Letter to Professor Carolyn Evans, Vice-Chancellor, Griffith University (30 August 2023)

August 30, 2023
Dear Professor Evans,     Many thanks for acknowledging my story. The only reason to share it with you is that there are no positions for a person of my high caliber. Looking, this morning, in the ‘Jobs at Griffith’ and filtering for the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, the only position advertised […]
Dear Professor Evans,



Many thanks for acknowledging my story. The only reason to share it with you is that there are no positions for a person of my high caliber. Looking, this morning, in the ‘Jobs at Griffith’ and filtering for the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, the only position advertised among your ‘100 academics’ was “Lecturer in Indigenous Studies (First Peoples)”.



That is a worthy and noble position. I fully support the indigenous voice in my work, and I am active in the ‘Yes’ campaign. Which is why I would not apply for this position. Surely, as Vice-Chancellor you can “chew gum and walk at the same time”,  and widen the university’s employment policy to be inclusive of a person of my caliber.



Surely, it is socially embarrassing in the local community, of which Griffith University is a part, that a person of my experience and caliber cannot get employment. Either there is something wrong with me or there is something wrong with Griffith University’s policies.



Please, Professor Evans, tell me, what is wrong with me?



Kind regards,
31 August 2023




Griffith Vice Chancellor

30 Aug 2023, 19:54 (16 hours ago)

to me
Dear Neville
Thank you for your email and for giving me an overview of your connection to Griffith and to your intellectual interests.



I am afraid that applications for these roles require all applicants to follow the process set out on our website to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. I am not in a position to give a position unilaterally. You are, of course, welcome to apply for any of the positions that you consider your experience suits you for.



Best wishes



CarolynProfessor Carolyn Evans FASSA | Vice Chancellor and President  (she/her)

Griffith University | QLD 4222 Australia
T +61 7 5552 8178 | E [email protected] | W griffith.edu.au

Sent from my mobile device





Dear Professor Carolyn Evans,



I wish to submit this one-page response for your recruitment of 100 new academics, to work at Griffith University. In order to do so, I need to tell you the unusual story of my career, so far, and how it wonderfully fits with Griffith University’s mission and ethos.



You see, when Griffith University opened in 1975, I was an adventurous 14-year-old who cycled his dragster through the Nathan campus. I am now the 62-year old leading scholar in social cognition, theory and practice, in the field of Queensland history and sociology, and in the field of American-Australian relational histories and sociologies. I am one of a very few Australian intellectual historians who is still publishing since the Australian universities torn-down the field. I am also the leading and practical Queensland local studies scholar who has made a major reputational mark in the academic work of the last decade, but am forced to do so outside the university. Even as I am a Griffith University community partner, the University is missing out by not employing or contracting me. Recently, the administrator of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) commended me for a “great strong letter” to the Premier, Deputy Premier, and Queensland Cabinet (and I was contracted to do the QSA report on the 1982 cabinet minutes) on behalf of the Southern Brisbane communities, where most of Griffith University’s historical campuses are situated. I am a ‘rare academic’ who is very connected and committed to the local community, and demonstrably so (https://drnevillebuch.com/).



My knowledge of policy, including academic policies, is well above your best academics, and it is well placed in my ‘academic’ work, and I have the profile to prove it (https://uq.academia.edu/NevilleBuch). What makes my application for a job at Griffith University so excellent, is that I am a prime example of Griffith University’s mission and ethos in its vision of multidisciplinary education.



My career cries out to be employed and contracted at Griffith University. Dr Neville Buch is a scholar in studies in religion and Australian-American intellectual history. He was a higher education policy researcher for Professors Roy Webb, Glyn Davis, Kwong Lee Dow, and Alan Gilbert. He is an active member of the Australian and New Zealand History of Education Society (ANZHES). He is the President of The Southern Brisbane Suburban Forum Inc. (SBSF), and the Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network (BSHN). Dr Neville Buch produces histories and historiography of big belief and doubt. He is working on a guidebook for community education, based in Lebensphilosophie and Wissenschaft.


Neville Buch

30 August 2023

Historian, MPHA (Qld), Ph.D. (History) UQ., Grad. Dip. Arts (Philosophy) Melb., Grad. Dip. (Education) UQ.

PS. I was employed as a researcher at Griffith University and successfully completed half of the Higher Education certificate when I personably worked for Roy. Can’t you give me a homecoming and an opportunity for me to enhance Griffith University’s reputation again?


Featured Image: Neville’s Academic Career


Image 1: 1977: Neville looking out of his bedroom, looking out to Griffith University’s Nathan Campus, talking to his mum, with his high school best mate, Wayne, on the bed pondering on life.


Image 2: 1987: Neville studying at his honours, in his family home on Orange Grove Road, Coopers Plains, or perhaps contemplating his love affair with Ruth. Around the corner from Griffith University.


Image 3: 1995: Neville on the day he received his Ph.D. with the jolly humour of his young daughter: “What, get a job?” At the family home in Tarragindi, just around the corner from Griffith University, and when he had a short-term contract in the Office of Vice-Chancellor, Griffith University. The work was for the University’s Quality Assurance report.


Image 4: 2018: Neville teaching at the Mapping Section of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland (RGSQ), at another home in Tarragindi, just around the corner from Griffith University.




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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.
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