Scott Bowman new VC at Charles Darwin U

The Northern Territory News scooped the uni, announcing the appointment the other day – which caused crocniptions on campus

Acting VC Mike Wilson said council had not decided (CMM February 17). But now it has, with news Professor Bowman is taking over in May.

The former VC of CQU is a good pick. He will know what he is getting into at a regional university with VET and HE portfolios, which needs to grow to meet its communities needs but is light-on for resources.

Federal figures show CDU ran an 8.3 per cent operating deficit in 2018 (CMM April 2 2020). The Northern Territory Auditor General reports that the university’s operating loss was $8.7m for 2019, way better than the $21.3m in ’18, although this was largely due to more federal funding, rather than any savings.

It will be a familiar situation for Professor Bowman. CQU made losses, years in the making, but occurring on his watch, in 2011 and 2012. So, he cut and cut again, (although two-thirds of staff exits were via voluntary redundancies). But he was always up-beat, telling all who would listen CQU was viable and would be successful. And by 2015 the university was on the way out of the monetary mangroves, with resources to pay for a research expansion (CMM April 23 2015).

By the time he left in 2019 CQU  was challenging James Cook U for students in far north Queensland and was beginning work to secure a medical school.