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Inaugural head of new College of Health announced

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inaugural head of new College of Health announced

An internationally acclaimed public health specialist has been appointed as the first head of the University's new College of Health, Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey announced today.

Professor Paul McDonald, 55, is currently director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Recognised for his research expertise in population health planning and intervention for challenges such as reducing tobacco use, Professor McDonald is a Fellow of Britain's Royal Society for Public Health.

Mr Maharey says the appointment marks a significant milestone for Massey. "Professor McDonald is a recognised health leader for his work in Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. He will play a key role in Massey's goal of being a world leader in public health, one of our areas of specialisation, and ensuring an exceptional and distinctive learning experience for students at Massey."

More than 315 full-time equivalent staff and 2000 students across the three campuses – Albany (where Professor McDonald will be based), Manawatū and Wellington – will come under the college when it is established from January 1. It is being set up to tackle a looming health crisis that faces the world as governments' spending on restorative health care is unable to keep up with growing demand and costs. The college will focus innovative, leading edge research and teaching to prevent disease, and promote well-being by altering the social, economic, cultural, behavioural, political, biological and environmental factors and conditions that enable health.

Professor McDonald has a Bachelor of Arts with honours in psychology from Waterloo, a Master of Arts in clinical psychology from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in health studies and population health from the University of Waterloo. In 2008-09 he was visiting associate professor at the Auckland University of Technology's Department of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies.

Professor McDonald says he is excited at joining the Massey University community and he and his wife, Linda, are looking forward to calling New Zealand their home. "New Zealand, like the rest of the world, is facing unprecedented challenges, such as population aging and urbanisation, growing inequities, climate change, as well as increased global connectivity and trade,” he says. “Each of them has huge, emerging implications for health. The need for innovation and leadership to deal with these challenges has never been greater. Our new college will build New Zealand’s capacity and international legacy as a global leader and incubator for creative health enhancing people, and solutions."

He is due to take up the position as College of Health pro vice-chancellor in March. Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor from January until then will be Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Ingrid Day, who chairs the university's College of Health Establishment Group.

The college will include the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, the School of Health and Social Services, the School of Nursing, the School of Public Health and the School of Sport and Exercise.

Massey University has five colleges – Business, Creative Arts, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Sciences. From January, Education will become an institute within Humanities and Social Sciences.

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