Murdoch U announces new VC

Andrew Deeks comes home to WA

Professor Deeks will move from Ireland, where he is president of University College, Dublin.

UK born, he is UWA educated and was head of its engineering school 2004-09, before moving to Durham U in the UK as PVC Science. He moved to his present role in 2014.

He is expected to start in April, until when Jane den Hollander, who came out of retirement to provide needed leadership, will continue to act.

This is a challenging appointment for Professor Deeks. While the vastly experienced den Hollander has been a calming influence she has only been at Murdoch for months, not long enough to end anxiety over a series of restructures and internal rancour. Significantly, Deeks  states he wants Murdoch to be a university, “where free thinking underpins innovative and impactful contributions.”

He will also have to build Murdoch U’s policy influence and political presence. Where University College is politically important in Ireland, Murdoch U is widely considered a second-tier institution in WA, with a low national profile.