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Vice Chancellor departure

by Rachel Broadley

Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Høj.The Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj (pictured right), announced his resignation late last month. He will leave the University in September to take up the position of Vice Chancellor and President at the University of Queensland.

Since Prof Høj joined UniSA as Vice Chancellor in 2007, he has overseen a raft of changes which have seen UniSA become the most improved Australian university in the QS World University Rankings for the past two consecutive years.

Chancellor Dr Ian Gould said he announced Prof Høj’s resignation with sadness, but also with optimism about the future of the university.

“Since his appointment in 2007, Peter has made an indelible mark on our university,” he said.

“He has developed a long-term view of our future, Horizon 2020, which now shapes all our strategic discussions. He has focused on improving our teaching and learning performance and the quality of our programs and research degrees.

“He has overseen a major increase in our research performance and, more importantly, nurtured a deeper appreciation of the characteristics of international-standard research practice and performance.

“His passion for excellence is matched by a deep commitment to equity and social justice, illustrated at a personal level by very substantial personal donations to UniSA scholarship schemes. He has also led major improvements to our infrastructure, most recently highlighted by work commencing on the new Learning Centre at City West.

“I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Peter since I became Chancellor in 2008. He leaves our university in great shape and I wish him and his partner Mandy the very best for the future.”

Dr Gould cited the improved performance of the University as just one aspect of Prof Høj’s legacy.

“UniSA is now one of Australia’s most rapidly developing universities; for example, we have made 30 per cent more journal submissions to the 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia than we did in 2010,” he said.

“While Prof Høj has, of course, worked very hard to position UniSA as one of Australia’s leading universities, he has always looked beyond this to the welfare and progress of our students and to what is best for South Australia and the nation as a whole.

“He has consistently sought to build cooperative relationships with the other universities in South Australia and with other educational institutions, government, and the business sector. Among his many outstanding characteristics, his willingness to look beyond institutional and personal self-interest has made him highly respected in many different walks of life.

“The search for a new Vice Chancellor has already begun, and experience shows us that the good work of a departing Vice Chancellor allows us to attract a new one with the skills to take UniSA to the next level of performance. I look forward to a bright future for this great institution.

“I know the whole university community, both locally and around the world, will join me in thanking Peter for his service and wishing him success in his future endeavours.”