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Victoria University of Wellington 1899 ~ 1999 A History

Chapter Nine

Chapter Nine

1 E. Stamp, A Noble State of Tension (inaugural address), Wellington, 1966, p.6.

2 F. Holmes, The University in a Technological Age, Wellington, 1965, p.2.

3 Although United Nations assignments were carefully accommodated around teaching commitments, Belshaw believed it was the university's duty to contribute to international work ‘especially in under-developed countries, and make some contribution to their betterment and to world peace’. In his first four years at Victoria he received 16 invitations to act on UN technical assistance missions. Belshaw to C.L. Bailey, acting principal, 28 Mar. 1955, VC file 4: box 9A, P15.

4 Belshaw to J. Williams, 15 Apr. 1954, VC file 4.

5 The Reserve Bank's submission suggesting this to the commission followed discussions with the principal, the chancellor and Belshaw. (Belshaw, ‘A New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’, The Middle District, No.2 (July 1958), p.11.)

6 Yet this was not, as sometimes stated, specified in the terms either of the Macarthy endowment or appointment to the chair. (Advertisement for the Macarthy chair, Dec. 1968, VC file 784: box 4E, R95/ 93.)

7 Victoria, ‘located at the seat of Central Government, might be encouraged to foster post-graduate studies and research in economics and government as areas of special strength,’ the Hughes Parry report commented. P. Hyman to the vice-chancellor, 15 Sept. 1983, VC file page 402 2230: box 7D, R98/30; Report of the Committee on New Zealand Universities, Wellington, 1959, p.94.

8 R. Sidebotham, Education for accountancy: full time or part time?, 1962, VC file 746: box 4C, R95/86.

9 By 1957 all stage-one and -two papers were internally examined by the separate university colleges; stage three was jointly examined by the universities and the Society until 1962.

10 K. Simmonds, secretary, V.U.C. Commerce Faculty Club, to the vice-chancellor, 2 Sept. 1957; Rodger, memo for the vice-chancellor re emergency situation, 27 June 1958, VC file 1: box 9A, P15.

11 Sidebotham, The further development of the Department of Accountancy, 15 Sept. 1966, VC file 746.

12 55% over all three accountancy units, 72.5% in Accountancy III. The pass rate in Accountancy III had not exceeded 50% since 1932.

13 There was a rural/urban aspect to this. In 1962 a third of Accountancy I students were in country centres.

14 Evening Post, 15 May 1962.

15 Sidebotham, The general policy of the Department of Accountancy, 1961–1968, VC file 746.

16 Dominion, 16 May 1962.

17 Sidebotham, The further development of the Department of Accountancy, 1966.

18 Financial Times, 6 July 1978, reprinted in E. Stamp, Selected Papers on Accounting, Auditing and Professional Problems, New York, 1984, E12, pp.xix–xii.

19 Before devolution the professional and university examinations in accountancy were one and the same. From 1962, by agreement between the New Zealand Society of Accountants and each university, students were credited with a pass by the NZSA when they passed the university exam.

20 Sidebotham, The general policy of the Department of Accountancy, 1961–1968.

21 Within the university itself it caused some concern about management of resources. It came to the attention of the new vice-chancellor in 1968 that the surplus income from the seminars was being held by the Accountancy Department itself, quite independently of the university accounts, and expended not only on the seminar programme, but for staff research, conference, refreshment and ‘such social costs as are appropriate to the standing of a Department working in close association with the business community and the accountancy profession’. The bursar informed him that he officially ‘knew nothing’. A new scheme of administration of ‘Sidebotham's fund’ was instituted, lest it set a dangerous precedent or arouse departmental jealousies. (Sidebotham, The Accountancy Activities Fund, 13 May 1968; Taylor to Dasent, 15 May, Dasent to Taylor, 16 May 1968, VC file 746.)

22 Press release, 26 Aug. 1968, VC file 775: box 4D, R95/91.

23 Rodger, 1961 commerce enrolments, 6 Mar. 1961, VC file 1.

24 Rodger, memo for the vice-chancellor, 25 Aug. 1958, VC file 1.

25 ‘It seems premature to think in terms of the institution of a School of Business Administration at this stage,’ the faculty reported in April 1960. (Education for business management at Victoria University, 14 Apr. 1960, Faculty of Commerce minute book, 1951–1961.)

26 Sidebotham, Business studies in the university, 28 Jan. 1969, VC file 772: box 4D, R95/90.

27 Sidebotham observed: ‘There is a sneaking suspicion that the Business Administration major is a “soft option” in the B.C.A. structure’ (ibid). Phillips, in an ‘Apologia pro Vita Sua’ at the end of February 1969, concurred with the accountancy professor's analysis of the reasons for the failure of business administration; his appears to have been an amicable departure. (Some time before he left Phillips had been convicted – and discharged – on a charge of shoplifting a book of jokes from Whitcombe & Tombs. The case was well publicised. The court had been told – by the registrar – that the professor of business administration was by nature a disorganised person and had absent-mindedly forgotten to pay.)

28 ‘University sellout’, Salient, Sept. 1970; Evening Post, 12 Sept. 1970.

29 Faculty minutes, VC file 770.

30 J.L. Roberts (dean), Advisory Committee on Business Studies, 27 Feb. 1970, VC file 770.

31 Notes, 5 Dec. 1968, VC file 784. It should perhaps be recorded here that in 1962 the Council had invited local businessmen John Ilott and Clifford Plimmer to assist them in choosing a professor of business administration.

32 Niculescu, Proposed chair in money and finance: academic considerations, 3 Dec. 1968, VC file 784.

33 Holmes, The Unimportance of Money? (inaugural address), Wellington, 1970, p.1. In fact it was generally believed that the chair was created to bring Holmes back to Victoria.

34 The knighthood he received in 1975 was for services to education and economics, and came after he had chaired the Advisory Committee on Educational Planning, the Educational Development Conference and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

35 Dominion, 3 Aug. 1976.

36 Holmes, Chair of money and finance: report on activities in 1973, VC file 78.

37 Taylor to Niculescu, 5 Feb. 1971, VC file 783: box 4E, R95/93.

38 J.D. Gould to the vice-chancellor, 28 Feb. 1972, VC file 782: box 4E, R95/92.

39 G.R. Hawke, Review of Economic History, 1980, VC file 2122: box 6G, R98/15.

40 Memo to head of department, 31 Jan. 1988.

41 News VUW, 25 Nov. 1983.

42 E.A. Dyl & M.S. Lilly, ‘A note on institutional contributions to the accounting literature’, in Accounting, Organisations and Society, Vol.10, No.2 (1985), pp.171–5.

43 Evening Post, 2 Apr. 1974

44 Evening Post, 9 Nov. 1974.

45 This case came to a head when the class received a page 403 16% pass rate (the normal average was about 80%) and a half-hour argument with the lecturer ensued.

46 Salient, 4 Aug. 1980.

47 Nationally, one-third of applications for entry to university accountancy courses were declined in 1986; 35% of accountancy pre-enrolments at Victoria were declined. (Evening Post, 28 Oct. 1986, 24 Mar. 1987.)

48 Dominion, 24 May 1977.

49 Winiata had already already introduced a course on Maori resource management. Within the university at large he also began promoting the idea of a Maori ‘university within a university’, but would soon redirect these energies to establishing Te Wananga o Raukawa at Otaki.

50 The department's motion of no confidence in ‘the ability of the faculty, its executive, its long term planning committee and its dean to deal fairly with our department’ was passed on 11 October, two days after the faculty vote. Accountancy felt doubly aggrieved at having, they believed, been denied their fair turn with the deanship. (W. Winiata to T.H. Beaglehole, acting vice-chancellor, 14 Oct. 1985, VC file 2144.)

51 The review was initiated by the acting vice-chancellor, Tim Beaglehole. The incoming vice-chancellor, Les Holborow, had not yet permanently taken up his position: he was here on only a preliminary visit in October when Winiata took a few minutes on the morning of his departure ‘to describe the evolving scene to him’.

52 J.C. Thomas (dean), Proposed limitation of enrolment in the law faculty, 12 Aug. 1974, VC file 755: box 4D: R95/88.

53 Spike, 1957, p.89.

54 In 1965 attendees were exhorted to ‘conduct themselves with the decorum expected of the profession’ and avoid a repeat of the ‘somewhat unseemly behaviour of certain Members’ last year. (Caveat, 4 July 1973; Law Faculty Club, law dinner invitation, 4 Aug. 1965, file 109: box 37F.)

55 Unsigned memo, 1948?, VC file 8: box 9A, P16.

56 Ibid.

57 R.O. McGechan, ‘The case method of teaching law’, Victoria University College Law Review, Vol.1, No.1 (1953), quoted in K. Keith, ‘The case of law’, in D. Philips, G. Lealand & G. McDonald, The Impact of American Ideas on New Zealand's Educational Policy, Practice and Thinking, Wellington, 1989, p.258.

58 J. Williams, Report on development of the faculty of law, 5 Aug. 1948, VC file 8; McGechan, Report on Victoria University College Special School in Law, 4 Dec. 1949, Council minutes, 1949, p.259.

59 This was apparently not pursued. Campbell, memo for the law faculty, 25 July 1951, law faculty (LF) 88: box 37F.

60 The conference was being held in Pakistan. Economics lecturer Frank Holmes was going too, but he had caught a different plane.

61 V.U.C. Law School News Bulletin, No.2 (Nov. 1953).

62 E.K. Braybrooke, ‘Law at Victoria’, Spike, 1954, p.31; V.U.C. Law School News Bulletin, No.1 (Dec. 1952). The law students had already marked out their own territory in the library: in 1936, Spike recorded, ‘As a result of representations to the Professorial Board, students other than law students have been asked to refrain from sitting in the law section of the library so that budding barristers may now study their law reports in peace’ (p.93).

63 According to the law faculty's 1953 quinquennial submission, the Victoria law library contained ‘upwards of 8000’ volumes compared with Canterbury's 2000 and Auckland's 1946, while Otago had only 250. Their respective student numbers in 1952 had been 186 at Victoria, 167 at Auckland, 93 at Canterbury and 50 at Otago. But Victoria's roll was increasing especially rapidly in the early 1950s: from 155 in 1951, to 189 in 1952, to 237 in 1953.

64 McGechan to Williams, 23 Nov. 1953, LF 330: box 38G.

65 VUC law faculty handbook, Studying Law, Aug. 1952, p.3.

66 Braybrooke, ‘Legal education in the university’, Spike, 1957, p.27.

67 Shirley Smith recounts her successful challenge to this rare – in her view – instance of law school chauvinism in E. McDonald & G. Austin (eds), Claiming the Law, Wellington, 1993, p.2.

68 Here was a key difference from accountancy. The law profession through the Council for Legal Education had a direct, statutory role in the university law course; the New Zealand Society of Accountants controlled entry to the profession and thus indirectly exercised some role in curriculum matters.

69 Stamp objected strongly, seeing it as the ‘thin end of a wedge’ of fragmentation: ‘Before long we may be faced with arguments in favour of spinning off new departments of Economic History, Political Economy, Business Sociology, Operations Research and what have you.’ (R. Sidebotham and D.E. Allan (professor of commercial law), Legal studies in the faculty of commerce and administration, 9 Nov. 1964; Stamp, Proposal to spin off new Department of Legal Studies, 10 Nov. 1964, LF 39: box 37E.)

70 Law Faculty Club, report of AGM, 3 Apr. 1967, LF 109: box 37F; Law Faculty Club annual report, 1968/ 69, VC file 756: box 4C, R95/87.

71 McGechan's initial model of production by a student committee appears to have lapsed, for the formation of a four-student editorial committee this year was thought to be an innovation. Publication of the New Zealand Universities' Law Review later rotated around the law faculties.

72 These were known as the Richardson rules, the committee having been chaired by Ivor Richardson, and did not refer only to law staff.

73 When he was appointed Quentin-Baxter was already a member of United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which required a visit to Geneva at least annually for the next three or four years; the International Law Commission to which he was subsequently appointed was a rather larger and ongoing commitment. When page 404 he requested leave for 1974 there was a feeling on Council, the vice-chancellor reported back to him, that it had been ‘particularly generous’ in granting him leave already. (Taylor to Quentin-Baxter, 7 Feb. 1973, VC file 2301: box 7G, R98/41b.) ‘Misgivings’ were also expressed about his regular absences in Geneva on at least one occasion (in 1977), but the dean (Ken Keith) vigorously denied that the students suffered, and stressed the benefit of such activities for the university's work and reputation.

74 Prime minister to the chancellor, 9 Jan. 1974, VC file 2301.

75 Taylor to G.P. Barton, 20 Sept. 1973, VC file 2301.

76 Caveat, 2 Aug., 20 Sept. 1973.

77 Dominion, 26 Sept. 1984.

78 Barton and Ellinger to the vice-chancellor, 20 July 1973, VC file 2301.

79 G.S. Orr to the vice-chancellor, 27 March 1985, quoted in memo, 8 May 1986, VC file 2304: box 7G, R98/41b.

80 The idea was to develop these skills intensively within the context of a substantive law course, rather than only through separate set assignments. The small-group programme remained unique to Victoria.

81 A. Frame and N. Cameron, Report of the faculty sub-committee on curriculum development, 23 July 1975, LF 380: box 39C.

82 Perhaps it was not as innovative as all that. A 1963 paper considering fields for future development had seen ‘scope for a law unit – it could also be a unit of the Arts degree – which would attempt to interpret the law to the Arts (or Science) student and to explain its relationship to contemporary life’. (Faculty of law, Quinquennial grant: law faculty report, 1963, LF 807: box 42G.)

83 A initial decision to make Law in Society as well as Legal System a prerequisite for entry into stage-two law was rescinded.

84 Report of the ad hoc committee [the Ellinger committee] on the development of the law school at the Victoria University of Wellington, 1971/2, LF 365: box 39B; Mackay, Report on the Faculty Development Committee proposals, Sept. 1972, LF 216: box 38C.

85 Report of the Ellinger committee; Thomas, Proposed limitation of enrolment in the law faculty, 12 Aug. 1974, VC file 755. The plan would require an amendment to the university regulations, which allowed it to restrict enrolments only in case of lack of teaching space or teachers. A special meeting of the Law Faculty Club was called, but was apparently not well attended, and a motion to oppose the proposal was narrowly lost.

86 Statement of concern and a proposal from the faculty of law (draft), 1 Sept. 1974, LF 663: box 42A.

87 Ibid.

88 G.P. Barton, 1 Sept. 1974, LF 663.

89 Thomas, Temporary accommodation for law faculty, memo for the Accommodation Advisory Committee, 9 Sept. 1974, LF 663. This was probably a bargaining strategy on Law's part rather than a serious offer.

90 Report of the Academic Development Committee on limitation on enrolments in the law faculty, 9 June 1977, VC file 755. When only Auckland had restricted enrolments, the greater proportion of those rejected had enrolled at Canterbury or Otago rather than Victoria.