Emeritus Professor John Ryan

Appointment citation 

Dr John Ryan MA (NZ), MA (Oxf), PhD (Cambr.), PhD (UNE), Hon D.Litt (UNE), Einstein Medal, Dip. Cont. Ed. (U.N.E.), F.S.Antiq. (Scot.), F.R.G.S has been a member of UNE's academic staff since February, 1959.  He is the University's longest serving member of staff and continues to play an active and significant part in the academic life of the School of Arts and Humanities.  Throughout his outstanding career at UNE, Dr Ryan has also made a major contribution to the New England Region – as a chronicler of New England people and history, in the foundation of the Armidale and District Historical Society, as an editor of many books and articles about the region. 

Dr Ryan's academic career began at the University of Otago, New Zealand, where he was awarded his BA, MA and Diploma of Honours.  He then studied at Merton College, Oxford under the mentorship of Professor  J R R Tolkein and worked as a part-time tutor/researcher at the University of Nottingham, before  his appointment to UNE.  Since his appointment, Dr Ryan has completed two doctorates:  one from Cambridge University, entitled 'Modern English Myth Makers" (1964-1966) and the other from UNE, entitled 'A History of Adult Education at and through the New England University College and the University of New England, 1948-1980' (1989).  Dr Ryan began his career at UNE as a Lecturer, with promotion to Senior Lecturer in 1964 and Associate Professor in 1969.  He was awarded a degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) in recognition of his international scholarly reputation and career-long commitment to meeting the vision of the University's founders, in 2009.

As a researcher and a teacher, Dr Ryan has made an exceptional contribution to the life of the University, to its students and to the volumes of academic literature that span the discipline and his areas of expertise.  His list of publications and conference presentations exceeds 40 A4 pages!  He has taught subjects including English and Australian Literature, the American novel, comedy and tragedy, the history of the English language, Australian folklore and place name studies.  Dr Ryan has been an active member serving on many academic committees at UNE - and has tirelessly taught and offered academic instruction, advice and support to undergraduate and postgraduate students, seeing many of them move into academic life themselves.  It is anticipated that he has supervised over 250 research dissertations and remains active in HDR supervision within the area of folklore studies and Tolkein-related research.  Dr Ryan is also a Life Honorary Fellow of Wright College, having been a resident at the College for some 18 years.  From his arrival at UNE until 1976, Dr Ryan fulfilled the roles of Senior Fellow, Vice-Master and then Master of the College. 

It is fitting that Dr Ryan's long association with the University, the outstanding and significant contribution he has made to its academic life, to Wright College and to the New England community, be honoured by an appointment to the title of Emeritus Professor.

For further information and a link to Emeritus Professor Ryan's UNE staff profile page, click here.