U Tas makes its case with Black letter more

The vice chancellor talks up moving campus into the city

The other week novelist Richard Flanagan dropped a bucket on the University of Tasmania, a very big bucket, over its plans to take gown to town and relocate a bunch of stuff to the CBD. “The interests of the university are not necessarily the same of those of Hobart and its citizens, and we should not believe the university when they say they are,” he wrote in the city’s Mercury newspaper (CMM April 23).

This was very bad indeed for UTas – the extraordinary influence it wields in the state’s public life depends on community support. So it appears, VC Rufus Black threw the PR machine’s switch to charm and its lever to listening, talking to Amanda Ducker for a long piece on the uni plan in Saturday’s paper. It was proper journalism, lots of facts and plenty of informed opinions (just not Ms Ducker’s) and it was definitely not a free kick for Professor Black.  But it is a win for U Tas, the only way to create the consensus the university will need to ensure state and city government support for  the planned move is to explain the benefits for all, then explain them again, and again .


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