Heriot-Watt v-c to take over at Australian university

The principal and vice-chancellor of Heriot-Watt University has announced he is leaving his post to take the helm of an Australian university.

June 22, 2014

Steve Chapman, who has led the Scottish university since 2009, will start a five-year contract at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, in early 2015.

During his time at Heriot-Watt, Professor Chapman helped to improve its performance in the National Student Survey, taking it from 108th in 2009 to fifth in 2012.

He also oversaw the creation of the university’s new £35 million campus in Dubai, which opened in November 2011, while also picking up The Sunday Times’ accolade of Best Scottish University in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

“I am immensely impressed by what I see at Edith Cowan University,” said Professor Chapman. “It is an institution with excellent values, a clear identity and a strong vision for the future – it will be an honour and a privilege to serve as the next vice-chancellor.”

Edith Cowan’s chancellor Hendy Cowan said Professor Chapman’s appointment followed a global recruitment process that attracted a very strong field of candidates.

“His leadership and experience will be great assets to take ECU into this next phase of its development as a modern, innovative university,” he said.

Established as a university in 1991, Edith Cowan is named after the first woman elected to the Australian parliament.


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Reader's comments (3)

Notice that he was hired to improve Heriot-Watt's standing in the National Student Survey, NOT to improve the *actual* quality of the institution. In other words, a PR man. One can't help but wonder if HW's students were pressured or otherwise influenced to inflate their scores on the Survey, as it's hard to swallow the notion that the quality of the university went up that fast. Such improvements take decades, not a few short years.
In which case you should question the national survey content rather than make blinkered and undermining comments on a very good university, its students, its staff and the outgoing Principal. And yes, I have actually made the effort to visit this university recently. Perhaps it will take decades to see a positive comment from you about anything to do with the UK HE sector or any of its HE institutions but please do keep trying…very trying. Unlike Professor Chapman I am, to coin your decades out-of-date description, a “PR man” in this successful sector. And I feel that I am in a position to comment on Professor Chapman because I have actually met him and witnessed his fine work, and simply wish him all the best for the future.
To all those that don't know of Howard Fredericks follow this link: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/409869.article

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