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New Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne begins at Curtin

Media release

Professor Harlene Hayne has taken up her new role as Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University and is looking forward to helping the University fulfil its vision of transforming lives through education and research.

Professor Hayne was able to make her first visits to campus last week, after undertaking a period of quarantine on her arrival from New Zealand.

Originally from the United States, Professor Hayne has enjoyed an outstanding career in higher education leadership and academia, most recently serving 10 years as Vice-Chancellor of Otago University.

“I am delighted to be joining Curtin and to have the opportunity to advance its well-established reputation as a bold, entrepreneurial and inclusive university,” Professor Hayne said.

“I was deeply honoured to have been welcomed to our Perth campus by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, to see some of the wonderful facilities and to begin meeting staff, who I am very much looking forward to working with.

“While these have been incredibly difficult times for universities around the world, I am confident Curtin’s resilience and agility will ensure it continues to rise to the challenges and seizes the opportunities to re-think the way we do things as a world-leader in teaching and learning.

“My focus will be on striving to deliver a unique and deeply enriching university experience to students, continuing to grow Curtin’s high-impact research capabilities and honouring its long-standing commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, culture and reconciliation. I am also mindful of our responsibility to ensure potential students in regional Western Australia have the same opportunities as their city counterparts.”

Professor Hayne is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and of the Association for Psychological Science. In 2009 she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to scientific and medical research.

Originally from the United States, Professor Hayne has a B Arts from Colorado College and obtained an MS and PhD from Rutgers University, before spending three years as a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton.

Curtin’s Chancellor, Dr Andrew Crane, said Professor Hayne brings to Curtin deep leadership and research experience; as well as a demonstrated commitment to a strong student-focused culture.

“Professor Hayne is a highly respected scholar with extensive university management experience making her an ideal leader for Curtin. Equally important, as the first in her family to attend university, she knows from personal and professional experience the transformative power of education, the importance of research and the value of community,” said Dr Crane.

Dr Crane also thanked outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor John Cordery for his excellent stewardship of Curtin during exceptionally challenging times.

“Professor Cordery has shown strong leadership and integrity in steering the University through the disruption and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are deeply grateful for his considered and thoughtful guidance,” he said.