A temporary appointment
By the end of the Vaizey affair, the decision was made to appoint a reliable lieutenant for a year and begin the search again. Bill Scott was the proverbial ‘safe pair of hands’. Former Foundation Dean of Arts, the English professor was cautious and congenial, and would do nothing brave and nothing foolish.
A graduate of the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford, William Alexander Gowdie (Bill) Scott was a Reader in English at Melbourne when Monash was established. He had a slender publication record, but had an established record of teaching. He was appointed to the Chair of English at Monash in 1960, and then as Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He served as the Dean until 1965, but remained in the Chair of English until 1972. He then became Pro-Vice-Chancellor. When the Vaizey appointment fell through, Scott filled the position of Vice-Chancellor from 1976 to 1977 while the search began again.
Following Ray Martin’s appointment as Vice-Chancellor, Scott became Monash’s first Deputy Vice-Chancellor, a role he filled until his retirement in 1981. Upon his departure, his colleagues noted “his experience and wisdom, his informed and intelligent judgment ensured the University was in seasoned hands during his tenure in these posts.”
Emeritus Professor Scott died in 1990.