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The diary of a vice-chancellor : University of Melbourne 1935-1938 / Raymond Priestley ; edited by Ronald Ridley
Bib ID 1635341
Format BookBook
Author
Priestley, Raymond E. (Raymond Edward), 1886-1974
 
Description Carlton South, Vic. : Melbourne University Press, 2002 
xxxviii, 555 p., [12] p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 25 cm. 
ISBN 0522849857
Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Subjects Priestley, Raymond E. (Raymond Edward), 1886-1974.  |  University of Melbourne -- History.  |  College administrators -- Victoria -- Melbourne.  |  Universities and colleges -- Victoria -- Melbourne -- Administration.
Other authors/contributors Ridley, Ronald T. (Ronald Thomas), 1940-
  • Back cover blurb: "It is certain that a Government's ideas of what is most essential to a University are not likely to square with those of academicians. A proposal to standardise shades of hood today produced an amusing bit of backchat. My own contribution was the suggestion that the Vice-Chancellor's dress should consist of an ultra-violet gown with an infra-red hood. This would save a deal of trouble . . ."says Priestley. Raymond Priestley's personal diary offers a perceptive and lively insider's account of academia during the 1930s. Priestley was the first salaried Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. It was a time of great upheaval, as Australian universities reshaped and reasserted themselves after the Great Depression. Priestley was an energetic, innovative man with a colourful background in Antarctic exploration. He held strongly to the view that the university is a community of scholars. One of his major achievements at Melbourne was the establishment of the University Union--which was to bring together staff, students and graduates in one broad cultural and intellectual programme, and to reduce the isolation felt by part-time students in particular. An acute and witty observer, Priestley's studded his diary with anecdotes about meetings with interesting and prominent people, including politicians such as R. G. Menzies, Joseph Lyons and Rupert Hamer. There are well-observed accounts of his travels both locally and in North America, where he made a systematic study of university administration and funding. He recounts in absorbing detail his relationship with the University Council, his continuing conflicts with the Chancellor, Sir James Barrett, and his eventual resignation. Ronald Ridley has judiciously distilled and edited Priestley's voluminous diary, traced his life in a helpful introduction, and included a selection of his public speeches. The Diary of a Vice-Chancellor is an invaluable record of the inner workings of a university in transition. Readers who care about tertiary education in Australia, and the University of Melbourne in particular, will find it absorbing and thought-provoking. And one question they might well ask themselves is whether any such frank and revealing account is likely to be available to scholars looking back at today's universities.
    Posted by Wendy Pang on 2009-11-26 07:59:13
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