Newswise — Renowned scientist and respected university leader, Professor Peter Rathjen, has been appointed as the next Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.

University of Adelaide Chancellor, Rear Admiral the Honourable Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN (Rtd), said Professor Rathjen had been selected after an extensive international search process.

“We are very excited to have Professor Rathjen as our next Vice-Chancellor,” Rear Admiral Scarce said.

“He has an outstanding record of university leadership, beginning here as the Foundation Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, before becoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne and currently at the University of Tasmania where he has been Vice-Chancellor for the past six years.

“In our search for a new Vice-Chancellor, among our key criteria were demonstrated success in engagement with government, industry and community and a strong track record of inspiring internal leadership.

“We are certain that in Professor Rathjen, we have found someone who will foster and build our external relationships to ensure we serve the community locally, nationally and internationally. That Professor Rathjen is among the distinguished alumnus of the University is a very special connection.

“While these are challenging times for the university sector, Professor Rathjen has an exceptional grasp on the public policy landscape for higher education.

“As we approach our 150th anniversary, now is an opportune time to build on the University’s extraordinary success and trusted brand, by developing a strategy to accelerate our growth.

Professor Rathjen is an internationally recognised genetics and stem cell researcher who graduated from the University of Adelaide, before being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.

“I am excited at the opportunity to return to Adelaide, which has been a formative part of my own personal story. It was from the University of Adelaide that I graduated with my first degree, and where I held my first research and leadership roles. My extended family is here and my family’s original farm is located in the Adelaide Hills,” Professor Rathjen said.

“The University of Adelaide has a track record of consistent success in research, innovation, engagement and teaching.

“I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to play my part in strengthening the University of Adelaide’s place as a world class university for the next generations of students.

“One of the joys of working as a Vice-Chancellor is in connecting with government, alumni and industry to ensure the University is helping the State and industry to realise their respective agendas.”

Rear Admiral Scarce said Prof Rathjen will take up the role in early 2018.

“Meanwhile, we are committed to continuing to engage with the community with Professor Mike Brooks at the helm as Interim Vice-Chancellor,” Rear Admiral Scarce said.

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