The Research Centres
Ron Davison was a thinking Dean at Bond University. He just liked to think. And to strategize. And to innovatively develop strategizing policies. And to excellently think innovation.
So at one point he felt that the Faculty needed a new direction in research (I never realized we had an old one). And he decided to do something about it.
So he was thinking and consulting and thinking. For almost two months. Of course he consulted our key staff members (I assume this is an 'age' thing to become key staff?). And then did more thinking. I mean we were almost 20 people in the Faculty, at least 10 research active. This requires a fair bit of thinking.
But all good thinking eventually came to an end and he announced the winners, i.e. the leaders of the future research centers. And the winners were .... the key staff members. Go figure.
So Michael Rees would get a research center, so would Gavin Finnie. Oh, and Ron reserved a research center for himself: "Centre for ICT Policy and", yes you guessed it, "Strategy".
(If you already know what is coming, this all takes the fun out of my writing.)
A few days later Ron announced that there will be one more research center, that of Paddy Krishnan. Obviously Paddy successfully lobbied.
So the leaders would make a presentation to attract the other research active staff to flock to them. I remember that day well because of the absolutely evil mood in the room. No one in the audience said a word, no one asked a question, not a single smiling face (and this is Australia where not-grinning is a capital offence).
- Gavin spent about 5 minutes on a disclaimer why he was asked to do it and that he actually is not keen to do it, but will do it anyway. Honest, in a way.
- In sheer contrast, Michael was completely ethusiastic about his center. It should study ... the dynamics and culture of the user communities that use the information-sharing technologies. At the end of his presentation he was naive enough to ask the crowd who would be willing to participate. Not a single movement in the room. He was obviously shocked, I will never forget his huge eyeballs.
- At least Paddy seemed to know what he was doing.
So where are they now?
- Well Michael has put up a web page:
but apart from that I have never heard anything about it in the last 3 years. Michael lived next door to me.
- Gavin has set up a virtual server which looks as if it is not completely finished yet, had his launch but at least he has produced some research results.
- Paddy's research center is doing well. Go figure.
- And Ron returned to more thinking.