Work begins to find new vice-chancellor

Royden Somerville
Royden Somerville
The University of Otago Council has formed an advisory committee to oversee a global search for the replacement for outgoing vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne when she leaves for Australia next year.

The council was in the final stages of engaging a recruitment firm to assist the committee, chancellor Royden Somerville said.

Focus groups would meet the recruitment firm to help to determine the attributes desired in the next vice-chancellor before year’s end, Dr Somerville said.

Maori and Pacific groups, academic staff from across the four teaching divisions, and professional staff and student groups would all be involved at that stage.

Dr Somerville would convene the advisory committee that would include the pro-chancellor, the council Ngai Tahu representative, a professional staff representative, student president and council representative, three other lay council members, four senate members elected by the senate — one for each teaching division, and an academic representative of the university campuses outside Dunedin.

Dr Somerville said the university expected an acting vice-chancellor to be appointed when Prof Hayne departed, due to the expected timing of the recruitment process.

There would be a transitional arrangement until the new vice-chancellor started.

An update on the recruitment process would be provided once the full membership of the advisory committee was confirmed, the recruitment firm was appointed, and the focus groups were established, he said.

Prof Hayne, who has led the university since 2011, announced in October she would finish in April next year and start as vice-chancellor at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, later that month.

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