Walter Scott, BA, MA
Dean of the Faculty of Arts, 1885–87, & 1891–94, & 1897–98
Walter Scott, English-born, attended Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained both his degrees.
He was appointed to succeed C. Badham as professor of Classics at Sydney in 1885. Later, in a faculty expansion, Classics was divided at his instigation into separate chairs for Greek and Latin, and he became foundation professor of Greek in 1890. He had to retire in 1900, through ill-health.
A month after taking up the Classics chair Scott was appointed dean, to complete J. Smith’s term of office. Scott was subsequently re-appointed for three terms of office as dean, though not sequentially; in effect, he and T.T. Gurney shared the deanship by turns from the mid-1880s to the late 1890s. Scott also served two consecutive terms as chair of the Professorial Board.
Scott was prominent in moves to reorganise the Arts faculty in the 1890s, following the realisation of the Challis benefaction, and especially influential in establishing the foundation chairs of Modern Literature and of History. He also strongly supported the creation of the Women’s College, Sydney University.
Afterwards, he returned to Oxford, where he continued with his classical research on hermetic texts, interrupted by a brief spell as professor of Classics at McGill University, Canada (1905–08); his research produced a series of publications before his death and posthumously.
Australian Dictionary of Biography