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Victoria University of Wellington 1899 ~ 1999 A History

Chapter Five

page 391

Chapter Five

1 T.H. Beaglehole, ‘Hunter, Thomas Alexander’, in The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Vol.3, Wellington, 1996, p.243.

2 Citation of James Williams for the Degree of Doctor of Laws, 2 May 1968, VC file 1433: box IG, P5.

3 K. O'Brien, ‘Sir Duncan Stout – an example of dedicated service’, News VUW, 11 May 1979.

4 Report of the Academic Board, 17 Oct. 1946, quoted in H.N. Parton, The University of New Zealand, Dunedin, 1979, p.197.

5 Parton, p.210.

6 Conibear brought motions before the Council for the name to be changed to the University of Wellington at least three times, in 1956, 1959 and 1961; and the mayor Frank Kitts also made the suggestion in his speech at the 1961 graduation ceremony. The Students' Association executive that year expressed its unanimous support for the status quo – ‘This institution has been referred to as “Vic” by students and graduates for sixty years with affection and pride’; the motion was defeated by nine votes to five. Council minutes, 24 Sept. 1956, p.438; 26 June 1961, p.255.

7 Evening Post, 17 Oct. 1957.

8 Its members were Hughes Parry, Dean Andrew from the University of British Columbia and R.W. Harman, chairman of the New Zealand Council for Technical Education. Victoria professor of economics Frank Holmes was one of the two secretaries, along with a staff member of the Department of Education (Ross Rowley).

9 Victoria University of Wellington, Submissions to Committee on New Zealand Universities, 1959, pp.16, 21. Its statement of the functions of the university was adopted from Australia's Murray report.

10 Ibid., pp.122, 126, 130–1.

11 J.C. Beaglehole, ‘The Eskimos of the far Arctic’, New Zealand Listener, 12 Jan. 1962, p.10.

12 Victoria University College, Report of joint committee on five-year plan: university reform, Council minutes, 1946, p.1119.

13 Williams' continuing distaste for the University Grants Committee was well known. The new UGC had a wider brief than its predecessor: its role was to include planning the balanced development of the universities and advising the government on all matters to do with university education and research, as well as allocating grants and reviewing university expenditure. Its composition was not as Victoria had envisaged. It was a mixed lay and academic body, appointed by the minister of education. Victoria's submission had favoured an earlier proposal from the Senate's devolution committee: the member of the UGC would have no official connection with any university, but would be appointed by a Council of New Zealand Universities. The submission also criticised the excessive influence in university affairs of the Department of Education and proposed that the universities instead come under either the Prime Minister's Department or the Treasury.

14 Beaglehole, 1962.

15 Quinquennial submission, 1970–75 (June 1968), Council minutes, 1968, p.396A.

16 W.J. McEldowney, New Zealand University Library Resources, Wellington, 1973, pp.10-1.

17 Ian Gordon to Williams, 30 Dec. 1960, 2 Feb. 1962, VC file 395: box 4E, R95/94. In July 1964 there were 144 unfilled or temporarily filled positions (34 at Victoria) compared with 70 the year before. Victoria, it should be noted, was no worse off than the others. (Stephen Milne later recalled how he was offered the chair of political science in 1955: ‘I was written to by Jim Williams when I was in Bristol … We met, with his wife, in an apartment he had leased near Hyde Park. I was given two, maybe three gin and tonics, told New Zealand was not so very isolated – one could even, perhaps, have a trip to Australia – and informed that the pensions situation was “not good”.’ M. Clark (ed.), School of Political Science and Public Administration: jubilee, Wellington, 1989, p.22.)

18 Quinquennial submission, 1970–75 (June 1968), Council minutes, 1968, p.396A.

19 The Middle District, No.1, Oct. 1957.

20 J. Williams, Administration – vice-chancellor – additional memorandum, 22 Aug. 1960, VC file 39: box 9C, P22.

21 Submissions to Committee on New Zealand Universities, p.74.

22 Hunter, Establishment of new chairs, 16 Nov. 1949, VC file 197: box 10B, P47; J.C. Beaglehole, Victoria University College, Wellington, 1949, p.ix.

23 Submissions to Committee on New Zealand Universities, pp.190–1.

24 Donald Anderson (lecturer in English) quoted in J.M.R. Owens, Campus Beyond the Walls, Palmerston North, 1985, p.45.

25 Submissions to Committee on New Zealand Universities, p.193.

26 Owens, p.35.

27 News VUW, 12 Dec. 1980.

28 Hunter, Future policy, report by the principal, 1 Feb. 1949, Council minutes, 1949, p.3; R.A. Candy, chairman, Massey Agricultural College Board of Governors, to the Council chairman, 9 Aug. 1945, Council minutes, 1945, pp.915–6.

29 J.D. Gould, The University Grants Committee 1961–1986, Wellington, 1988, p.59.

30 In a memo for Williams in April 1960 Culliford reported on the Massey graduation speech given by the pro-chancellor of the University of New Zealand as a ‘tirade’ against Victoria and its Palmerston North branch. Williams himself was of a more diplomatic temper than his deputy. Two years later he politely declined to deliver Massey's graduation address, a situation he would have found ‘embarrassing’ while the matter remained unsettled. Memo for the vice-chancellor, Grants Committee's letter, [early 1960], VC file 122: box 9F, page 392 P33; Williams, quoted in Gould, p.59; Culliford, ‘Graduation oration – Dr. L.J. Wild’, 11 Apr. 1960; Williams to A. Stewart, Principal, Massey College, 28 Feb. 1962, VC file 123: 9F, P35.

31 Owens, p.50.

32 Williams, Administration – vice-chancellor – additional memorandum, 22 Aug. 1960, VC file 39.

33 Williams, report to Council, 9 Sept. 1956, Council minutes, 1956, p.227.

34 M.N. Donald, A Survey of Public Opinion in Relation to the University, Wellington, 1953, pp.82, 85.

35 The invitation to Read appears to have originated in a proposal from the arts faculty to invite a visiting lecturer in art, and a shortlist which included John Berger, Kenneth Clark, the editor of the Architectural Review J.N. Richards, and the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. (Minutes of the Committee of the Vice-chancellor and Deans, 10 Aug. 1961.)

36 University Gazette, 28 May 1965.

37 Report of the sub-committee on administration of the faculty and of the university, 20 Sept. 1960, VC file 1321: box 6C, R45/138; VC file 40: box 9C, P22.

38 Other universities of course, and the UGC, were paying attention to the needs of administration as well. The chairman of the grants committee observed on his quinquennial visit to Victoria in 1963: ‘I think the time has come when one must resist the clamouring of the academics in order to divert income to the administration of the University.’ (Visit of UGC, 1963: meeting of executive committee of Council, 21 Oct. 1963, VC file 1088: box 2A, R95/24.)

39 Report of the sub-committee on administration of the faculty and of the university, p.3.

40 Williams, University administration – review and recommendations, 10 Apr. 1961, VC file 39.

41 Ibid.

42 W. Summers (assistant registrar, finance), memo for the registrar, Staff – accounts section, 2 Nov. 1960, VC file 39.

43 Pointing to the ‘exceptionally steep rise’ in university grants in 1959 and 1960, the association observed that: ‘It seems clear that the factor limiting progress at the University has changed completely over the last 2 years from an overall deficiency of money to a failure of the administrative machinery to decide quickly upon the best means of spending the money which is now relatively plentiful.’ Concern was expressed at the slowness in filling academic as well as administrative vacancies (while ‘other Universities, notably Canterbury, had filled their new positions by the beginning of the 1961 session, appointing in some cases well qualified senior students from Victoria to Junior Lectureships’). G.M. Vaughan, secretary, Lecturers' Association, to the vice-chancellor, 14 Apr. 1961, VC file 39.

44 Williams, University administration – review and recommendations.

45 Taylor, Report of the vice-chancellor on some aspects of university administration, 8 Mar. 1972; Taylor to A. Danks, chairman, UGC, 21 Aug. 1972, VC file 1330: box 6C, R45/140; interview with W.E. Dasent, 14 Aug. 1997.

46 I.D. Campbell, memo for the vice-chancellor and deans, 20 Mar. 1963, VC file 1321: box 6C, R45/138. As economics professor Frank Holmes quipped (in 1965): ‘The ratio of the potential indifference of the administrator to the ends of the academic and the resistance of the academic to the ends of the administrator is constant.’ (The University in a Technological Age, Wellington, 1965, p.19.)

47 Administration of the university: report by the vice-chancellor, 24 Mar. 1964, Council minutes, 1964, p.197.

48 The auditor-general was threatening to name the university in Parliament for not having furnished its annual accounts for some years. (Interview with W.E. Dasent.)

49 W. Summers (assistant registrar, finance), memo for the registrar, 2 Nov. 1960; report of the Executive Committee, 19 June 1967, Council minutes, 1967, p.316. In 1970 Victoria was congratulated for submitting its accounts so early, and that they could be understood. Taylor remarked: ‘In Bunt Dasent's hands I have found that they suddenly became crystal clear, absolutely logical and a pleasure to read’; the university Council passed a motion by O'Brien noting that the accounts ‘“for the first time in history”…were in a form that Council members could understand’. (Gazette, 20 Nov., 23 Mar. 1970.)

50 Evening Post, 12 Sept. 1977; News VUW, 16 Mar. 1993.

51 It is said that some on the selection committee incorrectly undertood ‘senior tutor’ to be an administrative position.

52 News VUW, 9 July 1982.

53 Evening Post, 12 Sept. 1977.

54 Evening Post, 14 Dec. 1968.

55 Evening Post, 25 Feb. 1970.

56 Culliford, Accommodation problems at Victoria, report to the Professorial Board, 16 June 1971, News VUW, 17 May 1971.

57 Annual report for 1970, AJHR, 1971, E–3, p.36; Culliford, Accommodation problems at Victoria. These movements followed national trends.

58 Quinquennial submission, 1970–75 (June 1968), Council minutes, 1968, p.396A.

59 Report of the Academic Development Committee, 22 May 1975, Professorial Board minutes, 1975, pp.277, 298. The professorial members of the committee were George Hughes (philosophy), Bob Clark (geology) and Frank Holmes (money and finance).

60 Annual report for 1976, AJHR, 1977, E–3, p.31; annual report of the UGC for 1975, AJHR, 1976, E–3, p.11.

61 Taylor, memo on vacant chair in law, 10 Dec. 1981, VC file 2300: box 7G, R98/41b.

62 J.D. Gould (acting vice-chancellor), memo, 26 May 1977, VC file 2383: box 8D, R98/54.

63 The proposal was opposed by a meeting of the Victoria branch of the Association of University Teachers by 25 votes to two. The faculties' response was mixed: law and architecture were in favour; arts and languages and page 393 literature, commerce and science opposed.

64 Taylor to A. Danks, chairman, UGC, 21 Aug. 1972.

65 A.J. Dale, Report to the vice-chancellor on the organisation of the administration, 29 Oct. 1971, CFU 114: box 50C.

66 Of Victoria's apparently peculiar habit of turning professors into administrators, Taylor observed to the chairman of the UGC that, in contrast to the prevailing practice (in Britain at least) of professors struggling to perform simultaneously as part-time managers, ‘It could be that Victoria has simply been more honest about the need for such people by making them full-time administrators and giving them distinctive titles.’ (Taylor to Danks, 21 Aug. 1972.) On devolution he commented (20 years before it became de rigueur): ‘I am entirely in favour of the general principle of giving greater spending power “further down the line” … [but] such a system would appear to be more appropriate in a climate of lavish, even adequate funding, rather than in the financially restricted situation we constantly find ourselves in.’ (Report of the vice-chancellor on some aspects of university administration, p.15.)

67 Taylor to Danks, 21 Aug. 1972; memo to the Professorial Board: Report on university administration, [1972], VC file 1330.

68 Interview with Dasent.

69 This was so that the position need not be held necessarily by a professor, as stipulated in the 1961 university act.

70 Evening Post, 25, 26 May 1981.

71 The figures quoted, interpreted from the UGC's annual report, were: income per student at Victoria, $2121, Auckland $2489, Waikato $2456, Canterbury $2416, Lincoln $3405, Otago $3334; expenditure on building and site maintenance at Victoria, $186, Auckland $244, Waikato $236, Canterbury $262, Lincoln $417, Otago $363. (News VUW, 30 June 1978.)

72 The figures in 1960 were 158,613 volumes (Otago), 120,000 (Canterbury), 119,124 (Auckland) and 102,888 (Victoria). (A.D. Osborn, New Zealand Library Resources, 1960.)

73 News VUW, 24 Sept. 1976.

74 Gazette, 15 June 1970. Sage was a graduate of Canterbury (in English) and of the first National Library School class (of 1946), and had been 14 years the deputy Wellington City librarian before succeeding Miller at Victoria.

75 J.P.Sage, memo for the Library Advisory Committee, 18 June 1974, D.A. Wylie papers, J.C. Beaglehole Room: box A3. Specialisation, although periodically discussed, was never seriously pursued; but there had been a degree of natural specialisation, such as a large medical library at Otago. The 1973 McEldowney report (W.J. McEldowney, New Zealand University Library Resources, Wellington, 1973) identified Victoria's strengths in history (dating from Miller's acquisitions in the 1940s, strengthened by the collections donated by Horace Fildes and the Stout family), political science (including a large United Nations collection: Victoria became a UN depository library); and classics.

76 Council minutes, 1950, pp.77, 93.

77 James Duncan, Policy related to the development of Victoria University, 1968, CFU 114: box 50C.

78 Deans of arts, languages and literature, and science to the vice-chancellor, 29 July 1983, Council minutes, 1983, p.828.

79 These measures were lifted in 1989 when the required ‘restructuring of the academic staff establishment’ had been achieved.

80 Student participation in the university. Report of a joint committee of the Council, Professorial Board and Students' Association, 28 Feb. 1969, [p.1]. The members of the committee were John McGrath, Kevin O'Brien, Walter Scott and Danny Taylor, representing the Council; Tim Beaglehole, Bill Minn, Ivor Richardson and Tony Vignaux for the Professorial Board; and R.E. Booth, D.R. Bradshaw, J.N. Lenart and Douglas White representing the Students' Association.

81 Taylor, graduation address, 7 May 1970, Gazette, 20 May 1970.

82 Gazette, 15 June 1970.

83 The role of professors in the university, 1986, CFU 116: box 50C; R.H. Clark (geology), Submission to the committee on headship of departments, 6 Apr. 1970, VC file 1373: box 6A, R45/134.

84 Appointment of professors, VC file 1373.

85 I.D. Campbell, Administration of departments: summary of statements from departments, 2 Oct. 1971, VC file 1374: box 6A, R45/134.

86 Ibid.; C.L. Bailey, submission to the committee, 22 Apr. 1971, VC file 1374.

87 The duodecimal structure of the credit degree – with a one-year full-time course being worth 12 credits – was designed to be compatible with both the science faculty, which already had half-units, and the arts faculty's tripartite unit structure. The change to the more flexible credit degree was also accompanied by the appointment of staff as academic advisers to students.

88 L. Cleveland (president, VUW Staff Club), V.U.W. development: a university centre?, 10 Apr. 1979 (submission to the review of site development), CFU 62: box 26G.