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Master's voice

What stands out in the UCC president's recent address to the Cork Chamber of Commerce is its self-serving and PR nature; the use of hearsay instead of hard evidence, its self-contradictory nature and lack of coherence and critical thought.

Dr Michael Murphy speaks of the great achievements of UCC's 'alumni' but this is not balanced with reference to the alumni whose achievements were deemed to be less than great. He speaks of supposedly extensive anecdotal evidence that many of our brightest Leaving Certificate students are leaving for overseas education. I presume supposedly anecdotal evidence would not be acceptable as a basis for promoting a particular argument or conclusion in any UCC undergraduate work, let alone from its president.

Dr Murphy does not question whether high Leaving Certificate performance is a good indicator of our 'brightest' students or that so-called 'academic' performance may be a contested issue.

He advocates special third-level support for the 'top' academic performers and argues that the inform-ation and communications technology age, among other things, "was mostly sparked by the top 2-5pc of academic performers, who attended schools and universities that met their needs in innovative ways". Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were dropouts from university.

Dr Murphy praises the expansion and democratisation of higher education but then blames it for what he sees as a neglect of our 'brightest' students. He bemoans what he alleges is the State's micro-management of Irish universities.

With respect to UCC, he states: "Whether a staff member performs to levels that are best or worst in the world makes no difference to his or her remuneration."

I just wonder does Dr Murphy include his own performance.

JN Mackey
Glasson, Athlone

Irish Independent