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University announces new Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Thursday 14 August 2008

University announces new Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The next Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) at the University of Otago will be Professor Harlene Hayne.

Professor Hayne, who is currently the Head of the University’s Department of Psychology, is internationally recognised for her work on the development of memory. She will take over from Professor Geoff White, who has held the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) position for the last five years.

Announcing Professor Hayne’s appointment at the University Council meeting in Christchurch this week, Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg said that Otago will be very fortunate to have someone of her calibre in this key position.

“She is committed to the highest standards of research excellence, and is very familiar with the environment for research funding and administration in New Zealand and other countries.”

Professor Hayne came to the University from the United States in 1992, after completing her PhD at Rutgers University and spending three years at Princeton University as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She has been a Professor of Psychology since 2002.

Professor Hayne’s memory research is often cited in courtrooms, both in New Zealand and overseas. Her research programme has been supported by grants from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and the Marsden Fund. She has trained many research students at Otago, and was elected as the OUSA Research Supervisor of the Year in 2004.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and has served on the Royal Society’s Academy Council. A member of both the Marsden Fund Council and the New Zealand National Science Panel, she is also President-Elect of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology.

Professor Skegg noted that Professor Hayne actively disseminates knowledge from her scientific field through public lectures and media interviews.

“She has also made major contributions to the wider University, serving on many committees (including the University Council), convening review panels for other departments, and chairing the Board of University College since 2000.”

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hayne will oversee all of the research and commercialisation activities of the University.

A 2006 Ministry of Research, Science and Technology report found that the University of Otago is New Zealand’s most research-intensive, and Otago was also ranked in the recent PBRF assessment as having the highest research quality.

Professor Skegg noted that the University’s excellent progress in the last few years owed much to the outstanding contribution of Professor Geoff White.

“By coincidence, Professor White came from the same department as Professor Hayne. On the completion of his term as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, he will be returning to his own research and academic work. Later in the year, the University will want to pay tribute to the huge contribution he has made.”

Professor Hayne will take up her new position in February 2009.


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