It seems that the Higher Education Minister has not decided on whether to extend Rafiah Salim’s contract as the Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya. More worrying is the fact that the Ministry does not seem to know how to conduct a proper Vice-Chancellor search committee. I have consistently maintained that in order for there to be some continuity, Rafiah Salim should be extended for at least one more term. See the story below where the Vice Chancellor of Melbourne University has been appointed for 10 years. A revolving door involving a string of Vice Chancellors is not healthy for an institution of higher learning.
Melbourne University reappoints Glyn Davis as VC
IN what is a restatement of its confidence in the new “Melbourne model” of offering professional graduate degrees, the University of Melbourne has reappointed its vice-chancellor Glyn Davis to another five-year term.
The appointment, which could keep Professor Davis at Melbourne until the start of 2015, will also scrap any lingering rumours that he could be tempted to Canberra by close friend and fellow Queenslander, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Shortly after Labor’s election victory in November, there was speculation that Professor Davis was a candidate to replace the outgoing Peter Shergold as head of the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Victoria’s top bureaucrat Terry Moran was recruited to the position.
Professor Davis has always maintained that he was committed to Melbourne. There is a widely circulated story that after the election, Professor Davis told Mr Rudd, “I’ll see you when it’s over” in a reference to the lack of time the Prime Minister would now have on his hands.
But in the end, the Prime Minister was soon knocking on his door asking him to chair the 2020 Summit this year.
Professor Davis, formerly VC of Queensland’s Griffith University, was recruited to head up Melbourne in 2005, and his current term does not expire until January 2010. But the university council has appointed him for a further five years following a mid-term review.
His position will be subject to a review clause during 2011.
“Glyn Davis’s leadership of the university over the past 3 ½ years has been exemplary,” chancellor Ian Renard said in a statement.
“The Melbourne model has set the university on a new path – unique within Australia.
“It introduces the graduate school concept to Australian higher education, with six broad new generation undergraduate programs – with an emphasis on academic breadth as well as disciplinary depth – which are followed by a professional graduate degree, research higher degree or entry directly into employment.”
Under the model, Melbourne undergraduates can chose from various three-year generalist degrees in arts, biomedicine, commerce, environment, music or science. These then can lead into a two to three-year professional masters degrees in the likes of accounting, architecture, law, nursing and others.
The model will be extended to include engineering from 2010 and medicine from 2011.
Professor Davis is currently on leave. He is due to return to work next week.