Following an extensive international search, University Chancellor Dr Alan Finkel today announced the Monash University Council has appointed Professor Margaret Gardner AO as the ninth Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, and the first woman to serve in the role.
Professor Gardner will commence her position on 1 September 2014. Professor Gardner will succeed Professor Edward Byrne, who will become President and Principal at King’s College London.
Professor Gardner is currently Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University. She previously held a range of senior academic roles, including serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at The University of Queensland.
Professor Gardner is known for leading RMIT from difficult circumstances in 2005 to its current strong position and vibrant urban presence. During her Vice-Chancellorship at RMIT, she served also in a number of advisory and leadership roles, from President of the Board of Museum Victoria to membership of the federal government’s International Advisory Committee chaired by Michael Chaney AO.
Dr Finkel said Professor Gardner will be an outstanding asset to Monash University.
“Professor Gardner’s extensive academic career combined with her expertise in economics, industrial relations and organisational management will further advance Monash University’s position as a world-leading research institution, and continue to develop the opportunities offered to our students,” Dr Finkel said.
Professor Gardner said she was delighted and honoured to be joining Monash, following the distinguished leadership of Professor Ed Byrne.
“Monash University is one of the world’s top 100 universities” she said. “It has an international presence unique for Australia and rare anywhere in higher education.”
“Monash is striving to be among the top research universities in the world”, said Professor Gardner, “and has the expansive vision, the brilliant staff and outstanding students to succeed and make a distinctive contribution to the Asia Pacific and to the world.”
With a first class honours degree in Economics and a PhD from the University of Sydney, in 1988 Professor Gardner was a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow spending time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, and the University of California, Berkeley.
In 2007, Professor Gardner was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of service to tertiary education, particularly in the areas of university governance and gender equity, and to industrial relations in Queensland.
She has also served on the boards of a number of bodies, including in the arts and education sectors.
She continues to serve on a number of arts and education boards. Alongside her work chairing the Museums Board of Victoria, Professor Gardner is Chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee, Office for Learning and Teaching and a director of Universities Australia, Open Universities Australia and the Fulbright Commission Advisory Board.
She has been a member of a range of other Committees including the Council of Australia Latin American Relations Board (COALAR), the ANZAC Centenary Advisory Board and International Education Advisory Committee (Chaney Committee), and has chaired government reviews into educational pathways and industrial relations.
Professor Ed Byrne said, “Monash is a fantastic university, and the privilege of leading it has been the high point of my career. I am particularly proud of the progress that has been made on the international agenda in recent times, most notably the establishment of Joint Graduate School and Joint Research Institute in China and the depth alliance with the UK’s Warwick University. More than anything else, I am enormously proud of the huge effort of our university staff, both academic and professional, in raising standards across the University over the last five years. Their work has resulted in an improvement of almost 100 places in the Times Higher Education Rankings.”
“I am delighted that Council has chosen such a strong successor, who has all the attributes needed to take Monash on the next stage of the journey,” said Professor Byrne.
“Professor Byrne has established a clear goal to make Monash University one of the world’s great universities, and has taken us a significant distance along that path. Whilst I am disappointed to be losing such an energetic and far-sighted colleague, I wish him the very best in his new position at Kings College,” said Monash University Chancellor Dr Alan Finkel.