Tertiary Education Commission head resigns yet again

Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012

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Tertiary Education Commission head Belinda Clark has quit - her second abrupt resignation in almost two years.

The TEC confirmed yesterday that Ms Clark would step down as chief executive in February, after just 18 months in the job. A statement said she had enjoyed a "fulfilling and productive term" and would take a short break before pursuing other opportunities.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce recently replaced Sir Wira Gardiner on the TEC board with former Fonterra chief executive John Spencer.

Ms Clark quit the Justice Ministry last April, telling then-minister Simon Power a day before the TEC announced her appointment as chief executive.

A former commercial lawyer and diplomat, Ms Clark oversaw several reforms at Justice, in legal aid and simplifying court processes.

But the ministry also became embroiled in a protracted dispute over pay which saw court staff go on strike. It is understood the Government was unhappy with how it was handled.

Ms Clark has also held positions at Te Puni Kokiri and the Accident Compensation Corporation.

A spokesman for Mr Joyce said Ms Clark had "done a good job" and he was sorry to see her go.

The TEC had other problems yesterday. It confirmed that a briefcase containing papers with details about almost 500 education workers had been stolen.

It stressed that Ms Clark's resignation was unrelated to the theft.

The case belonged to a TEC panellist and was taken from a coffee shop on the AUT university campus on Wednesday. Police and university security staff were called in.

It contained a spreadsheet with the names and details of 497 current and former research staff from universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, and private training establishments across the country.

Deputy chief executive Colin Webb said the information was left "momentarily unattended in a common area at the meeting venue".

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- Fairfax Media

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