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ACU head reveals surprise at Notre Dame Uni announcement

Australian Catholic University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan has told Online Catholics that Sunday's announcement of federal funding for Notre Dame University's new Sydney campus was unexpected, and that such an arrangement is "unprecedented".

"It is very, very unusual for governments to allocate public funds for private universities," he told Online Catholics. "It is equally unusual for governments to allocate funds for infrastructure. There is no precedent for this arrangement of which I am aware."

Mr Howard, who received an honourary doctorate of Laws from the Notre Dame University in 2001, announced the $4 million in federal funding on Sunday. Online Catholics says the government contribution will supplement the $25 million in Archdiocesan resources and grants to be provided by the Sydney Archdiocese.

Australian Catholic University is also facing a requirement that it pay the Sydney Archdiocese commercial rents on buildings on two of its campuses. The ACU has paid the Archdiocese a peppercorn rent over the last 10 years on land and buildings which were acquired at a reduced cost from religious orders.

Pell, Howard, buy a university (Online Catholics 4/8/04 - subscribers only)

Paul Collins: Pell's conservatism adds fuel to the fire of Catholic disharmony (Sydney Morning Herald 3/8/04)
Profile: The Enigmatic Dr Peter Tannock (Online Catholics 4/8/04 - subscribers only
Notre Dame welcomes Federal support for Sydney campus (CathNews 2/8/04)
Notre Dame to spread east (The West Australian 31/7/04)
Hand-out to private university under fire (Sydney Morning Herald 2/8/04)
Turf war sours welcome at these holy gates (Sydney Morning Herald 2/8/04)
Nurses criticise private uni plan (The Sun-Herald 1/8/04)
Govt slammed over faculty closure (AAP/Seven News 1/8/04)
Howard details cash for new uni (AAP/Daily Telegraph 1/8/04)
Government to fund new private uni (Sydney Morning Herald 1/8/04)
New uni to tackle nurse shortage (Sunday Mail 1/8/04)
New city uni for medical students (The Sun-Herald 1/8/04)
Nursing boost in new uni package (Sunday Mail 1/8/04)
University of Notre Dame Australia
Who puts the 'R' in Catholic? Who puts the 'C' in Liberal Arts? 'We Do!' (ABC Religion Report 12/5/04)

4 Aug 2004