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Christchurch lawyer elected new Chancellor

Christchurch lawyer elected University of Canterbury's new Chancellor

The University of Canterbury will be led by two women for the first time in its history after the election of Susan McCormack, a partner at Mortlock McCormack Law, as its next Chancellor, effective from 1 January 2019.

A University of Canterbury (UC) alumna, Ms McCormack has been UC’s Pro-Chancellor since 2013 and a member of the UC Council since 2009.

She chairs the Vice-Chancellor Employment Committee and led the search and appointment process for UC’s next Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, who takes up the role on 1 February 2019.

Ms McCormack also serves on the UC Council’s Audit and Risk Committee, Finance, Planning and Resources Committee, Honours and Appointments Committee, and is one of three members of the Executive Committee.

In her professional practice Ms McCormack specialises in corporate and commercial law and, following the 2010-11 earthquakes, has had a leading strategic role in the CBD development The Terrace.

She is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and is a Director of KiwiRail. She has previously been a Director of the Lyttelton Port Company, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Public Trust.

The current Chancellor, Dr John Wood, has paid tribute to Ms McCormack’s service as Pro-Chancellor.

“Sue has been a fine Pro-Chancellor, supporting me in my role as Chancellor and bringing expertise and experience in governance to the Council table. Her professional background in commercial law and close knowledge of the Christchurch construction industry has been invaluable as UC has worked through its $1.2 billion post-earthquake construction programme,” Dr Wood says.

“I am sure Sue will do a wonderful job working with Professor de la Rey to move UC beyond its recovery phase into the transformation that retiring Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr has initiated.”

Dr Wood, a UC and Oxford alumnus, former New Zealand Ambassador, career diplomat, chief Crown negotiator in Treaty of Waitangi negotiations and current Chair of the Canterbury District Health Board, will remain a member of the UC Council until 31 July 2019.


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