Dr Geoff Perry and Richard Hall have been made AUT’s newest Reeves Honorary Fellows in recognition of their significant contributions to the leadership, development and reputation of the University.
A Reeves Honorary Fellowship is awarded to former staff or AUT Council members who have made outstanding contributions to the leadership, teaching and research, life and well-being, and strategic development of the University.
“Over 27 years of service, Geoff’s leadership has been integral to many of the University's significant developments. His commitment, energy and enthusiasm to improve the life and wellbeing of the University, over and above his normal duties, inspired staff and senior leadership. Therefore I am delighted that he has accepted the honorary award of Reeves Honorary Fellow,” said AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack.
Geoff first joined AUT in 1992 before it became a university. Then known as Auckland Institute of Technology, Geoff was a Senior Lecturer in economics. Rising through various leadership roles, he became Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law in 2010, a position he held for seven years. For part of this time he also as Pro Vice-Chancellor for South Campus Development. He was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2017, giving a strong focus to the University’s academic development.
During Geoff’s tenure as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, AUT Business School increased the number of postgraduate programmes offered, expanded its research activities and extended experiential learning to all degree programmes. The School also became accredited by ACCSB International for the first time. In recognition of his commitment to the School, Geoff won the Excellence in Business Leadership category at the Westpac Auckland Central Business Awards in 2012.
As Deputy Vice-Chancellor he led a taskforce to develop AUT’s first Learning, Teaching and Curriculum Roadmap which sets out clear expectations of how AUT should deliver exceptional learning experiences to students, and includes a variety of ways in which staff from across the University can engage, share and co-create.
He left AUT in November 2019 to take up the role of Executive Director and Chief Officer of Asia Pacific for AACSB, the international body for the accreditation of business schools.
Based in Singapore, Geoff was sadly unable to be formally presented with the award at AUT Graduation, as is tradition.
Richard was presented with a framed certificate at AUT’s Graduation ceremony on 16 March.
He joined AUT in 2001 and over a nineteen year period held a variety of senior roles. Initially Executive Assistant to former Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hinchcliff, Richard went on to become Director of Planning, Head of the Vice-Chancellor’s Department, General Manager for Corporate Services and Executive Director for AUT’s South Campus. Most recently, he came out of retirement to become an essential contributor to the University’s COVID-19 Taskforce until October 2020.
In each of these roles, Richard’s strength as a leader and strategist came to the fore, and he was instrumental in many changes to the organisation of the University that have remained to this day. However, it was the position of Executive Director for AUT’s South Campus, from 2014 to 2017, which made an especially enduring mark on the University’s development. Under his leadership, enrolments at the South Campus grew by 80%, from 1,063 equivalent full-time students in 2014 to 1,911 equivalent full-time students just three years later. He also established the South Campus as an important research hub and, led the development of the Mana Hauora Building. When this flagship building opened in 2017, it transformed the campus, and expanded capacity from 1,600 to 3,000 equivalent full-time students.
Prior to working at AUT, Richard retired from the British Army as a colonel, after 25 years of service. He was awarded an MBE in 1991, and 10 years later received an OBE for his work on a critical United Kingdom strategic defence review. After retiring from the British Army, he moved to New Zealand in 2000. He later joined the New Zealand Army and led a mission to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with distinction. In recognition of this service, he was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list.
Geoff and Richard join seven other recipients of the Reeves Honorary Fellowship, including former head of school Ted Bryant and current Chair of Auckland Theatre Company Vivien Bridgwater.