While Justice Finkelstein today starts considering his verdict on Steve
Vizard’s Claytons insider trading charge, who at Deakin University is
going to pass judgment on the wisdom of giving the cheat an honorary
doctorate of laws last year? The wheels, however slowly, were already
turning on Vizard’s exposure as someone not to be trusted. The
allegations already made about him in a town as small as Melbourne
should have rung a bell even in Deakin’s ivory tower.

Vizard’s other titles and awards have been well documented, but they
were made before the accountant hit the fan. Deakin’s alumni news
report of the ceremony now makes bemusing reading. How about:

Displaying his usual humility Dr Vizard wondered whether the choice of
date for his conferral – April 1st – had played any part in his being
there. Deakin graduates, their families and Deakin staff were then
treated to some vintage – but serious – Vizard when he offered valuable
tips about how to proceed through and make the best of life.

I trust they weren’t inside tips. The rest of the puff piece
is nearly as good. As for the good Justice, if anyone’s running a
book on his verdict, put me down for the maximum possible fine of $600,000
and a 12-year ban.

CRIKEY: This is a particularly egregious example of an honorary degree
handed out to an undeserving recipient, but the over active marketing
departments of Australia’s University’s have been handing ’em out like
lollies for years – see Crikey’s Great Honorary Doctorate List for more – and send your additions and corrections to [email protected]

Peter Fray

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