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Education Training, Union

Back-room appointment of Monash University’s new Chancellor highlights the need for university governance reform

National Tertiary Education Union < 1 mins read

Monash University staff and students were surprised to learn today that the University’s governing Council has appointed Dr Megan Clark as our new Chancellor.

The Chancellor of the University is the institution’s most senior role. Dr Clark will have a legal responsibility for the mission, strategy, risk management and academic activities of our university. The Vice-Chancellor reports directly to the Council she will chair.

Staff and students were not consulted about the decision to appoint a new Chancellor. The NTEU at Monash believes the decision raises important governance concerns.

NTEU Monash branch President Dr Ben Eltham criticised Dr Clark’s appointment.

“Staff and students were not consulted about this appointment,” Dr Eltham said. “Dr Clark is an internal appointment by the Council itself: a backroom deal.”

Dr Eltham criticised Dr Clark’s track record.

“Dr Clark has a track record of governance failure.”

“She was a member of Monash University Council during the time staff were underpaid by more than $8.6 million. Dr Clark was also a board member at Rio Tinto when the company destroyed the Juukan Gorge.”

“Dr Clark’s record as CEO of the CSIRO saw a ComCare inquiry into workplace conduct, followed by an independent report that drew attention to major deficiencies in the CSIRO’s workplace policies and procedures.”

The NTEU has recently released a report into poor governance at Australian universities.

Dr Eltham said the backroom deal highlights the need for better governance at Australia’s public universities.

“It’s a circular system of patronage which delivers lucrative director’s fees, but little accountability. Students and staff at Australia’s largest university deserve input into who governs our institution.”

Contact details:

Ben Eltham 0422 987 538

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