ANU has posted posted the speech given by their Chancellor Gareth Evans to the farewell dinner of long serving Vice-Chancellor Ian Chubb.
Here were the highlights of achievement:
Let me count the ways in which Ian Chubb’s leadership has been so special. He has consolidated our position as Australia’s No 1 university, and unequivocally our top research university, as confirmed by the recent ERA results (notwithstanding some breathtakingly cheeky claims from a certain competitor to our south).
He has created an unparalleled environment for teaching and learning, by restructuring the whole university to better harness and integrate our traditional research grunt into undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, and creating a residential environment on the campus which is second to none among Australia’s major universities.
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He has managed that incredibly complex and sensitive change process, in an environment not exactly light on for highly charged personalities, in a way that has maintained an extraordinary degree of harmony, stability and productivity. Some of this has certainly been a triumph of substance over form, producing organization charts that have been known to make grown men weep (not to mention orderly minded Chancellors) – but throughout the governing philosophy has been, not unreasonably, that of Deng Xiao Peng’s cat. As Mao’s successor once famously said, you will remember, of the feline in question: “it doesn’t matter whether it’s black or white, it’s whether it catches the mouse”.
And he has led the University through an unprecedented rebuilding period, transforming the University’s physical face to at least as great an extent as its organizational face, and doing so primarily through winning an incredible degree of capital commitment for our national institution-building from the Commonwealth Government, as well as maintaining and extending, in a fiercely competitive environment, the government’s research funding contribution. As Michael Delaney said to Council last year, putting together these parts of Ian Chubb’s achievement as Vice-Chancellor into words better than anyone else, he has over the course of a decade “re-energised, re-philosophised, recapitalized and rebuilt” the whole university.