William Watts, Provost Trinity College Dublin, A Memoir
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William Watts, Provost Trinity College Dublin, A Memoir
Author: William Watts
Published: Apr 2008
Pages: 240   (hardback)
Weight: 519g
Price: €30.00
ISBN: 978-1-84351-141-0
It is surprising that this is the first autobiography by a former Provost of Trinity College Dublin since it was founded in 1592. William Watts was elected Provost in 1981 and served his ten year term until 1991.

This was a period of extraordinary development for the College and for University education in Ireland. In answer to a question on his policy during his election campaign he said it was to 'get as much money together as I can and go like hell'. It was a statement of a man who was more a pragmatist than a man with a grand vision, who thought to seize opportunities as they arose. How he seized those opportunities or created them is a large part of the book. It gives a fascinating internal account of the development of a major world-class university both as a research and a teaching institution.

'This is a story of success, a modern morality tale in which strong principles, common sense and a commitment to public service prevail, but only through the agency of prodigiously hard work. From the foundation of the Central Admissions Office to the resolution of the problems of the private hospitals, the memoir quietly records the cutting of a succession of Gordian knots, throwing light into dark corners on the way. And, perhaps most notably and instructively, it reveals how, amidst the plethora of public duties and concerns, Watts found time to continue to indulge the passion for investigating lake-beds for evidence of past climate change that has given him an international reputation in Quaternary Studies.'
- From the Preface by Aidan Clarke
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