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Otago University faces alumni backlash over Grant Robertson appointment

Summarised by Centrist

Otago University is experiencing a backlash from alumni following the appointment of Grant Roberton as the new Vice-Chancellor. 

Several alumni threatened to withhold donations, cancel bequests, and reconsider their support due to concerns about political influence and the perceived decline in the university’s reputation.

Frankly speaking, folks haven’t been this mad since Tuakiritaka

Emails released through an OIA by Stuff reveal deep discontent and anger over the decision to appoint former Deputy PM Grant Robertson to the role of Vice Chancellor of Otago University. 

Emailers were alarmed at the trend of politicisation within the university, with a view that it undermined the importance of academic leadership and integrity in such institutions. 

One described the appointment as a “very poor decision.” Another labelled it “gross and ridiculous,” with accusations of political favouritism overshadowing merit-based appointments.

The inclusion of a former Labour Minister on the Council, along with the Registrar, has further fueled this perception.

Critics also pointed out the lack of academic credentials and political influence in Robertson’s appointment. He holds a BA when most Vice Chancellors have PhDs and long academic careers. 

Read more over at Kiwiblog

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