Whilst we will not be producing a June issue - given the intensity of exams and the rest of it - we will make what content we do have available to you, our beloved readers, and should produce the next issue in early July. We hope to then also provide an introduction by the new Chancellor, John Watkins. Where are we at? Since the last issue, the University of New England has appointed a new Chancellor, opened a campus in Western Sydney, been witness to staff strikes on campus and also unwilling spectator to the astounding $2.3 billion diversion of funding from universities by the federal government.
Furthermore the article we published in our last issue entitled ‘Why Doesn’t UNE Have a Chancellor?’ triggered reactions far beyond what was intended. Putting the threats of legal action aside for now, it seems relevant to reiterate that ‘Why Doesn’t UNE Have a Chancellor?’ served two purposes. In the wake of Richard Torbay’s abrupt resignation it was pertinent to summarise what had happened and the events that had caused so much talk including the multiple articles in national media to which we referred. But most importantly, we posed a series of questions about lack of communication. We aimed not to spread rumour but instead begged to be alleviated from an environment in which rumour was flourishing.
We, as editors and indeed writer, had no intention of defaming, offending, misrepresenting, or implying allegations against, any of the people referred to in that article. It is not in our or our readers’ interests to defame anyone and is certainly against our integrity as editors. But we do stand by the message of that article: that students need to be informed and communications need to be improved.
Between that last issue in April and this, UNE has also borne the death of the remarkable Jenny Crew AOM. Her memorial service, held on May 5th in Lazenby Hall, drew tributes from many including the mayor, the VC, and MP Tony Windsor. The life they commemorated was one of astounding achievement; the life of one who not only made things happen but who stood for the real values of universities. She was a woman who through her very existence made an impact on the world; who made change by turning up and being there, carried on by the strength of that in which she believed. As noted in her memorial service, she learnt from parents who exemplified the belief that education was the key to the peaceful co-existence of nations and individuals. The kindness, strength and dedication of a woman such as her will leave a great void. With respect,