The University of Tasmania today announced the re-appointment of Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen to the end of 2018.
University Chancellor the Hon. Michael Field AC said the re-appointment was important to the institution at a challenging time for Higher Education.
“Since arriving in 2011, Professor Rathjen has taken a fine vision for our University, crystallised it and been instrumental in driving it into reality,” Chancellor Field said.
“Now, with waves of change washing through our sector, it is to our great advantage to have an academic leader of international standing; someone with the strategic vision to see through the myriad issues domestically, nationally and globally.”
“This is a very clear commitment by Professor Rathjen to our State and to a globally relevant institution which already bears his mark.”
Chancellor Field said Professor Rathjen’s first term with the University had been exemplary.
During that time a number of milestones had been passed and ambitious goals set, including:
• An annual budget passing $500 million and nearing $600 million.
• Raising the expectation and performance of the University for globally impactful research, with approximately $100 million in research income being attracted to the State last year and the University being ranked the top 10 of
universities nationally and in the top two per cent of universities worldwide.
• Building a capital works program of $564 million which will result in a strong University presence, including student accommodation, in city centres across the State.
• Development of an international strategy which will double income from overseas students to $400 million in the next five years.
• A focus on partnerships to realise the University’s mission, including establishment of Memoranda of Understanding with Tourism Tasmania and TasTAFE, and the establishment of the Asia Institute with the State Government.
• The signing of the University to the Magna Charta Universitatum, a charter which articulates a series of shared global values to which signatories aspire.
• Development of a reinvestment program to attract the very best scholars to Tasmania in themes of excellence for the University.
“We were very fortunate to attract an individual of Professor Rathjen’s standing at what has proved to be a defining time for the University of Tasmania,” Chancellor Field said.
“So the University Council is delighted that, having made such considerable gains, he has committed to build upon them into the future.”
Professor Rathjen said he was immensely pleased with the progress of the past three years.
“As we head toward the University’s 125th year, we have a history to be proud of,” Professor Rathjen said.
“In these next few years it will be critical to position ourselves in such a way that we can build upon our current momentum.”
Professor Rathjen said despite challenges facing the sector, he believed the future of the University would be delivered upon the pillars of its current strategic intent:
• Globally impactful research relevant to Tasmania’s unique island community.
• Excellence in teaching and the student experience, preparing graduates of who can compete in a global workforce.
• A fundamental commitment to the intellectual, social, cultural and economic transformation of Tasmania.