Written by TFM on 12/04/2021
CHARLES Darwin University’s new leader says the NT institution is Australia’s most important university, and he plans to put it on the world stage.
In an exclusive sit-down with the NT News on his first day, CDU’s new Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Scott Bowman AO shared his vision for the university, which in recent years has faced significant financial struggles, and course and staff cuts.
“This should be the university of Northern Australia,” he said.
“Yes we’ve got two other unis that are headquartered here, but this should be the main university for Northern Australia. (CDU) really is Australia’s most important university.
If you look at this region, it is incredibly important for water security, food security, defence security, energy security
“This is the heart of Australia, and it’s the heart of Australia’s future, and the opportunity to come and be part of that in this university was just irresistible.”
Originally from the United Kingdom, Prof Bowman came to Australia to take up the position of Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Charles Sturt University and holds a Master of Politics and Government, a PhD in Clinical Decision Making and a Master of Business Administration.
He has an extensive university career. Prof Bowman was the Vice-Chancellor and President of Central Queensland University, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Registrar at James Cook University, and most recently Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Western Sydney University.
Prof Bowman acknowledged the tough times CDU has faced, and said he was dedicated to transforming the university into a positive, fun place to study and work.
“The university has gone through lots of cuts and I always think you can cut to survive if you’re in a really bad place,” he said.
“In some ways, the only option you’ve got is to cut, but what I’m seeing now we’re entering into a new phase we’re in a good survival position. Now we’ve got to grow.
“You can’t cut to success, you can only grow to success, so I’m definitely looking at a strong growth agenda and that is around new programs. It is about really a comprehensive university that meets all the needs for the Territory and the workforce needs.”
“We have got to be a university that Territorians are really proud of and we are meeting the needs of the Territory. So we do have to have the range of programs that people from the territory want.
“We’ve got to provide the courses that people need, because they can’t get on a bus and go 20 minutes down the road to another university. And we’ve got to give good education. Our programs have got to be high quality, and that is at the forefront of my mind, we’ve got to do that, so everything we do has got to be about the Northern Territory.