Colleagues pay tribute to retiring Executive Dean
December 18, 2006
Professor Michael Macklin is looking forward to the next phase of a life that has seen him as a Franciscan friar, a philosophy lecturer, an actor, an author, National President and Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Democrats, Director of Development for the University of Queensland, a CEO in the private sector and, most recently, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of New England.
Professor Macklin is retiring from UNE after four-and-a-half years as administrative head of one of the University’s four Faculties.
The “next phase”, he explained, would involve “writing and travelling”, with an initial emphasis on the European pilgrim walks that he had been researching for some time. “One has to take every opportunity to fulfil one’s dreams,” he said last week during a farewell function in his honour, adding that his 36-year partnership with his wife Jenny had “helped both of us to realise some of our dreams”.
His colleagues acknowledged his “supportive, open-door policy” as a manager of people, and his “positive approach” to challenges. A fellow Executive Dean, Professor Victor Minichiello, confirmed that he was “much loved by his administrative staff”, and Professor Majella Franzmann, the Faculty’s Associate Dean (Research), said he had allowed his staff to thrive “by giving them space”.
“I believe in management by walking about,” Professor Macklin said, adding that, after a walk had led him into a stimulating research seminar, he had always emerged “with renewed vigour”. He thanked his colleagues within the Faculty – particularly the Heads of Schools and Associate Deans as well as the “loyal Faculty staff” – for their dedicated work.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Pettigrew, said Professor Macklin had made a significant contribution not only to the Faculty, but also to the University as a whole. “He has been a very effective senior member of the University’s staff,” Professor Pettigrew said, “and has worked tirelessly for the benefit of UNE.”
Professor Pettigrew acknowledged the support that Jenny Macklin had given to her husband and the University over the years. Professor Macklin’s tribute to his wife – who was with him at the farewell function – was a love song performed by musicians during the proceedings and dedicated to her. The couple celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary last week.
Mrs Jenny Post, who served as Professor Macklin’s Executive Assistant until her retirement four months ago, said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to work for him. On behalf of the University, she presented him with a magnificent painting: “Wollomombi Dreaming”, by local artist Joy Kirby. Both he and his wife received other farewell gifts – among them an album containing photographs relating to Professor Macklin’s UNE career and appreciative messages from his colleagues. As Professor Pettigrew pointed out, those colleagues had also shown their appreciation of him and his work for the University by coming from “every corner of the campus” to the farewell function.
THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here shows Professor Alan Pettigrew (left) Jenny Macklin and Professor Michael Macklin at Professor Macklin's farewell.
Posted by Jim Scanlan at December 18, 2006 12:41 PM