Annabelle Duncan will stand down as University of New England vice chancellor at the end of her first term, in August next year. Professor Duncan advised council of her departure on Friday.
Professor Duncan was a DVC at UNE, moving up to act immediately in the job when Jim Barber surprised some at the university by giving six-months notice he wanted out, in February 2014. Her appointment was widely seen as delivering calm and continuity – there were two VCs and three chancellors 2009-2014. “Annabelle’s strategic plan recognised the important place UNE has in the Australian community, the need to build on its strengths, and the need to transform in some areas to remain a market leader in online education. “She has shown vision and courage in implementing this plan,” Chancellor James Harris said Friday.
Although not all were enthused. Staff arced up at last year’s academic restructure, which called for consolidating academic units into three faculties and was followed by plans for new governance and faculty support. There was a staff no-confidence vote in August last year. And the university took a fearful hiding in the Fair Work Commission this April over a new workload model it wanted to in the faculty of humanities, arts, social sciences and education.
As to what Professor Duncan will do next, she told university staff Friday, “despite moving away from UNE, I will be devoting my future efforts to advocating for regional Australia and for the rights of the wonderful, yet neglected people who reside outside our big cities.”