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2013 NCV Autumn Dinner

Wednesday 3 July, 2013
by Jonathan Billingham
A wonderful evening for NCV residents to share a meal and spend time together.

NCV Autumn Dinner The Autumn Formal Dinner was a wonderful evening for NCV residents to share a meal, spend time in the company of fellow residents from different floors and get dressed up. The community enjoyed a three course meal and were entertained by NCV resident Cameron Mendoza, who sang a rendition of Michael Buble’s song Sway.

The speaker at the dinner was Associate Professor David Cohen. Prof. Cohen is the current Head of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UNSW. His areas of interest include exploration and environmental geochemistry, biogeochemistry, regional geochemical mapping, and selective geochemical extractions. In addition to his research work, Prof. Cohen has held a number of senior positions in university management, serving as Presiding Member of the Faculty of Science and more recently as Deputy President of the Academic Board. David is also on the Board of New College.

During his talk, Prof. Cohen discussed the origins of universities before moving on to reflections of the history of UNSW. Prof. Cohen explained that the universitas emerged in medieval Europe with predominantly self-regulating governance of two kinds; Faculty controlled in northern Europe, where staff invited students to attend classes, and student run in southern Europe, where students invited staff to come and teach them. From early times students and staff moved freely between universities. In the 1500’s they were among the most mobile of groups in Europe. The university was a vehicle, along with the church and army, by which those of humble beginnings could rise up to great things.

Prof. Cohen shared how he came to be a Ph.D student at UNSW and how over time his changing roles inthe university have allowed him to develop a view that universities are best left as self regulating institutions without unnecessary overregulation and direction from government bureaucrats. At the end of Prof. Cohen’s talk, NCV resident Aishwarya Menon gave the vote of thanks for what was a very witty and engaging talk.