New Vice-Chancellor returns home to Uni of Adelaide
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
The University of Adelaide welcomes its new Vice-Chancellor and President, renowned scientist and respected university leader Professor Peter Rathjen.
Professor Rathjen is the 22nd Vice-Chancellor and President in the University's 144-year history.
A University of Adelaide science graduate, Professor Rathjen is only the third Adelaide undergraduate to rise to the position of Vice-Chancellor of this University, and the first in more than 70 years.
Professor Rathjen says he's excited to lead the university that has played such a pivotal role in shaping his career.
"I see my time as Vice-Chancellor as a unique opportunity to give something back to the University of Adelaide, which has helped in large part to determine the course of my life, and that of my broader family," Professor Rathjen says.
"Perhaps even more so, this is an incredible opportunity to give something back to my home state of South Australia. It is my hope that quality education and research can underpin a positive transformation in this state, across every aspect of our society.
"The University of Adelaide is an outstanding university. Globally regarded graduates, new knowledge and innovation are a shared foundation for South Australian prosperity; a means to give the next generations – our kids and grandkids – their best possible future," he says.
Professor Rathjen is internationally recognised for his work in stem cell science, and for his research and university leadership.
Prior to his appointment to the University of Adelaide, Professor Rathjen was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania for more than six years, where he was instrumental in creating vibrant new university precincts within the CBDs of Hobart, Launceston and Burnie and driving increased participation in education. He worked closely with government to help boost the understanding of the power of education for the community, and to increase the skills base in the state.
Professor Rathjen graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Sciences (Hons) in 1984. He became the 1985 Rhodes Scholar for South Australia, undertaking a DPhil at New College, University of Oxford, in Biochemistry.
Professor Rathjen returned to South Australia and the University of Adelaide, where he worked as a Lecturer in Biochemistry from 1990–1995 and Professor of Biochemistry from 1995–2002. He became Head of the Department of Molecular Biosciences in 2000, and Foundation Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences in 2002, a role he held until 2006.
In 2005 he was awarded the inaugural Research Leadership Award in the South Australian Science Excellence Awards.
Professor Rathjen was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne in 2006, and from 2008–2011 he served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).
In 2011, he took up the role of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, a role he held until October 2017.