Scott Bowman says enough with being a VC it’s time “to experience life”

Last November CQU VC Scott Bowman accepted a contract extension that would have taken him through to 2022. But yesterday he announced he would leave the university at year end. “I think it might need a different set of skills to take the university forward, and this is a natural time to look for a person with those skills,” he said.

Professor Bowman announced he and his wife, also employed at CQU, would spend the next decade travelling, “experiencing what life has to offer and rediscovering our passion for cultures and countries, while our health permits.” CMM hears their RV of choice is already set to go.

Professor Bowman joined CQU from the Cairns campus of regional rival James Cook U in 2009 and spent the first few years of his term repairing and restructuring the university, which was in dire financial circumstances when he arrived. But since then he has expanded the universities presence, notably in what were James Cook U’s Townsville and Cairns heartlands and developed new research areas.

what next: Scott Bowman set a task for himself and his CQU colleagues when he arrived nearly a decade back – for the university to move from “strong to great.” And he delivered, “we are a great university now and Scott’s responsible,” says CQU’s chancellor John Abbott. But what got CQU from penury to pacesetter may not work in the future and Bowman says his successor might need a new approach.

Chancellor Abbott agrees, saying the new VC will have to, “do different things in different ways.”  He nominates marine research, which CQU is starting to explore, health and maybe medicine (“still in formulation”) and pathways to and from the Indonesian education system. And regional university participation rates are still “significantly lower” than the national level.  But overall the next vice chancellor will need to “hold true to our values of engagement and service out communities,” the chancellor says. Bowman may be going but he won’t be forgotten.


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