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Salient.The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 4. April 6, 1955

President's Report

President's Report

The work of this committee, more perhaps than any other portion of the affairs rolating to this association, has given me the greatest cause for concern.

Quite frankly I am very unhappy about the management of Weir House by the College Council and the sub-committee which makes recommendations to it.

Any gift which is held in trust and administered by a public body should be most carefully and meticulously governed. The Council, which was responsible for the appointment of the first committee to recommend the management of Weir House, must surely have realised this: it was implicit in their action.

But no matter how experienced members of a Council may be, ten of their number—together with three ex officio members—cannot recommend with scrupulous care and thorough attention the management of Weir House in two brief meetings in any one academic year. Such was the case in 1954. One meeting lasted [unclear: far] two and a half hours, and the [unclear: eber] for twenty minutes.

This Is not good stewardship!

Short Meetings

The first meeting (13/5/54) considered:—
1.The accounts for the year ended S1/12/53.
2.An increase in the boarding fee.
3.Requests from this Association to:—.
(i)allow a dispensation in board to accountants away on audit trips.
(ii)reconsider the system of Weir Bursaries.
(ill)replace the old and decaying piano with a new or second hand one.
The second meeting had set down on its agenda for consideration:—
1.The six months' accounts ending 30/6/54.
2.The appointment of a matron.
3.The appointment of an additional staff member until the arrival of the matron.
4.Repair or renewal of the potato peeler in the basement kitchen.
5.Requests from our Association to:—
(i)Reconsider the board dispensation for accountants on audit trips.
(ii)Delete No. 5 from the Weir House rules.

It is disturbing to consider that each of these meetings was doe to start at 7.30 p.m. to be followed at 8 p.m. by a further meeting of a Council sub-committee.

A third meeting of the Management Committee which was held during the year was concerned solely with the appointment of a matron. In this matter the committee is to be commended for its care and consideration before making a decision.

I suggest that in the future the Council should be on its guard against the repetition of 1954 in the government of Weir House. Shortage of time was no doubt the excuse and probably the reason for the intended and actual brevity of the very few meetings. Such a state of af-[unclear: s] must not be allowed to continue and if the members of the Council cannot devote more time to the administration of Weir House one of two things must be done.

Trustee Committee

1.That the number of councillors be increased so that those who are seconded to the Management Committee sit on no other sub-committee. This remedy would need an Act of Parliament to amend the Victoria University College Act of 1933 and it is therefore not practical.
2.That a separate board of seven trustees be appointed to meet at least four times in each year. This board should include four members of the College Council and three persons nominated by the Weir House Students' Committee until such time as the ex-residents formed an association which would then appoint the three non-council members. In addition to the seven trustees, the Warden and President of Weir House should be non-voting members ex officio.

I consider that it is time that the College Council assessed the value and effectiveness of the present methods of administration of Weir House, for if it is to fully serve its proper function changes may be necessary. I firmly believe that there is that need for revision and adjustment and the foregoing comments and suggestions have been made in the knowledge that fair and just criticism is of value to anybody who endeavours to serve the best interests of the Trust which it administers and the wishes of the benefactor who created it.