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University Reform.

Our University work is practically and closely controlled by the decrees of the New Zealand University, and any extensive deviation from their lines means a serious loss to the students. Who—save the students—knows whether the work done in the class room is fairly preparatory for the New Zealand University examination table ? or whether the class room is controlled by the idiosyncracies of the teacher ? It may be that the work actually done is for the advantage of the general "education" of the student, but if he is plucked for his degree, he will find difficulty in explaining this advantage. And in lesser points of discipline, as, for instance, the maintenance of order at public ceremonials, there is at present uo controlling hand. At the " inaugural" the Council, as a body, have made a point of refraining from attending ; the professors present are solely dependent on their personal influence for the suppression of disorder, and this cannot extend far with students, who know them by sight and reputation only. The " capping ceremony," by some strange anomaly, is managed entirely by the New Zealand University, who do not even take the trouble to invite the co-operation of the authoritiea which do exist here save by a , general invitation to "friends and those] interested." This ceremony thould certainly be in the hands of the Otago University, and the diplomas conferred by the Chancellor of the local college, who ought e« officio to be a member of the New Zealand University Senate. These meetings should have Eoma guide—someone in power, who could speak with authority to the more obstreperous student who really misconducted himself; and more important still, some one who would himself be personally responsible for the good conduct of the meeting. . . . There should be in connection with our institution a permanent head—call him what you will: principal, rector, chairman of professorial board, or what not; but he must be invested with permanence and with authority. He must bo so far intimately connected with the daily work of tho University that he is continually brought into contact with teachers and students. This excludes the Chancellor, whose work is of an entirely different nature. Our new official would actually be the head of the Professorial Board. It would be his duty to see that lectures were delivered as announced. There would be far less difficulty for him to learn the general results of the teaching work, as evidenced by the reports of the New Zealand University examiners. He would be responsible for the maintenance of order in the public appearances of the Otago University ; it would be his duty to take action in matters of rustication and expulsion, which would relieve aggrieved professors from their present invidious position of being both accusers and judges in their own cause. Minor matters, such as control of conduct within thp buildings and> grounds, would come directly under his jurisdiction. The management of the much-neglected library would be in his hands. A thousand and one petty annoyanoas which now irritate all concerned would be obviated by the appointment of such an official. The work of the Council, of the Professorial Board, and of lecturers who do not occupy a seat on that Board, would be lightened and facilitated ; the grievances of students, both major and potty, would be dealt with ; and the prying criticism of hostile outsiders would be Bilenced by the assistance of a judicious cuslos morum, ' University Magazine.'

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890829.2.39

Bibliographic details

University Reform., Evening Star, Issue 7998, 29 August 1889

Word Count
574

University Reform. Evening Star, Issue 7998, 29 August 1889

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