Uni of Adelaide farewells Vice-Chancellor James McWha

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha AO.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha AO.
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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The University of Adelaide this week bids farewell to Professor James McWha AO after 10 outstanding years as Vice-Chancellor and President.

Professor McWha's last day will be this Friday, 29 June, following a week of farewell events at the University's North Terrace, Waite and Roseworthy campuses.

South Australian Premier the Hon. Jay Weatherill paid tribute to Professor McWha, saying South Australia had been well served by outstanding leaders in higher education. "James is well respected by his peers and has overseen a major overhaul of the University campus," Mr Weatherill said.

"Under his leadership, the University has grown significantly in numbers and also in depth, particularly in research. His contribution to university teaching and research will be missed.

"His swift support of the people of Christchurch following the earthquake demonstrated the depth of his compassion," Mr Weatherill said.

Professor McWha joined the University of Adelaide in 2002 after serving as Vice-Chancellor and President of Massey University in New Zealand. A native of Northern Ireland, Professor McWha began his career in agricultural science and has had an outstanding 40-year record as a teacher, researcher, manager of research institutes, academic administrator and communicator.

He has been actively involved in the higher education sector on a global level, with leading roles for the International Association of University Presidents, the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Australian Universities Quality Agency, and Academic Consortium 21.

"It has been a great privilege to lead the University of Adelaide over the past decade," Professor McWha said.

"I have been very fortunate to be part of an institution that champions knowledge and innovation. The reputation and strength of our University comes directly from our people - staff, students, graduates, affiliates and friends - and I thank each and every one of them for their contribution and commitment.

"I have no doubt that the University of Adelaide will continue to achieve great things in the years to come."

Professor McWha also thanked his wife, Lindsay, who has been an important part of the University of Adelaide community over the past 10 years: "It's been a team effort. Lindsay's unique contribution, notably through leadership of the volunteer corps, has helped to harness the goodwill and support of the University of Adelaide alumni community, and I am grateful for her support.

"Lindsay and I have fallen in love with Adelaide. We look forward to spending many more years here, as well as dividing our time among children and grandchildren in other parts of the world," Professor McWha said.

Professor McWha will be succeeded by Professor Warren Bebbington, who will become the University's 20th Vice-Chancellor in mid July.


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