In Summary

Swinburne University of Technology Chancellor, Mr Graham Goldsmith, today announced that Swinburne’s Council had approved the reappointment of Professor Linda Kristjanson as Vice-Chancellor for a further five years from 1 May 2015.

Mr Goldsmith said that Professor Kristjanson’s reappointment will provide the University with leadership certainty as it navigates what is likely to continue to be a challenging period for Australian higher education.

“Professor Kristjanson has provided outstanding leadership for Swinburne since her appointment in 2011,” Mr Goldsmith said.

“Since Professor Kristjanson’s appointment, Swinburne has strengthened its reputation for high quality teaching and excellence in research.”

Through its focus on high quality research, Swinburne is now ranked among the top 400 universities in the world, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, an outstanding achievement for an institution that has only been a university since 1992.

Swinburne consistently rates highly on measures of excellence in teaching, a strong achievement given the University has also been among the fastest growing universities in Australia since 2011, through its combination of on-campus and online educational offerings.

At the leading edge.

Swinburne has been at the leading edge of online delivery through the creation of Swinburne Online in partnership with Seek Limited. Swinburne Online celebrated three years of operation in 2014 and is now educating more than 6,300 students.

“Under Professor Kristjanson’s leadership, the university has made key decisions that have been required to ensure Swinburne continues on its trajectory of growth and achievement,” Mr Goldsmith said.

Professor Kristjanson has been leading the University through a major process of systems change with the implementation of a new Faculty structure, an Integrated Services Model for the support services provided to the university’s students and staff, and the delivery of a new student management system. The guiding principle behind this ongoing work has been the need to create systems that better serve Swinburne’s students.

“These are testing times for Australian universities. Students are increasingly expecting more and they are entitled to have high expectations of the university that they choose. The nature of academic work is also changing as rapid advances in technology challenge traditional models of educational delivery,” Mr Goldsmith said.

“We are fortunate to have a leader who understands deeply the transformative power of education and has been prepared to lead the changes that are required to ensure that Swinburne meets the needs of our students – past, present and future.”

A university with heart.

In accepting her appointment, Professor Kristjanson said she was honoured to continue her role as Vice-Chancellor at a university with such a strong commitment to access, equity and quality of teaching and research.

“I have worked at many universities in my life but never at one with as much heart as Swinburne,” Professor Kristjanson said.

“From the day I arrived at Swinburne, I knew that this university was special. Hardly a day goes by where I don’t see examples of our dedicated staff going the extra mile to help our students achieve their goals.

“I also pay tribute to the work of our researchers who in recent years have established Swinburne as a university that punches above its weight both in research output and the quality of the knowledge we produce.”

Professor Kristjanson said that competition among Australian universities had been a significant spur to innovation, including changing models of educational delivery and new models of service provision to students.

“I am confident that in 2015 and beyond, we will continue to be a university that is transformational for our students and a university that continues to make a substantial contribution to solving the world’s problems.

“Going forward we must learn more than ever to listen to our students, to our industry partners and to each other. We will focus on working collaboratively and harnessing the power of the collective energy, drive and perseverance of the staff and students who make Swinburne great,” Professor Kristjanson said.