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September 21, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Vic Beats a Dead Horse Named University of Wellington

On Wednesday, Grant Guildford told Salient that the management team will move forward with the name change, despite student objection.
Grant said they decided it is the best move for the universities’ future.
“It’s controversial and it’s painful, but we’ve got to get it right,” said Guilford.
The name change will be discussed in the public part of the council meeting on Monday 24 September, starting at 12.30 pm in the Council Chamber, Level Two of the Hunter Building. Many on-campus groups, including Stick with Vic and Victoria International Students’ Association, are encouraging students to go to the council meeting.
Submissions collected by VUWSA found that 93% of the 777 students who responded were against the name change.
“Consultation was not done thoughtfully with students in mind,” said the VUWSA submission.
As of 19 September, the university had spent at least $300,000 on the name change. This comprised of legal advice about processes for a change, trade marketing, and research into a possible logo change as well. Guilford admitted he was frustrated with not being recognised as a quality institution offshore, saying he would be “disappointed” if Mr Hipkins does not sign off on it.
A statement from the office of Mr Hipkins said that the minister was unable to give an opinion on the proposal before the council signs off on it. The council is scheduled to make a decision on 24 September, which will then be forwarded to Minister Hipkins for consideration.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that the name change is an important topic for students, but would not comment further about whether she would be comfortable with a sign off from her minister. “I know that what he’ll be factoring in will include the perspective of those who are past and present members or students or faculty members. He’ll be considering everything,” said Ms Ardern.
The Ministry of Education has outlined the four criteria that Hipkins must adhere to during his decision. These include having clear statements of the benefits of a name change, the implications of such a change, evidence of consultation of different parties, and demonstration of support for the change.

The university council’s draft paper on the decision cites a “medium inherent risk level” for ministerial approval.
If the minister refuses to sign off on the deal, there will be a halt to the change, with losses of all funding to that point.
Grant said he will accept it if the university council vetoes the recommendation. He said that if Hipkins doesn’t sign off on the name change, the proposal will go back to the consultation stages. However, he added that if Hipkins’ opinion of the name change is “so negative” that it was obvious he wouldn’t sign the proposal, the management team “might stop”.

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