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Not Such A Bad Guy After All

Media Release – Graeme Edgeler Treasurer - Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA)

A general meeting of Victoria University students voted last week to rescind a position of no confidence they have held in Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon for more than 18 months. The original motion was approved in August 2000, when McCutcheon was on a shortlist for the University’s top job, and though approved before he was even appointed it has hung over the sometimes tense relationship between senior management and the Students’ Association (VUWSA).

“This is a victory for common sense,” said VUWSA Treasurer Graeme Edgeler, who moved the motion, “removing the binding stance of “no confidence” in the Vice-Chancellor from the books is a tangible step we can take to move forward. For far too long now Students’ Associations have laboured under an impression that it is ‘them versus us’ – this vote indicates that many students feel this assumption must change. We will achieve so much more working with the University, rather than against it.”

“Previously, even when the VC did something we agreed with we basically had to act as though he was a prat. He isn’t. He never has been. The VC may not do everything we would like, and we hold markedly different positions on many issues, but we have never expected him to be a VUWSA lackey. Stuart has steered Victoria University through some very tough times – a substantial budget deficit and chronic government under-funding foremost. Though there is much work needed, this motion is a small gesture of appreciation for the good work so far done, and recognises the improvements made while he has been at the helm.”

“Victoria University is a world-class institution and this new spirit of cooperation is fantastic news for all students. We look forward a future working with Professor McCutcheon, and the rest of University management,” Graeme Edgeler concluded, “and from that students at Victoria University can only benefit.”

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