New Vice-Chancellor Appointed To USQ

The Chancellor of the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Mrs Bobbie Brazil announced today the appointment of Professor Jan Thomas as USQ’s Vice-Chancellor and President. Professor Thomas succeeds Professor Bill Lovegrove who retires on December 31 after more than eight years in the position.
Professor Thomas comes to USQ from the University of Notre Dame Australia in Western Australia where she is Deputy Vice-Chancellor. She leads the Fremantle campus of the University and has University-wide responsibility for research and quality assurance across campuses in Sydney, Fremantle and Broome.

Prior to joining Notre Dame, Professor Thomas had a long and distinguished academic career at Murdoch University, WA, where she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) with responsibility for indigenous education, academic policy, academic planning, student support, student services, student recruitment, liaison and administration, library services, social justice, quality assurance, flexible delivery and staff development and organisational capability.

Mrs Brazil said, “Most recently Professor Thomas has been a member of an expert advisory group to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations whose focus was on developing higher education performance indicators in association with the Commonwealth government.”
“Professor Thomas has been an auditor for the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) and an international reviewer for accrediting agencies in Oman and Hong Kong. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has spent ten years as a Director and Member of the Board of Governance for Western Australia’s MercyCare, a large community and human services organisation.”

Mrs Brazil said that USQ was most fortunate to gain the expertise of someone of the calibre of Professor Thomas whose leadership and commitment to higher education has been recognised through numerous grants, awards and prizes in her career. “In addition to her extensive organisational leadership Professor Thomas has an international reputation in her own academic background in veterinary and biomedical sciences,” Mrs Brazil said.

Speaking from Perth, Professor Thomas said she was looking forward to working with staff and those within USQ’s regions to take on the challenges of higher education and extend the work already undertaken to make university study more accessible to people of all ages.

The Chancellor paid tribute to Professor Bill Lovegrove as USQ’s longest serving Vice-Chancellor whom she described as having guided the University through a period of considerable and continuing change to its present highly acknowledged place in the Australian higher education system.

Mrs Brazil said Professor Thomas has been appointed for an initial term of four years and was chosen from an extremely talented field which included Australian and international applicants. Professor Thomas will take up the role of Vice-Chancellor on 16th January, 2012.

Submitted by:
Dr Aidan Burke
USQ Director Corporate Communication & Public Relations



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