Limerick leader is true original

“Dr Ed Walsh occupies a unique space in Irish public life. He speaks as an academic, yet has been at loggerheads with the university system for his entire career. He flouts tradition while sporting a waistcoat and using a fountain pen. He loves the cut and thrust of public debate, but privately finds it difficult to deal with opposing views or even small talk. Walsh can make hard work of a cup of coffee, says one colleague. The founding president of the University of Limerick lays claim to many firsts in Irish life. He was the first to introduce large scale philanthropy into education funding here, through his relationship with Chuck Feeney. His was the first university to offer tailor-made graduates to industry; a move credited with kicking off the migration of US software multinationals to Ireland. He brought us the values of the US higher education system; a culture that was strongly resisted at the time, but is ubiquitous now …” (more)

[Irish Times, 10 February]

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