The COVID-19 crisis has been particularly tough for Professor Paddy Nixon, the new head of the University of Canberra.
He got the job and looked forward to rekindling his passion for rugby union football with the Brumbies.
And we know what then happened.
Professor Nixon arrived four weeks ago after leaving his post as Vice-Chancellor and President of Ulster University in Northern Ireland (the same titles he now holds in Canberra).
He had the regulatory two weeks of confinement in the Vice-Chancellor's lodge and then emerged to find Canberra much more open and easy than locked-down Ireland - but still devoid of any prospect of following the beloved oval ball.
And devoid of a university functioning in the face-to-face way it's been used to.
He's just held his first big meeting with hundreds of staff remotely. Inevitably, the virus situation cropped up.
He's very keen that the university should be involved in the life of the city and he cited ways in which he thinks that has happened, like health academic staff working with the city's health system on dealing with COVID-19.
"The way that UC has stepped up to support Canberra and the ACT region is nothing short of extraordinary," Professor Nixon said.
He's a computer scientist and so, a man for our times.
He was brought up in Liverpool in England with Irish parents who were keen on education. His mother was a nurse and his father was a merchant seaman.
"They were passionate to get me to university," he said.
In fact, they got him to a string of universities on his route to Canberra, including as a visiting academic at the California Institute of Technology.
He's also worked in the private sector - as the research director of the Digital Health Group of Intel, the multinational technology company based in California. The research there was designed to use technology to help older people lead independent lives.
Being useful is what universities should be about, he feels. He has mildly expansionist aims for the University of Canberra - he would like it "bigger but not too much". He is not a fan of huge universities.
He is a fan of Australia. He was one of the top academics at the University of Tasmania before moving to Northern Ireland.
He can't quite define what he likes about Australia beyond "it's an attitude to life".
He doesn't think this country has such stark social divisions as the United Kingdom. It does have a "can-do" attitude and he likes the idea of the "fair go".
He thinks that these attitudes chime with his view of education - that it is "life-long learning" and not just for academic high-flyers.
If there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis, it is that "there are a lot more scientists being listened to".
This may or may not make up for the loss of sport.
He said his father took the view that kids should be encouraged to take up as much sport as possible to get them too tired to get into the trouble.
He is a fan of Gaelic football which he thinks gives him a head start on understanding and liking Aussie rules.
But rugby is what he has played, albeit "social rugby".
He describes himself as young enough at 52 to think he could still play but old enough to know he couldn't.
He has coached women's rugby teams.
Who would he cheer for in Ireland versus England. "Ireland, of course."
England versus Wales? "Wales" after some hesitation.
Ireland versus Australia? "Ireland".
But that doesn't devalue what seems to be a genuine feeling for this country and its people - and the education of its people.