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Students Welcome Mallard's Call

VUWSA web site Students at Victoria University have welcomed calls by the State Services Minister Trevor Mallard for an end to "Golden Handshakes" for departing public servants. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association President Chris Hipkins said talk that former Vice-Chancellor Michael Irving had received a payout of up to $400,000 was scandalous.

"Given the current climate within the University, where the Library is being prevented from purchasing vital academic textbooks due to a shortage of funds, it's a bit rich to say the least for the departing Vice-Chancellor to receive such a payout," Mr. Hipkins said.

"That money could have purchased countless library books, been used to install 3 more student computing suites or gone towards meeting the staff's wage claim,"

"Professor Irving's departure has left quite a financial strain on the University. Not only are we left with the bill for his payout, we are also left with the bills for the refurbishment of his office, his management restructuring and his contracting out,"

Mr. Hipkins also expressed concern that the payout may have been part of Professor Irving's employment contract. "If he had a clause like that in his contract, presumably other senior managers within the University would have one too. Who will be held accountable for entering the University into these outrageous commitments?" Mr. Hipkins asked.

"This is quite symptomatic of the problems the University is currently facing. Far too much emphasis is being placed on managerialism, and not enough on teaching and research as the core values of a University,"

"It's students and taxpayers money we are talking about here, and I think we have a right to know how much he was actually paid and who is going to be held responsible?" Mr. Hipkins concluded.

Chris Hipkins, President
(021) 707 927

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