In the opinion piece ‘Dahrendorf revisited – again and again’ (MaltaToday, 5 July), Mr Michael Falzon asserted that Prof. Dahrendorf’s letter of June 6, 1978 was his letter of resignation from the post of chairman of the University Commission.
As the then secretary of that commission, my recollection of events does not bear out this assertion also made by others.
In September 1974, Prof. Dahrendorf, as chairman of the University of Malta Commission, submitted the commission’s final report to the Prime Minister, Concurrently he advised Mr Mintoff that the Commission had thereby completed its task and that it had thus ceased to exist.
Contrary to official expectations, the commission did not endorse the removal of the Faculty of Theology as it felt that Maltese society would be the loser if segregation were applied to theology students. Predictably, Mr Mintoff reacted by abandoning the 1956 dispensation of a small commission of independent expatriate academics and opted for a mini-parliament type of commission with a new secretary) formally given life to in the Education act of the mid-seventies).
The June 6, 1978 letter was Prof. Dahrendorf’s first public pronouncement on the dangerous path of ‘educational reform’ in Malta was taking. The possible perception that Mr Mintoff had any liberal credentials had been abandoned long before then.