Victoria U VC announces departure

Peter Dawkins will retire at the end of his second five-year term, next January

Professor Dawkins told staff yesterday that, “I believe it will be a good time for the university to move forward under new leadership.” However, he added that he will, “will not allow the momentum to subside in my last year as vice-chancellor.”

Professor Dawkins nominates precinct plans for four campuses and a new research strategy, including a new flagship programme, “planetary health” as major projects for his last year.

Dawkins begins his long goodbye with VU in vastly better shape than when he arrived, or even at the end of his first term.

The obvious example is the block-teaching model, where students complete one-subject at a time, which started for first-years and is now rolling out across the university. It is a huge success, creating a global rep for VU.

But Professor Dawkins and his team have accomplished much more, restoring finances and improving the university’s local, national, global reputation.

Perhaps the most extraordinary achievement is the transformation of staff relations. Three years back VU management was distrusted by much of the workforce, to the extent that its enterprise bargaining offers were twice voted down. But now there is a sense of campus pride in what the university has done and can do. In September, the university won the Voice survey award from the university managements’ industrial organisation for, “substantial positive change,” (CMM September 5 2019).

One, among many, achievements.