James Cook U cops a Katter

The (present and likely next) independent member for the federal electorate of Kennedy, Bob Katter, got stuck into James Cook University last week, and VC Sandra Harding responded.

Mr Katter wrote to Mt Isa paper, Northwest Star to set out his thoughts on where JCU could do better.

It was a spray in the sweeping style familiar to followers of his performance in House of Representatives Question Time.  Among other topics, Mr Katter addressed academic independence (presumably the recent Peter Ridd court case), the vice chancellor’s pay and the splendid job CQ University is doing. With the exception of its health departments, “JCU is the shame of north Queensland,” Mr Katter concluded.

To which Professor Harding responded yesterday, telling NWS readers, Mr Katter’s “numerous factual errors and grave inaccuracies must be corrected.”

Doing so, might have made the VC feel better but it may not convince Mr Katter or his admirers.  Which is a worry for JCU – local MPs and universities are generally joined at the hip in the pursuit of more public money.  Not these two.


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