First things first at Uni Adelaide

It took less than an hour from the announcement of Peter Høj as next VC of the University of Adelaide for speculation to start on a merger with Uni SA

Certainly, Professor Høj was keen on it when he was VC of Uni SA. “I was fully committed to a merger. … I have been very vocal on it and I clearly believe that none of the three SA universities have enough scale … it will have to happen,” he told The Advertiser (April 26 2012).

But not so much right now

“Whilst my top priority is to engage deeply with the university community and to assist with the healing process, ensuring we have a culture focused on respect and collegiality, I am of course also focused on the University’s financial viability. The University of Adelaide’s $1 billion operation is by far the biggest in the state, and consistent with its ranking in the world’s top 1 per cent of universities,” the incoming VC said yesterday.

“I know from the chancellor’s previous communications that the University of Adelaide remains open-minded to the possibility of a merger, or some other rationalisation of higher education in the state.

“My past views on a merger are well-documented, based on my knowledge of the state when I was vice chancellor of Uni SA.

“Any merger needs to be in the best interests of the University of Adelaide and of the state.

“Ultimately that would be a decision for the University’s Council.”