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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 12. June 16, 1971

[Letter from H. D. Gordon]

I write to contradict a misstatement repeated in two recent issues of Salient, concerning the exlusion regulations. On 21st April an article on limitation of en rolment said: "Last year these regulations, conceived of as an essential short-term measure, had assumed such a permanence...". And in the latest issue, towards the end of the centre spread article, we read: "When last, the administration spoke of "temporary measures" to ease accomodation, a set of exclusion regulations was introduced which is now an accepted part of student life".

While the possibility of exclusion on various grounds had been contemplated in drafting the acts establishing the several universities, the move to implement such a policy in this University came from one of the Faculties, which reported to the Professorial Board (15/2/62) that "The Faculty has begun to give consideration to the possibility of excluding students on the ground of insufficient academic progress". In subsequent discussions pressure on space was mentioned as an additional reason why unsuccessful students should not be allowed to occupy a place indefinitely, but it was never the main reason. It was not involved in the original proposal, nor in the drafting of the regulations, but I have been called on from time to time to participate in their application and have never previously heard the suggestion that the exclusion regulations were conceived as temporary; nothing of the sort appears in the relevant Board minutes.

It is perfectly proper for Salient or anyone else to debate the merits of exclusion of unsatisfactory students, or of limitation of enrolments, but keep the facts right:
i)The exclusion regulations were not conceived in the administration but in the teaching departments.
ii)Their primary purpose was and is academic, rather than space-saving.
iii)They were not conceived as a temporary measure, and were not so represented.

H.D. Gordon Professor of Botany