Speaking at the first day of annual meetings at CIT, Dr Kelleher said this change was required in the light of new thinking on third-level education.
The institute intends to begin a process with the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) that will allow CIT to award degrees.
Dr Kelleher said it was vital that in any new higher-education structure legislation be made to reflect the special strengths of technological education. “May we all build on our existing strengths and diversity but yet pledge ourselves to co-operate in the interests of a future Ireland,” said Dr Kelleher.
“It is my wish that CIT is known as the hub of societal change in the south west region.” At present, higher education is divided into the university and technological or binary systems. Universities are accountable to the HETAC and the technological sector to the Department of Education.
“It is proposed that institutes of technology will operate under the remit of the HETAC from 2004.
“This will change the relationships between the higher education institutions ,” Dr Kelleher added.
The director also announced that CIT was to proceed with the planning of a Business Incubation Centre with the assistance of Enterprise Ireland.
The chairman of the governing body, Cllr Donal O’Rourke, said he believed that the strategic view taken in relation to the balance and diversity of its course provision had proved critical to the future of the college.