Acting Chancellor Dr Geoffrey Fox said Professor Duncan’s appointment was the result of a competitive global recruitment process: “it is a testament to Professor Duncan’s knowledge and skills that she has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of UNE from among a very strong field of Australian and international candidates.”
Professor Duncan joined UNE in 2010 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and has served as the University’s interim Vice-Chancellor since March 2014. Prior to joining UNE, Professor Duncan spent 16 years at CSIRO, including six years as Chief of the Division of Molecular Science, during which she acted as advisor to both the Commonwealth Government and the United Nations on biological weapons control. She has also served in managerial roles with the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne and the AgriBio Institute at La Trobe University.
Dr Fox commented: “Professor Duncan brings to the role of Vice-Chancellor a strong track record in research and leadership. She is the right person to keep UNE at the forefront of both quality education and the UNE five-star student experience. Professor Duncan is an outstanding appointment and the entire UNE Council joins me in looking forward to working with her as she builds on UNE’s strong financial position to achieve further growth in student enrolments and ever-greater research excellence.”
Dr Fox also praised Professor Duncan’s commitment to working with the wider commuunity: “UNE enjoys a deep historic connection with Armidale, the New England region and NSW. Professor Duncan has ably demonstrated her support for regional development and community matters. Our region is fortunate to have her as Vice-Chancellor, with her passion for forging ever-stronger “town-gown” linkages.”
Professor Duncan said she is honoured to be appointed Vice-Chancellor of UNE: “I am excited to lead a University unlike any other in Australia. UNE’s student demographic is diverse, with both mature-aged students studying online and school-leavers studying on-campus, supported by our vibrant and thriving college system providing an outstanding personal and scholarly experience.”
Professor Duncan also praised the University’s dedicated and talented staff, noting: “they consistently offer an exceptional educational experience for UNE’s 21,000 students. The on-going success of UNE is a real testament to our dedicated staff and I am eager to work with them to grow our research and teaching capabilities.”
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