Professor Rick Cummings

Manager Educational Development

About me

Professor Rick Cummings is currently Acting Director of the Centre for University Teaching and Learning at Murdoch University.

Rick first worked at Murdoch University in 1979 as an evaluation consultant before going to Papua New Guinea to conduct a two year evaluation study of a secondary school program funded by the World Bank.  Returning to Perth, he worked in the State Government for 12 years establishing policy research and evaluation programs in health promotion, small business and training.  At the same time, Rick completed a PhD at Murdoch and returned here as an academic in 1996.

Rick is an active researcher in teaching and learning and has been project leader of several Office of Learning and Teaching research and development grants. He has sat  on a number of assessment panels for OLT grants and awards and is currently on the OLT’s Academic Secondment Reference Group.

Rick has extensive experience in program and policy evaluation having conducted over 35 studies.  He is a past president of the Australasian Evaluation Society, and past editor of the Evaluation Journal of Australaisa.  The AES awarded him the Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation (ET&S) Award in 2009.

Teaching area

Rick has taught in program evaluation, qualitative and quantitative research methodology.  Rick will be co-coordinating with Dr Andrew McConney, a new unit on policy research and evaluation in the Sir Walter Murdoch Graduate School of Public Policy and International Affairs.

Research areas

Teaching and learning, assessment, academic leadership, policy and program evaluation, use of evaluation findings

Current projects

Professionalisation of the Academic Workforce – This is a $238,000 Office of Learning and Teaching research and development grant conducted collaboratively with UWA, Curtin, Edith Cowan and Notre Dame universities.

Review of University of Southern Queensland student survey system.

Evaluation study of the WA Independent Public Schools Initiative, a $400,000 WA Government funded project collaboratively with the Centre for Program Evaluation at the University of Melbourne and Shelby Consulting

Evaluation of Office of Learning and Teaching funded Academic Leadership Handbook

Evaluation of OLT Fellowship for Dr Dawn Bennett, Curtin University




Awards and grants

In 2008, I was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Enhancing Learning at Murdoch and a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

In 2010, I was awarded the Australasian Evaluation Society ET&S Award for Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation.