First Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic

07 May, 2021

AUT’s first Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic will be Professor Wendy Lawson.

Professor Lawson is the current Pro Vice Chancellor of Science at the University of Canterbury. She brings to her new role at AUT more than 20 years of senior academic leadership experience, including six years as Head of Department of Geography, and three years as Academic Dean of Science.

With two decades of crown governance experience, having previously held directorships of Antarctica New Zealand, NIWA and MetService, Professor Lawson also currently represents New Zealand on the Board of Melbourne-based Frontier SI, and recently served on MBIE's Te Pae Kahurangi Crown Research Institutes 2030 review panel.

Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack said: “I am delighted that Professor Lawson has accepted this role at AUT. Her in-depth knowledge of New Zealand higher education, her well-established academic networks and her extensive senior leadership experience and reputation will be huge assets from which AUT will benefit.”

AUT conducted an international search for the new position of Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, which will focus on the University’s education provision and development as well as the integration of AUT’s academic work.

Professor Lawson said: "I am very excited to be joining AUT, our youngest, most dynamic university, located in Auckland - the super-diverse beating heart of our Asia Pacific nation. I look forward to joining the team and contributing to the next phase of AUT's development."

Originally from the UK, Professor Lawson has been in Aotearoa New Zealand since 1991, when she joined the University of Auckland, before moving to the University of Canterbury in 1996. A glaciologist by personal research speciality, she has academic qualifications from the University of Manchester, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Warwick.

Professor Lawson will take up her role as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic on 1 September 2021. This position sits alongside another new position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research. Professor Kath McPherson, who is currently in the interim role of the sole Deputy Vice-Chancellor will be continuing on but shifting into this new role.

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