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New Associate Dean Māori appointed to Otago Business School

New Associate Dean Māori appointed to Otago Business School

Ngāi Tahu’s Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl has been appointed as the new Associate Dean Māori in the University of Otago Business School. She takes up her role on 26 April.

Business School Dean, Professor Robin Gauld, said Dr Ruckstuhl brings a wealth of valuable experience and networks to the role, and he is “absolutely delighted” about her appointment.

“Dr Ruckstuhl is involved with Ngāi Tahu in a governance position on the Board representing her local Karitane-based rūnaka, Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki. She has been involved in developing policy and strategy for the iwi and before joining the University was the Education Manager and a project consultant for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

“This engagement with Ngāi Tahu has grown into wider iwi connections through her current role as Senior Research Analyst in Research and Enterprise at the University. Her own research has engaged her with staff in the Management Department at the Business School,” Professor Gauld said.

“As the Business School builds a stronger focus on Māori business, Dr Ruckstuhl’s experience and networks will be invaluable.”

Dr Ruckstuhl leads the Vision Mātauranga research team for the National Science Challenge, Science for Technological Innovation and is a member of the Challenge Kāhui Māori and senior management team. She is also an associate investigator with the Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga Centre of Research Excellence where she and others in the Business School are looking at Māori small businesses.

“My business background and that of my family equips me well for the Business School. My parents ran and my partner Richard and daughter Rachel have their own small businesses, while daughter Elizabeth (an Otago Business School graduate) is an account manager for a multi-national company in Australia.

“I am looking forward to supporting the Division to implement the University’s Māori Strategic Framework and, in particular, working with students to encourage them to use their skills and knowledge to contribute to the Māori and broader economy,” Dr Ruckstuhl said.

She has a background of 16 years in the teaching profession after completing her honours degree and while undertaking her PhD through the Department of English at Otago. She also has postgraduate qualifications in Education from Massey University.


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