Francis Henry JOHNSON (1918 - 2011)

Registrar (1960 - 1965)
Comptroller (1965 - 1980)

Francis Johnson

The Monash University community has been saddened to learn of the passing of Francis (Frank) Henry Johnson.

Mr Johnson was the University's founding Registrar and from 1965 to his retirement in 1980, the Comptroller of the University.

He passed away last Saturday, 14 May 2011 aged 93 and is survived by his sons Paul and Michael, daughter-in-law Joanne and four grandchildren.

The excerpt below has been taken from the minutes of the Professorial Board meeting held February 1980 upon Frank's retirement from Monash.

Mr FH Johnson

Frank Johnson retired on 4 February 1980, having served the University for twenty years and four days, first as Registrar and then from 1965 as Comptroller.

English by birth and education, a graduate of Oxford, he came to Australia in 1951 after war service on the British Army General staff and some years in the British Civil Service.

The nine years in Australia before taking up his appointment to Monash University early in 1960 were divided between the University of Adelaide and the University of Western Australia, of which he was Deputy Registrar from 1955 - 1960.

By training and experience he was thus admirably equipped for the demanding task of assisting a founding Vice-Chancellor to establish what was in effect the first of the new generation of Australian universities. He set about that task with that characteristic energy, determination and resourcefulness, which he always retained.

As Comptroller his primary responsibility was the business management of the University, together with an overall concern for administration but he maintained always a lively interest in all University matters. He shared in much of the initial planning from the time of his arrival and thereafter played a major part in preparation of all Monash submissions to the Australian Universities Commission and later the Universities Council, as well as in the subsequent internal organisation and its dealings with outside bodies. He was devoted to the service of Monash and constantly thinking about ways to make better use of our opportunities and resources and to improve our planning strategies.

His advice was most highly valued by the three major Council committees - Finance, Buildings and Staff - all of which he regularly attended and he made a most important contribution to the deliberations of the Committee of Deans.

Members of the Professorial Board will recall many occasions on which he was appealed to for information and guidance, which was given with his customary lucidity and forthrightness.

It would be difficult to over-estimate the importance of Frank Johnson's contribution to Monash University. This minute acknowledges and records the indebtedness of the Professorial Board.

Published in Monash Memo, 18 May 2011.