Evans rebuffs music school supporters

AUSTRALIAN National University chancellor Gareth Evans has turned away School of Music supporters, saying the status quo is ” simply not an option”.

Prof Evans made the comment in a letter in reply to an open letter delivered to the Chancellor yesterday by School supporters, including Manning Clarke House director Dr Judith Crispin, MCH president Sebastian Clark, barrister John Purnell, composer Larry Sitsky,  historian Dr Ann Moyal, musician Gary France, artist Greer Versteeg, barrister Timothy Crispin and scientist Dr Andrew Glikson, who asked him to intercede for the School of Music and end proposed changes.

In Prof Evan’s reply he said: “As Chancellor, and acting on behalf of other Council members, I have been closely following this debate and discussing with the Vice-Chancellor all issues of concern that have been raised, and will continue to do so.

“I am acutely conscious that the School of Music is a fantastic resource not only for ANU, but for the Canberra community and indeed the whole nation, and that it is particularly important in this context that its performance teaching stream remains credible and viable.

“At the same time I think we all have to acknowledge that the present funding arrangements for music, and the huge deficits that are now associated with the existing course structure, are simply unsustainable, creating real pain for the wider University community. Continuation of the status quo is, unhappily, simply not an option.

“I remain hopeful that we can find a way through these difficulties, and have full confidence in the Vice-Chancellor’s capacity to do so in continuing close consultation with all relevant interests, inside and outside the University, and potential sources of further financial support.”

Vice-chancellor Ian Young has called a meeting with School of Music staff scheduled for this afternoon.

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