After the incumbent provost was elected The University Record interviewed him about his plans. Volume Four, Issue Ten.
Q. You stated in Hustings on the Dining Hall steps that the student centre would remain permanently in Luce all if that was what the students preferred. Will you now stand over this promise?
A. Well,em…I do strongly believe that a student centre is necessary and a good student centre, one that is designed for that purpose. This means that the students need to layout what a student centre should provide, and that it be designed towards those functions………..There’s a lot of pressures at the moment on space especially around this area of college and I’d like to look at all those pressures so that all the problems can be resolved openly.
Q. Space is a big problem
A. Space is a huge problem so the current plan under regime is that the sub-space in Luce Hall be designed into a student centre.
Q.Although you were the only candidate to make firm promisies over Luce hall you only received 18% of the Student vote. How do you feel about this?
A. Well…. Yes that was interesting alright. In retrospect of the campaign I think the role of the Provost is not completely understood and visibly seen by the student body. There’s a gap between the provost and the students who don’t see this role as a visible entity. To campaign as a Provost candidate amongst the student body is difficult because it is such a dispersed body.
Q. Now that Trinity have voted to re-affiliate with USI do you feel thatyou are in a stronger position to haggle with the Government and the HEA over student related issues like the grant and accommodation?
A. The whole university sector has to make a case to the Government over this. The university sector is organised under a conference of the heads of Irish universities. If USI as a united body can also make a strong case because it is united then that’s great.
Q.The SU is currently entitled to 8 representatives at University Council. The Universities Bill will result in the reconstitution of University Council. There have been mutterings that the SU may lose some of its representation when a new council of all voting members is constituted. Will you as Provost support us retaining our current level of representation?
A.I think the whole culture of university is to include representatives from all sectors so there’s no issue about this. I guess I’m not in a position to comment yet because I don’t know what the actual situation will be.
Q. We are running out of building space at a rapid pace here in Trinity. Is the idea of a second campus a realistic goal?
A. I think the idea of a second campus may arise actually, in time. We certainly are running out of space within the four walls. There is potential still outside the four walls down Pearse St for instance, so there’s a possibility of expanding that way but it’s going to cost more now than it would have a few years ago. As a college we should slow down overall growth so we can consolidate what we have. Of course we are already on two other sites, St.James’ Hospital and Tallaght aswell. Whether we’ll have another major campus I think we should not consider that just yet until we get our act together first.
Q. The Provost’s house on 1 Grafton Street has always fascinated me. Are you excited about moving in?
A. Excited about moving? Yes, it’s a fantastic house and I think it has tremendous potential as a home that includes people.
Q. Should we expect any wild house parties in the coming years?
A. I would say that we would live a strong social life there.
Trinity Term, 2001