Factions pose problems for uni world: Outgoing ACU chief

Soon-to-depart Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor, Peter Sheehan, says that the rise of factions and divisions among universities can create problems in dealing with government.

In an interview with The Australian, Professor Sheehan said that he sees the rise of factions among university administrators and within the Church as posing "some political problems".

"Does government talk to this group of universities or that group? There might be some issues common to the sector that slip through the cracks," he said.

The Catholic Church also has its factions and Professor Sheehan, who will resign in January 2008, says ACU has to contend with these as well as with the sharper divisions among universities.

The Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee, criticised as less and less able to speak for a diversifying sector, is departing the scene to make room for a new peak lobby Universities Australia.

"We're all anxious to see how that body works," Professor Sheehan told The Australian.

"I think at times the listening process by government has been more geared to listening to different groups than to the sector as a whole," he said.

But he acknowledged the virtue in diverging interests - regional interests, for example - getting more of an airing.

"We now speak with a variety of voices rather than a unified voice," he says.

Departing Sheehan laments lost unity (The Australian, 28/3/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic University

ACU National Vice-Chancellor to step down in 2008 (ACU Media Release, 23/11/06)

28 Mar 2007

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