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Prof Harlene Hayne announced as Vice-Chancellor of Otago Uni

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Professor Harlene Hayne to lead Otago and becomes first woman Vice-Chancellor of New Zealand's first university

Leading Psychology researcher Professor Harlene Hayne, ONZM, has been chosen as the University of Otago's next Vice-Chancellor. Currently the University's Deputy Vice- Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, Professor Hayne will replace Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Skegg who steps aside from the position at the end of July. Professor Hayne was selected from a "highly competitive field of both national and international candidates," says University Chancellor Mr John Ward.

"Professor Hayne has an impressive academic record, she's strongly committed to research and teaching excellence, she has proven administrative and strategic skills, and she has a deep understanding of the diversity of teaching and research requirements across the variety of disciplines at this University. In her current Deputy Vice-Chancellor role, Professor Hayne has demonstrated a keen political acumen, and has quickly become a national leader in the effort to build good relations between universities and the commercial sector whilst never losing sight of the University's core mission.

On a personal level, she is highly-regarded for her warm, engaging personality, her dynamism, energy, decisiveness and her ability to mentor and motivate. Professor Hayne possesses all the qualities required to be a truly inspiring leader of this University. I am therefore absolutely delighted that she has accepted the offer to become our next Vice- Chancellor." Mr Ward says.

"It is an honour and a privilege to be able to serve Otago as its next Vice-Chancellor. Otago has flourished under the leadership of Professor Sir David Skegg, and I am determined to build on his legacy," says Professor Hayne. "There will be some significant challenges ahead, not the least of which will be securing funding during these uncertain economic times. We must ensure that we continue to attract and retain the world-class scholars that are necessary to maintain our high-caliber teaching and research programmes. We must also continue to attract the best and brightest students from New Zealand and from around the globe. Otago has a great future and I am very proud to have been chosen to lead this wonderful university."

Professor Hayne has proven her exceptional leadership qualities as the former Head of the Psychology Department, and in her current role as Deputy-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise. In this important University portfolio, Professor Hayne is charged with fostering the continued research excellence of the University. She is also responsible for the commercialization of the University's intellectual property and for building research links with the private sector.

Professor Hayne's academic credentials are also impressive, having built an enviable reputation as a leading researcher in the field of memory development in infants, children, adolescents and adults. Her work in this area has been cited in legal proceedings both nationally and internationally; her comparative analysis of the interviews conducted with children in the high-profile Peter Ellis case, for example, has given additional weight to calls for the case to be re-opened.

Born in Oklahoma, and raised in Colorado in the United States, Professor Hayne received her BA from Colorado College in 1983, followed by her MS (1985) and PhD (1988) from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She then spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University before immigrating to New Zealand in 1992 to take up her first position at Otago as a Lecturer in the Psychology Department. Once here, she quickly established herself as a first-class teacher and researcher, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 1995, Associate Professor in 1999, full Professor with a Personal Chair in 2002 and then Head of the Department from 2006 to 2008.

As a researcher, Professor Hayne has numerous publications to her credit; she is the author or co-author of over 80 refereed journal articles, 20 book chapters, a book on memory development, and the editor of six other academic titles pertaining primarily to infancy research. She has given numerous keynote addresses and invited presentations at conferences around the world, and her research is highly cited across the academic community.

Professor Hayne's academic accomplishments have earned her some of this nation's most prestigious honours - including an ONZM in 2009 for services to medical and scientific research and a Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand. She is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Society, the past President of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, and she is the recipient of the American Psychological Foundation Robert L. Fantz Award for Excellence in Infancy Research. Her service to the international, national and university communities is exemplary.

Professor Hayne was an international advisor to the British Psychological Society in the development of guidelines on memory and law, she is the Co-Chair of the Office of the Prime Minister's Science Advisory Committee Working Party on reducing social and psychological morbidity during adolescence, a member of the New Zealand National Science Panel since 2006, and was a ministerial appointment to the Marsden Fund Council from 2006-2009. She was also recently appointed to the newly established Innovation Board of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. Professor Hayne's other professional duties include associate editorship of the journal Psychological Review; she serves on the editorial boards of six other journals, and is a consultant reviewer for many other journals, as well as a reviewer for many prestigious funding agencies in New Zealand (HRC, Marsden Fund), the United States (National Science Foundation), and Canada (NSERC).

"Over the past 20 years, the University of Otago has provided me with excellent research facilities and with technical and administrative support that is second to none. I have had the opportunity to work with outstanding colleagues and to teach thousands of bright, articulate, and energetic students. Dunedin has been a wonderful place to raise my children. I look forward to expanding on the existing strengths of Otago and to indentifying new ways in which the University can contribute to issues of local, national and international concern. But most of all, I welcome the opportunity to give back to the institution that has given me so much."

Mr John Ward Chancellor, University of Otago


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