Peter Høj new Uni Adelaide VC

He is perhaps the most prepared VC to ever start at an Australian, certainly a South Australian, university

Prior to this appointment, Professor Høj was chief executive of the Australian Research Council (2004-2007), VC of the University of South Australia (2007-2012) and VC of Uni Queensland (2012-2020).

His experience should serve Uni Adelaide well in two vital areas. Professor Høj is an astute research leader deeply experienced in winning and allocating funding and with an entrepreneurial enthusiasm for next-generation science. He inherited a solid research base at Uni Queensland and built on it, leaving the university one of the top three for reputation in the country.

While Uni Adelaide is a member of the Group of Eight, its position as one of the nation’s leading research institutions is not assured – Professor Høj has the experience to create and implement a plan to improve Uni Adelaide’s research outcomes in a competitive marketplace where it lacks the scale of the five largest Go8 institutions.

Professor Høj also has the experience of university cultures Uni Adelaide needs in the aftermath of predecessor Peter Rathjen’s departure prior to a report from the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

Høj had to rebuild the Uni Queensland community’s confidence in management following the controversial exit of previous VC Paul Greenfield.

However, Professor Høj is not a vice chancellor given to giving-up on unpopular programmes. He stared down vocal campus opposition to secure a Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation at Uni Queensland last year. But it’s a strength that can need nuance . He appears to have been slow to realise the impact of political and media criticism of Uni Queensland’s links with the Chinese state.

Overall Høj’s appointment is a win for Uni Adelaide – one that he is keen to start delivering on.  He starts his five year term on Monday.