Farewell to the Outgoing Vice-Chancellor

Professor James McWha AO

Professor James McWha AO

The University of Adelaide's 19th Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha AO, retires from the University on 30 June 2012 after a decade at the helm.

Professor McWha commenced at the University on 5 August 2002 and, under his leadership, the University of Adelaide has seen great change.

Over the past 10 years, student numbers have doubled to today's 26,000, with international student numbers tripling and research income has almost tripled with the volume and impact of the University's research portfolio growing rapidly.

A multi-million dollar program of renovation and new building has led to the most significant transformation of its campuses in the University's history with a $400 million capital works program.

One of the major achievements of the 'McWha Years' was to place the student experience at the heart of the University's strategic planning and there have been many initiatives to support this - in curriculum, support services, and facilities, including the new student learning space Hub Central.

Under his leadership the University has been outward looking at both local and international levels with Professor McWha actively involved in the global higher education sector including Honorary Treasurer of the Association of Commonwealth Universities since 2007, Secretary-General of the International Association of University Presidents from 2002-2005 and President of the Academic Consortium 21 from 2011.

The importance of the University as part of the community has been a dominant theme, finding its finest expression in the hosting of 170 University of Canterbury students following the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch.

Throughout his term in office, the Vice-Chancellor has strongly championed a more inclusive University culture, and increasing access and participation in higher education has been a key driver of University planning well before the Federal Government's new targets.

Thanks to Professor James McWha, the University of Adelaide today is a very different place to the one he found in 2002.