I am writing to let you know that, after a great deal of reflection, I informed the Chancellor over the weekend of my decision to decline the offer from Senate to renew my contract for a further five-year term; I therefore intend to retire from the Vice-Chancellorship at the end of this year.
After an extremely busy and fulfilling decade as a vice-chancellor – first at La Trobe and then at UWA – I have decided that I would like to redirect my time and energy. I particularly want to ensure that my children see more of me, and that I see more of them, as they move into and through their high school years.
My family and I have made Perth our home over the past five years and we intend to remain in this stunning city. Professionally, I will reactivate my academic interests with the intention of making a positive contribution to the analysis of economic and public policy in Australia.
UWA is at a key point of renewal, with the four new faculties and a new professional services structure commencing in January 2017. I think this is an opportune moment to hand over the leadership to someone who can further build on the many achievements of recent years, and carry renewal forward to create new opportunities for this great university.
I look forward to providing my full support to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dawn Freshwater, and the entire leadership team as it designs and implements the University's new structures over the next four months, to ensure a smooth end-of-year transition to the new structure.
The Senate and the Executive were informed of my decision this morning. Under the leadership of the Chancellor, the Senate will commence the task of a global search for my successor in the very near future.
It has been a tremendous privilege to lead UWA over the past five years. Among the many proud moments I have shared with you was the University breaking into the top 100 of world universities, celebrating the University’s centenary, and the launch of the New Centenary Campaign, including the enormously generous $65 million gift from Andrew and Nicola Forrest.
I would like to thank the University’s Senate and the many staff, students, alumni and friends who have provided me with exceptional support and guidance throughout this period. We have achieved a lot together and I would like to thank each of you for making my time as Vice-Chancellor such a wonderful and memorable experience.