Media Release: Baillieu must guarantee University Independence
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) today called on the Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, to guarantee funding and affirm his commitment to the independence of the University of Melbourne following revelations that research funding to the University had been threatened over concerns raised about the alpine grazing trial.
“We need the Premier to reassure the sector that his government will not use funding or any other inducements to interfere with the independence of our Universities,” NTEU National President Jeannie Rea said today.
“It damages our democracy if we allow corporate or government interests to interfere with the research or public comments of academics who are doing their jobs. Both sides of politics must resist the temptation to play games with university independence.”
The Brumby Government came under similar criticism in 2008 following allegations of pressure being placed on the University of Melbourne over statements made by Dr Paul Mees who now works at RMIT.
“We view this as a very serious matter, and we will be writing to the Premier on Monday seeking his assurance that this will not be a feature of his government.”
For further information and comment:
Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President, 0434 609 531