Chancellor works for closer engagement with regional community

Published 26 May 2009

rtorbay1The Chancellor of UNE, Richard Torbay, speaking last week at the University’s Mary White College, said he saw his role as Chancellor as an opportunity “to institute closer engagement with the wider community in our region”.

Dr Torbay (pictured here) was speaking about “The Chancellor and his Role” at the College’s 46th Annual Chancellor’s Dinner on the evening of Friday 22 May.

“For that purpose,” he said, “I have invited 14 regional mayors and general managers to visit the campus on July 9 for a day of seminars, tours of facilities, and discussions with academics and students.”

And, “to expand our international focus,” he continued, “I have arranged for the Consuls General of Canada, the United States, Japan, China, Ghana, Vietnam, India, Korea, Argentina and Indonesia to come to the campus on June 11 for briefings and discussions with senior management, academic staff, and students.

“I have also instigated closer communication between the UNE Council and the academic and general staff,” Dr Torbay said. “We have managed our meetings to allow time for breaks over tea and coffee to meet academics and general staff members and hear directly about their ventures, their issues, and their concerns.”

“Every single member of the UNE team plays their part in our shared success,” he said, “and I believe in the power of networking and friendships.

“My approach to management is to work with people’s strengths and to focus on solutions rather than problems.”

Dr Torbay said that, in his 20 years of working on campus for the UNE Union, and in the subsequent years of his service on the UNE Council, he had experienced a number of Chancellors – all with a different style. “If I were to single out any one of them for special mention,” he added, “it would be Dr Rob Robertson-Cunninghame.”

“Dr Rob had such a long association with UNE,” he said, “and he worked for it tirelessly with belief and total dedication. His passion, commitment, shrewd commonsense, integrity, dignity, modesty, and interest in all aspects of university life were inspiring. He was an excellent example of how an outsider can bring a breath of fresh air to an institution that always needs to look outside itself for regeneration and growth.”

Dr Torbay spoke about the University’s past successes, and a range of current initiatives that are building on those successes, and ended by acknowledging “the support shown to me by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Pettigrew, since I have been elected to the position of Chancellor”.