Friday, May 30, 2003

Newsflash: Melbourne Uni V-C Alan Gilbert doesn’t mention “Virginia” in keynote talk

See here, 18 May 2003.

Otherwise, Gilbert presents a passable Year 12 clear thinking exercise in defence of his cause. A special mention is hereby made of his forward-looking phrase, “once-in-a-generation opportunity”. This nicely timed (one-third of the way through) raising of the emotional stakes, before going straight back to the heard-it-all-before monotonal boilerplate, may fly under the radar of many readers. Its logical implication, of course, is that the generation who have finished higher ed within the last 15 years or so were wading through Shit Central as they did – and now “it’s time” to start afresh and save a newer generation from the same fate.

Charming. If things are/were so bad, Alan, perhaps you can give me my money back*. And could the Age website editor please fix the “FUXhead2’s” that pop up in Alan’s article. Talk about a Freudian glitch – HTML code that sounds just like a GIF of Andrew Norton, showing itself where it shouldn’t be seen.

* Paul Watson graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1990.

Update 22 July 2003

Had a squiz through this book. In it, even Stuart Macintyre and Richard Selleck note V-C Gilbert's predilection for comparing Melb Uni to (unnamed, in the book) US universities, at the drop of the words "Powerpoint presentation". Oh dear.

But V-C Gilbert isn't all Powerpoint (i.e. no power and no point). It turns out that he's NOT going to the upcoming Oz V-C's gabfest in Broome. The tell-tale, Sunday morning, politely "keynoted" but eminently missable (you do the math) topic for this year: "governance". Hah!

No word, though, on whether Gilbert aide-de-camp, Andrew Norton may be jetting off to Broome In His Masters Place (another small piece of conference customary lore I've picked up over the years). In any case, Norton's not one to shirk the small issues of the day, and in his own time, thank you very much, as this recent 3 a.m. Monday morning posting in cyberspace shows.

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