Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
May / June 2012 Issue
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University appoints its 20th Vice-Chancellor

Professor Warren Bebbington has been appointed the University of Adelaide's 20th Vice-Chancellor, commencing from July 2012.

He will succeed Professor James McWha AO, who retires in June after a decade as Vice-Chancellor and President.

Chancellor, the Hon. Robert Hill, said Professor Bebbington, who is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Affairs) at the University of Melbourne, was selected after an international search.

"He has an outstanding record of excellence in teaching and academic leadership," said Mr Hill.

Professor Bebbington said he was pleased to be joining the University of Adelaide.

"I am delighted to be leading a university for which I feel such affinity. Adelaide's pride in its history and its efforts to change to face new challenges both feel familiar to me.  My whole career has been spent in Australia's Group-of-Eight universities, and I am thus committed to valuing what is best about the old, while also facing up to what is needed for the new," he said.

A Fulbright Scholar, Professor Bebbington studied at the University of Melbourne and in New York at Queens College, Columbia University, and the CUNY Graduate School, completing masters degrees in Arts, Music, and Philosophy, and a PhD.

Prior to his present role as a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bebbington was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Relations) at the University of Melbourne. He also served as a Dean at the University of Melbourne and at the University of Queensland, and before that taught at the Australian National University's School of Music.

"Change in universities over the past decade has been profound: we now recruit in a global student marketplace, and we operate in a global research culture, in which networks increasingly replace the single researcher, and the ever-changing ICT possibilities challenge our teaching modes with new student expectations.

"In such an environment, it is all the more important for a university like Adelaide to maintain its individual identity. We are a national institution, a custodian of a culture, and when we seek to form international alliances we must do so from a position of confidence, seeking out those we see as our equivalents," he said.

In addition to winning the University of Melbourne Award for Excellence in Teaching (Humanities) in 2005 and an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for "30 years of outstanding teaching" in 2008, Professor Bebbington's national community roles have included seven years as Chair of Music Committees for the Australia Council, Federal Chair of AMEB, and Deputy Chair of Youth Music Australia.

Story by Kate Husband

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Professor Warren Bebbington
Photo by Stuart McEvoy, <i>The Australian</i>

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