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Roger Scott

Past Chair, TJ Ryan Foundation

Emeritus Professor Roger Scott holds a BA with first class honours in political science and ancient history and a Diploma of Public Administration from the University of Tasmania. His academic career began in 1962 when he was appointed Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. The fieldwork for his doctoral thesis on the development of trade unions in Uganda was completed while he was a Rockefeller Teaching Fellow at the University of East Africa, Kampala. From 1965-1977 he held teaching appointments at the University of Sydney, the Queen's University of Belfast, and the Canberra College of Advanced Education.

Over his long career, he has provided advice to overseas governments across a range of topics, starting with minimum wages in Uganda and including issues of public sector reform in Kazakhstan and Nepal and courses on development administration for students from Africa, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.

In 1977 he was appointed J.D.Story Professor of Public Administration, University of Queensland. He was responsible for introducing the Master of Public Policy Course. He served as  President of the Academic Board, 1986-1987.

In 1987 he became Principal of the Canberra CAE, then became Foundation Vice-Chancellor when the CCAE became the University of Canberra. 

From 1990-1994 he served as Director General of Education, Queensland.

In 1994 Professor Scott was appointed Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Management, Griffith University and later that year became Dean of Arts, Queensland University of Technology and subsequently Professor of Public Management, Faculty of Business, QUT

Since his retirement from full-time employment in 2001, he has held sessional and then honorary appointments at the University of Queensland in the School of Political Science and International Studies.

Between 2009 and 2013 he was Project Director on an oral history project “Queensland Speaks” in the Centre for the Government of Queensland within the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics.  

He has been a member or chair of several Quality Assessment Panels of the Queensland Office of Higher Education and a member of similar bodies in several states during the College of Advanced Education era. He also served on several Federal Government committees of enquiry into education, including management education (Ralph Committee), aboriginal education (Yunipingu Committee), and university management (Linke Committee).

Professor Scott was inaugural Executive Director of the TJ Ryan Foundation until stepping down from the role in April 2017.

Valedictory report from the past Chair

Below is the text of a valedictory report delivered by Prof Roger Scott to the Board at the TJ Ryan Foundation's Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 20 February 2018.

'For the bulk of the last twelve months, Dr Mary Crawford has enjoyed the support of the Premier in exercising power and authority as Executive Director. For the purpose of corporation law, I have remained in a non-executive role as Chair of the Board. I have felt at times like Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire cat, slowly disappearing.

'The time is now appropriate to remove any structural ambiguity and revert to the original fusion of roles which operated de facto when I accepted an invitation from the then Leader of the Opposition to create and manage the TJ Ryan Foundation in 2013. So I now wish to resign so Mary can replace me as Board Chair.

'Apart from the prescription of two trade union nominees, Board membership was effectively in the gift of the founding Executive Director and length of tenure was not specified. In the upshot, the number and particularly the professional location of Directors has varied over time. In particular, the original appointments were all at professorial level and drawn, with one meritorious exception, from the University of Queensland. This category has waxed but mainly waned over the years.

'An exclusive UQ focus quickly proved inappropriate for a variety of reasons. Over time I recruited a wider and more representative group to the Board better fitted to include other institutions and with skills appropriate for the changing focus on community engagement rather than just research publication. In addition, QUT has proven a substantial source of Board members as well as a generous and supportive host for our events and meetings. 

'As this process of change continues under a new Executive Director, I believe it is appropriate for Mary to have an entirely free hand in terms of Board membership.

'So I would like to thank and farewell all those who have participated as Board members under my stewardship, past and present. We can all feel a sense of satisfaction after making significant contributions in so many different ways. I for one never expected this opportunity and I expect to leave the valedictory meeting grinning like that Cheshire cat.'


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