Tuesday, March 15, 2005

AUS Dispute At Auckland University

Xavier from About Town has written a great piece on University of Auckland (and former Victoria) Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon's refusal to participate in a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) - the piece is aptly named "Stuart McCutcheon is a Fucktard"

My analysis of Stuart McCutcheon and his time at Victoria is thus (please correct any inaccuracies):

McCutcheon came to Victoria when we were in dire financial circumstances. Previous Vice Chancellor Michael Irving had seriously fucked things up big time (including, but not limited to, my personal favourate: an expensive (and unsuccessful) advertising campaign involving Robert Rakete, a cactus suit, and the phrase "Victoria takes all comers"), and the university was not only loosing students, but loosing money. Irving was "asked" to leave, and was offered an undisclosed goldern handshake - rumours range from a six-figure payment, to a BBQ and a chilly-bin full of beer.

So out with Irving, and in with the Knight in Shining Armour - Massey University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon. The students stopped leaving, and the books balanced. However, McCutcheon took it a little further, building Victoria University into the corporate entity that it is. I am mixed on my feelings about this, but it did invlove expensive corporate marketing, staff salaries stagnating, and student fees going up (it also involved other factors which we are currently in legal action over).

I currently have a lot of respect for the new Vice Chancellor Pat Walsh, and we enjoy a civil and prefessional working relationship. Walsh's area of expertise is industrial relations, and he has a strong record of union membership (which, admitedly is much higher at Victoria than Auckland) so AUS would also have reason to be optomistic this year.

Interestingly Irving (who is now Professor of Biomedical Science at Bond University in Australia) is a bio-chemist, and McCutcheon a vetenerian, two subjects which are not especially strong at Victoria.
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