John Hayden grew up in Ranelagh in Dublin and was educated by the Christian Brothers at Synge Street. He joined Dublin Corporation as a clerk when he finished school and during this time he studied and graduated with a BSc in Economic Statistics in an external exam. He spent four years working with the ESB and with Bord Fáilte for one year, before joining RTÉ in 1968, in the Management Service Unit. He developed a system of unit costs there. He discusses his introduction to the HEA in 1973, the Ballymun project and the NIHE. He also discusses the proposed establishment of a third university in Dublin, his input on gathering statistical information on the whole sector and his brief on his appointment as CEO of the HEA. He provides his views on the separation of the colleges from the VEC, his opinion on the HEA today and on the proposed move the Grangegorman.