Uni Adelaide prefers to be private

The university wants to keep what it pays its top people under wraps – which generated a longly-argued nothing-doing from the SA Ombudsman (CMM last week)

But there is more to this than management trying to avoid media stories about what executives are paid. Learned readers point out that Uni Adelaide’s response to the Ombudsman made a very big claim indeed.

“While the university is an” (government) “agency for the purposes of the FOI Act, it cannot be treated in the same way as a government department. The university is a significant commercial enterprise, financed primarily through sources other     than the public purse. The nature of its operations is far closer to those of a private corporation than a public body.”

Good-o, except universities do not pay tax on income, which private corporations are subject to.  (Making Uni Adelaide’s $40m net operating result on just under $977m in 2020 not that flash).