Hostages, at last

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

IrelandHugh Brady, until recently President of UCD, famously summed it up: universities can’t bargain well with government, because they have no hostages, nothing to threaten government with. And we have seen the results over the last decade. University autonomy has increasingly been treated as a tired technicality with no real substance to it. We have also seen massively reduced funding, huge growth in governmental controls, and significant public criticism premised on the assumption that what universities spend is ‘public money’.

But less and less of it is public money these days. Less than half of university income today comes from public funds, and the trend is steadily downwards. And the structural inability of the current government to take hard decisions pretty much guarantees that nothing much will change in the near future. Absent some remarkable change both in Ireland’s economic fortunes and in official attitudes, the public element in university funding will rapidly approach relative insignificance, while the government attempts to pull the strings that come with it ever tighter.

Hence UCD’s recent announcement. Other Irish universities are not quite at this stage yet, but most are not far off.  This gives universities a greater freedom to manoeuvre and to bargain than they have had for a very long time. The DES has made it clear by its actions that it is not much bothered by crumbling university facilities or by appalling staff:student ratios.  But it will begin to worry as universities openly muse that the limited funding they receive from government is not worth the burden of state regulation that now comes with it, or that it is simply not the universities’ job to keep large swathes of Irish youth out of the dole queue – especially those who need (and deserve) something quite different from what the universities have to offer. Least of all does the DES want the most successful universities to start arguing that they should be private institutions.  But to avoid that, it must offer the universities something better. It must start to bargain at last.

The Blogmeister

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Universities lose out because they lack ‘hostages’

Posted in Governance and administration on November 2nd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Our third-level ­institutions must compete at home and abroad, but do so with their hands tied, a top ­academic who has gone abroad tells Donal Lynch …” (more)

[Independent, 2 November]

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Former head of UCD Hugh Brady appointed to Bristol University

Posted in Governance and administration on October 31st, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Former UCD president Dr Hugh Brady has been appointed to lead the University of Bristol, ranked among the top 10 universities in the UK …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 31 October]

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Change Is In The Air?

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2014 by steve

“Hugh Brady’s departure from UCD after ten years as the president of Ireland’s largest university is the end of an era, which as Ciara Roche reflects in her article, is considered as a time of growth, prosperity and internationalization for Belfield …” (more)

[College Tribune, 28 January]

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The Brady Revolution

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2014 by steve

“As Dr Hugh Brady ends his tenure as president of University College Dublin, Ciara Roche looks back at the legacy the controversial Harvard alumni leaves behind …” (more)

[College Tribune, 28 January]

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Third level fees must return now, warns UCD president

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 18th, 2013 by steve

“The president of University College Dublin (UCD) has warned that the return of higher fees for third-level students cannot be put off any longer. Dr Hugh Brady said the ongoing reduction in state funding to higher education was in danger of putting quality at risk and would see Ireland losing its best students, as well as its international reputation …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 18 December]

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Paddy Campbell sculpture ‘Wind and Water’ to reside on UCD campus

Posted in Governance and administration on November 14th, 2013 by steve

“The Paddy Campbell sculpture ‘Wind and Water’ which was unveiled earlier this year in the Palazzo Medici Ricardi museum in Florence has been placed on the grounds of University College Dublin …” (more)

[Sorcha Corcoran, Business and Leadership, 14 November]

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Who should be in command and control of higher education?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 28th, 2013 by steve

“The higher-education institutions are going to have to cut another €25 million from their collective funding due to Budget provisions, but that is nothing new. The State’s percentage share in the cost of running our third-level sector has been in decline for years …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 28 October]

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University challenge

Posted in Governance and administration on October 8th, 2013 by steve

“Both Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn and some university presidents have shown a refreshing realism in recent comments on aspects of Irish education …” (more)

[Irish Times, 8 October]

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NUI Galway president describes university ranking systems as ‘dangerous’

Posted in Governance and administration on October 4th, 2013 by steve

“International university ranking systems can be of value but they are also dangerous if too much weight is given to them, according to the president of NUI Galway …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 4 October]

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UCD and Trinity bidding to stub out campus smoking

Posted in Governance and administration on September 30th, 2013 by steve

“Ireland’s two biggest universities are considering plans to become completely smoke-free – in line with a growing international trend …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 30 September]

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UCD energy institute aims to focus research talent on Ireland’s future electricity needs

Posted in Governance and administration on September 19th, 2013 by steve

“The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has formally launched a new Energy Institute which will bring together energy researchers from industry and academia. The institute, based at University College, Dublin, has attracted €5 million in donor funding with further seed capital expected from the private sector, the EU and philanthropy …” (more)

[Dan Keenan, Irish Times, 19 September]

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New UCD president brought in from UK

Posted in Governance and administration on July 17th, 2013 by steve

“A professor who helped spearhead a UK university’s global standing has been appointed president of University College Dublin …” (more)

[Ed Carty, Independent, 17 July]

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UCD appoints external candidate as president

Posted in Governance and administration on July 17th, 2013 by steve

“UCD has for the first time appointed an external candidate as president. Prof Andrew J Deeks, an Australian-educated engineer who is currently pro vice-chancellor in science at Durham University, will also be the first non-Irish president of the university …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 17 July]

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External candidates dominate shortlist for UCD presidency

Posted in Governance and administration on April 26th, 2013 by steve

“Only three of the eight candidates to be interviewed for next president of UCD are internal applicants, setting up the possibility of an external appointment for the first time in the institution’s history …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 26 April]

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Legal mix-up stalls UCD president hunt

Posted in Governance and administration on February 24th, 2013 by steve

“The race to become president of Ireland’s largest university, UCD, has been delayed by at least a month due to a major legal complication caused by changes to pension laws …” (more)

[Independent, 24 February]

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Topping out ceremony for Sutherland Law building takes place

Posted in Governance and administration on February 20th, 2013 by steve

“The topping out ceremony of the UCD Sutherland School of Law took place earlier this month. The ceremony saw UCD President Dr Hugh Brady and Peter Sutherland SC, as well as various donors to the building, receive a tour of the site …” (more)

[Patrick Kelleher, University Observer, 20 February]

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Applications for new UCD President to close next month

Posted in Governance and administration on January 22nd, 2013 by steve

“Applications for the job of President of UCD will close on February 4th. Current UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady’s ten-year term will finish on December 31st 2013 and a search committee was set up several months ago to find Dr Brady’s replacement …” (more)

[Darragh O Tuathail, University Observer, 22 January]

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Confucius goes to college

Posted in Governance and administration on December 8th, 2012 by steve

“Ireland is home to three of the world’s 350 Confucius Institutes, whose mission is to teach the world about China. But when does education become propaganda? …” (more)

[Mary Fitzgerald, Irish Times, 8 December]

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Dr Padraic Conway – Obituaries

Posted in Life on October 14th, 2012 by steve

“Dr Padraic Conway, who died last weekend at the age of just 50, was a proud Sligo man, theologian and academic. As vice-president of UCD for University Relations, following a time with Anderson Consultants, Trocaire and the Trinity Foundation, he became one of UCD president Hugh Brady’s chief lieutenants during his great reform programme …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Independent, 14 October]

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