Today prolific democracy campaigner and Victoria University academic Dr Sandra Grey takes up her position as president of the 10,000 strong Tertiary Education Union (TEU).
Tertiary education is at the forefront of a battle to protect democracy in New Zealand says Grey.
Grey, who helped lead the campaign to keep MMP and has spent her academic career researching the nature of democracy and dissent in New Zealand, says her job as TEU president will remain focused on protecting democracy.
“People working in tertiary education, especially public tertiary education, have a unique ability and duty to speak up and say things that otherwise may not be said.
“Tertiary institutions and their staff and students are, and should remain, independent of government and corporate influence. One of TEU’s jobs is to advocate and protect that independence, but also to make sure that our members use that independence wisely and often.”
Sandra Grey will be supported at TEU by three vice-presidents, Cat Pause, a Human Development Senior Lecturer and Fat Studies researcher at Massey University, James Houkāmau, an Academic Support Coordinator for Māori students at Whitireia NZ and Phil Edwards, Academic Leader at Otago Polytechnic’s School of Sport and Adventure.