Murdoch completes Irish swap deal for new vice-chancellor

Homebound University College Dublin leader reveals his ambition for Perth institution

十二月 6, 2021
Andrew Deeks Murdoch University University College Dublin

Murdoch University has executed an Irish exchange in recruiting its next boss from the Emerald Isle.

The Perth university has announced University College Dublin president Andrew Deeks as its next vice-chancellor, commencing in April.

Professor Deeks will replace former chief Eeva Leinonen who left to lead Ireland’s Maynooth University, with interim vice-chancellor Jane den Hollander holding the fort until his arrival.

A Perth-educated civil engineer, Professor Deeks headed the University of Western Australia’s School of Engineering in the early 2000s before joining the UK’s Durham University as pro vice-chancellor for science in 2009. He became the first Australian to lead an Irish university when he assumed the presidency of University College Dublin in 2014.

He said he was thrilled to be returning to Western Australia. “I am particularly excited to be part of Murdoch University’s Reconciliation Action Plan, as this is an agenda which has moved forward considerably during my time abroad,” Professor Deeks said.

“My ambition is for Murdoch University to be recognised globally as a model for the 21st-century university, where a diverse and inclusive environment for learning, research and scholarship enables all members of the university community to achieve their full potential; where free thinking underpins innovative and impactful contributions to the solution of global challenges; where partnership and engagement with industry, government, alumni and the wider community thrives; and which is a source of pride for everyone associated with it.”

Professor Deeks highlighted Murdoch’s strengths in environmental, health and food research.

Chancellor Gary Smith said he looked forward to working with Professor Deeks in “preparing our graduates to deal with the significant global challenges we confront in the face of a growing population, food and water shortages and a changing climate”.

The appointment comes amid a clean sweep of Murdoch leadership following the departure of Professor Leinonen and provost and stand-in leader Romy Lawson this year, and former deputy vice-chancellor international Lyn Karstadt in 2020. Murdoch’s chief operating officer also left in late November, according to WA Today.



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