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Head of the midwifery school Dr Sally Pairman and Dr Samuel Mann, of the school of information technology, were appointed full professors and co-head of the midwifery school Dr Sally Baddock was appointed associate professor of midwifery.
Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker said the appointments were a reflection of the impressive research, teaching and leadership credentials of its staff.
"These three accomplished academics are held in high regard both nationally and internationally, and are undoubtedly deserving of their professorial positions.
"It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the valuable contributions these dedicated staff members make to their respective fields of expertise," Mr Ker said.
Prof Pairman said the appointment was a "high point" in her career and recognition not only for her but also for the importance of midwifery and the influence New Zealand midwives have globally.
Prof Pairman has served terms as president of the New Zealand College of Midwives and deputy chairwoman of the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
She is also co-chairwoman of the International Confederation of Midwives' Regulation Standing Committee. In this role she led the development of global standards for midwifery regulation that were approved in 2011.
Prof Mann said his appointment was an "important milestone" in his academic career and showed the institution valued his work in the areas of sustainability and getting students into enterprise.
"These are things that might not get recognition in other institutions, so it's really encouraging ... [the polytechnic] sees these things as being really important."
With a background in both information technology and land management, Prof Mann is chairman of Computer and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand, chairman of the Research and Support Working Group for Polytechnic Computing and a trustee of New Zealand Centres for Information Technology Research.
A keen advocate of sustainability, he has written books on the subject and hosts a weekly community radio programme called Sustainable Lens.
Assoc Prof Baddock is an accomplished researcher, with a focus on the impact childcare practices have on infant sleep physiology, including sudden unexpected death during infancy.