this issue of Yacker. As during the preceding two years, I continue to serve as chair of UT-Austin's large Department of Government, which counts more than 2,000 undergraduate majors. Running the department while also directing the Clark Center, as well as teach, makes for some rather full weeks and months. Happily, Frances Cushing, the Center's executive assistant, remains at her post and keeps the Center ticking over.

During the past fall semester, the president of UT-Austin, Larry Faulkner, was invited to participate in a meeting that would bring together the Vice Chancellors of Australia's Group of 8 research universities and the presidents of major American research universities, such as UT-Austin, which make up the Association of American Universities (AAU). The meeting took place at UC-Berkeley in late January, and its purpose was to canvas research collaborations between AAU and Group of 8 universities.  President Faulkner asked me to accompany him to the meeting, which was attended by the Vice-Chancellors of A.N.U., Monash, and the Universities of Adelaide, New South Wales, Sydney, and Western Australia. From the AAU, in addition to President Faulkner, the presidents of UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UC-Davis, Stanford Univ., Syracuse Univ., and the Universities of Toronto, Virginia, Oregon, and Wisconsin-Madison, attended.  The AAU president, Nils Hasselmo presided and Bob Berdahl, Chancellor of UC-Berkeley, was the host.

The meeting presented something of a challenge, however. For it is in the nature of large research universities that no one has an overview of what collaborations with what universities and countries are taking place. This is because research collaborations are normally initiated by individual scholars or small teams of scholars, they are often funded by external grants, and there is no reason for a university to maintain a comprehensive ledger of who is doing what in their hundreds of departments, laboratories, centers, and other units. Useful for the Berkeley meeting, therefore, would be a stocktaking of the research ties that one major American research university, UT-Austin, has with its Group of 8 counterparts in Australia.

President Faulkner asked UT-Austin deans and department chairs to inform me of current research collaborations among scholars in their units  and  Group of 8 scholars. Yacker readers may be interested to see the result, which shows the sheer scope and multiplicity of these collaborations. This is presented below and on the next page without, I hope, going into excessive detail.

John Higley 

 UT-Austin Research Collaborations with Group of 8 Universities, 2003-04

UT-Austin's collaborative research with Group of 8 universities is enormously diverse. Much of it involves specific projects with clear time lines, but there is also much that is informal, ongoing, and more or less ad hoc. In any academic year, there is a multitude of research communications, projects and experiments, reciprocal faculty and postgraduate student visits, meetings of collaborators at disciplinary conferences, etc., between UT-Austin and Group of 8 scholars. This is what the collaborative picture looks like in 2003-04.

UT-Austin's School of Business maintains a BBA semester exchange of students with the Univ. of New South Wales, and it operates MBA semester exchanges with the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at U.N.S.W. and Melbourne.

The Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) regularly hosts faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and senior level undergraduate students from Adelaide and U.W.A. The ICES's Prof. Graham Carey works closely with the applied math and engineering faculty at Adelaide, in particular. Funding is by ICES.

The Microelectronics Research Center is engaged in a collaborative project with the Dept. of Electrical Engineering at U.W.A. The project is funded at a significant level by DARPA.

The Department of Chemical Engineering collaborates informally with Prof. Yiu-Wing Mai at Sydney to investigate rubber toughened plastics and polymer nano-composites. Prof. Yiu-Wing's group has helped the UT-Austin group with fracture techniques, and the UT-Austin group has taught Prof. Yiu-Wing's group about processing and formulation.

The Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering collaborates with counterpart researchers at U.W.A. in the field of oil and gas exploration. Funding is shared by the two universities.

The School of Law has active faculty and student exchange programs with Sydney, Melbourne, and A.N.U. One Law School faculty member has a joint appointment in A.N.U.'s Faculty of Law. Other Law School faculty members travel frequently to A.N.U., Sydney, and Melbourne as visiting lecturers, consultants, and the like. For example, the Director of the Tarleton Law Library at UT-Austin, Prof. Roy Mersky, serves as consultant to several Group of 8 law libraries.

Liberal Arts
As with the School of Law, there is a very large traffic of scholars in the College of Liberal Arts and counterpart scholars in Group of 8 Faculties of Arts. Much of this occurs through or in connection with the Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, the activities of which are summarized in this and previous issues of Yacker.  

Natural Sciences
The Institute for Fusion Studies (IFS) has a formal collaborative and exchange program in theoretical plasma physics with the Department of Theoretical Physics in A.N.U.'s Institute for Advanced Studies. Research foci are (1) Control of differential transport in quasi two-dimensional flows, with applications to micro and macro fluid constituent separations; (2) Modeling interactions between turbulence and shear flows in two-dimensional plasmas. The program is jointly funded by the Australian Research Council and the US Department of Energy.

The Department of Computer Sciences collaborates with the A.N.U.'s Department of Computer Science to solve problems in programming language implementation and memory management that arise as the “bottleneck” between processor cores and memories tightens. At least five published papers co-authored by UT-Austin and A.N.U. scholars have resulted from this collaboration. Funding is provided separately by UT-Austin and ANU.

The Department of Molecular Biology has a collaborative research program with its counterpart at Queensland. The research focus is brain gene changes in alcoholism, using brain samples from Australia. The analyses are carried out both in Austin and Brisbane. Two published papers co-authored by UT-Austin and Queensland researchers have so far resulted. The research is supported by a US National Institute of Health grant to the department at Austin, with a subcontract to the Queensland department.

The Department of Integrative Biology has a group that collaborates with a counterpart group at Melbourne, from which the Austin group has obtained antibodies of DMRT-1 to study the sex determination process in the red-eared slider turtle. Funding is primarily by UT-Austin.

Social Work
The Center for Social Work Research collaborates with the Alcohol and Drug Research Center at Queensland University of Technology in research on substance abuse.

 UT Social Work Interns at Flinders Multiply
The successful program directed by UT-Austin's Prof. Jane Kretzschmar, which sends Social Work graduate students to Flinders University in Adelaide as interns, is increasing in size. Whereas three UT students have done internships at Flinders in each recent year, in 2003-04 seven UT students are doing clinical or administrative internships there.


As this issue of Yacker appears, Clark Center members and affiliated students are traveling to the University of Toronto for this year's annual meetings of the Australian and New Zealand Studies Assn. of North America.  Frances Cushing will attend the meetings in order to coordinate Clark Center activities with ANZSANA and the Center at Georgetown University, with which the Clark Center cooperates closely. Dr. Higley will present a paper at the meetings, as will Greg Brown, a doctoral student affiliated with the Center. One of the Center's illustrious graduates, Jason Pierce, who is now an Asst. Professor at University of Dayton with his own student-oriented program in Australian studies, will present a paper and several of Pierce's Dayton students will also make presentations.

Recent Visitors to the Clark Center
Prof. Ross Milbourne, Vice Chancellor of Univ. of Technology Sydney
Prof. Rob Robertson, Executive Director, UTS
Prof. Archie Johnston, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, UTS
Prof. Homer Le Grand, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Monash
Dr. Carl Ungerer, Senior Advisor to Leader of Opposition, Simon Crean
Prof. Deryck Schreuder, Vice Chancellor of Univ. of Western Australia
Prof. Paige Porter, Dep. Vice Chancellor, U.W.A.
Dr. Tim Rowse, A.N.U. and holder of Harvard's Chair in Australian Studies, 2003-04

Is published in the fall & spring by The Edward A. Clark Center for Australian & New Zealand Studies,
Harry Ransom Center 3.362
The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713-7219
Telephone: 512/471-9607 Fax : 512/471-8869 email:
This Newsletter was not printed with state funds.

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