One notable feature of the Howard years has been the apparent takeover of the coveted university chancellor positions across the country by corporate players. The most connected and powerful professional directors these days like to have a university chancellor gig in the portfolio. Here’s the list:

Corporate Chancellors

Bond University, Trevor Rowe: Chairman Queensland Investment Corp and Rothschild Australia, director ASX and Future Fund.

Curtin University, Gordon Martin: Highly regarded as chairman of Coogee Chemicals and Coogee Resources. The latter launched an IPO last year but the float was pulled after institutions baulked at the price.

Flinders University, Sir Eric Neal: former CEO of Boral and was chairman of Westpac when it almost went broke in 1992, although this isn’t included on the website bio.

Macquarie University, Maurice Newman: ASX and ABC chairman.

Melbourne University, Ian Renard: retired corporate lawyer, director of CSL, Newcrest and SPI Powernet, former director AMP.

Monash University, Jerry Ellis: former BHP chairman, chairman Pacifica, director ANZ, chancellor Monash University.

Murdoch University, Terry Budge: former CEO of BankWest, current chairman of WA Government’s LandCorp, director of Aspen Group and WestOz Investment Company.

University of Central Queensland, Rennie Fritschy: former head of Queensland Alumina in Gladstone and current Queensland adviser to Alinta.

University of New England, John Cassidy: former CEO of Abigroup and ousted director of Hills Motorway.

University of NSW, David Gonski: Coca Cola Amatil chair, Westfield and ANZ director, chair Australia Council.

University of Queensland, Sir Llew Edwards: former Queensland Liberal Treasurer, former director Westpac and James Hardie, chancellor University of Queensland.

University of Western Sydney, John Phillips: former deputy chairman Reserve Bank, chairman AGL, deputy chairman or Woolworths and QBE, director WMC.

University of Western Australia, Michael Chaney: NAB chair, Woodside chair-elect, President Business Council.

All this begs the question: who are the prominent non-corporate chancellors out there?

Non-corporate university chancellors:

ANU, Dr Allan Hawke: career public servant.

Ballarat, Bob Smith: academic and former vice-chancellor.

Canberra University, Ingrid Moses: academic and former vice-chancellor.

Edith Cowan, Hendy Cowan: farmer and former Nationals leader and deputy premier of WA who failed miserably in a tilt at the AWB board a couple of years ago.

Griffith University, Leneen Forde: recent Queensland Governor and before that something of a pioneer female lawyer.

James Cook, Lt Gen John Grey: former chief of the Australian Army.

La Trobe University, Sylvia Walton: spent 23 years as principal of the Tintern secondary schools in Melbourne.

Notre Dame, Justice Neville Owen: WA judge and HIH Royal Commissioner.

Newcastle University, Trevor Waring: psychologist and academic.

RMIT, Dennis Gibson: academic and former vice-chancellor.

Swinburne, Bill Scales: did a stint at Telstra but is best known as Kennett’s chief bureaucrat and the former head of the Industry Commission.

Sydney University, Kim Santow: retired judge who will be retiring as Chancellor in May 2007.

UTS, Prof Vicki Sara: researcher.

University of Adelaide, John von Doussa: President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. He’s had a long and distinguished career in law both here in Australia and overseas.

University of Tasmania, Damian Bugg QC: the outgoing Commonwealth DPP is a lawyer with no corporate background.

Victoria University, Hon Frank Vincent: retired Victorian judge.

Wollongong, Michael Codd: head of Prime Minister and Cabinet under Bob Hawke but has corporate experience on the Qantas board.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey