A prestigious research position endowed at the University
of Otago seven years ago remains empty because it has been
difficult to attract top talent to Dunedin, its benefactor
The University of Otago confirmed yesterday an academic
urologist accepted the position ''some time ago'' but as the
person had not moved to New Zealand yet, the appointment
process was incomplete. It declined to answer further
When approached initially, the university said no appointment
had been made, and did not disclose the acceptance.
Professional company director Trevor Scott, then based in
Dunedin, donated $1 million to the university in 2007 to
endow the T D Scott Chair in Urology.
The $1 million was matched by government funding from a
partnerships for excellence programme.
Mr Scott said when contacted at his home in Wanaka he was
disappointed by the delay.
He said the university was working hard to fill the post.
''I would be much happier if it had been filled four or five
years ago but ... I know they are doing their very best, so I
have no complaint.
''I think you've got to look at Dunedin. It's very hard to
attract good people here.
''I'm one of the greatest advocates of the city. And I made
my money in Dunedin. But it's one of the facts of life. It's
not that attractive climatically, financially, to come to.''
Mr Scott, who has twice survived bladder cancer, gave the
money to help others like himself, particularly men affected
by bladder and prostate cancer.
There was little of that research under way in New Zealand
The position required an academic urologist capable of
leading research in the field, he said.
The person was likely to work part-time as a clinician
''which would be a real plus for the city, of course, to have
a top urologist giving ...time to the DHB''. University of
Otago health sciences pro-vice-chancellor Prof Peter Crampton
said there were few academic urologists.
''Naturally, the university would have preferred to have made
an appointment much earlier than now, but it is also vital to
ensure that a world-class candidate is selected.''