MONASH University Gippsland’s Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Robin Pollard has welcomed the possibility of the campus joining forces with the University of Ballarat as an “incredibly exciting” opportunity.
Speaking to The Express on Friday after the announcement the two universities were in talks to form an expanded regionally-focused university, Professor Pollard said the proposal mooted appeared to be the best among several options for the Gippsland campus.
The campus has seen falling student numbers and reduced course offerings over the past few years.
“(Monash) knew a change would occur at the time we proposed me switching jobs (from Monash University Malaysia with Professor Helen Bartlett), but we didn’t know what,” Professor Pollard said.
“I will have the same role here as I did in Malaysia; I am here to lead the change.”
Professor Pollard said his role would be similar to what he did with Monash’s Malaysia campus, which was effectively setting up a new institution.
“(Monash) Malaysia is doing very well now, with 6300 students or so,” he said.
When asked whether current staff and students had cause for concern, Professor Pollard said it depended on whether they embraced the opportunities before them.
“I don’t think they have anything to worry about,” he said.
“As far as staff are concerned, jobs can be created, and this move will help the Gippsland region by improving access to higher education.”
Professor Pollard, who recently begun his tenure as the campus head, said he had purchased a property in Yarragon South and had already grown to love the region.