The tertiary education minister’s decision to appoint Lincoln University’s acting chancellor Tony Hall to the University of Canterbury’s council, Canterbury’s chancellor Dr John Wood to the Lincoln Council, and tax specialist Bruce Gemmell to both councils, attracts suspicion because of his government’s previous attempts to silence community democracy in both polytechnics and in Canterbury.
“At Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury I am using an unusual number of appointment opportunities to implement a strategy that will encourage collaboration and cooperation across the two councils.” said the minister.
TEU’s national president Lesley Francey says it is positive that the government is looking to rebuild the region by encouraging the two universities to collaborate and cooperate. Canterbury and Lincoln can and should work together closely to support their province, but they are also two institutions with different cultures and different paths to follow.
“We should welcome that diversity, not homogenise it simply to reduce costs.”
Lesley Francey also says it would be worth reviewing what the outcome of similar government-imposed council collaboration has meant for staff, students and communities at Whitireia and Weltec polytechnics, before proceeding further.