The Dean’s Office is the managerial and administrative hub of the University of Otago Business School and the Division of Commerce. On this page you'll find brief profiles and contact details for:
Reception / general enquiries
Ground Level, Commerce Building
Cnr Clyde St and Union Pl East
PO Box 56
Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Following 20 years at the Dunedin School of Medicine Robin joined the Otago Business School in December 2016 as the School's Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, after a long relationship with the School through joint research projects and working on various boards and committees.
Robin is Professor of Health Policy, and Co-Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Technology (CHeST)—that spans the Business School and the Division of Health Sciences at Otago.
He was a Senior Fellow at the Boston University Health Policy Institute from 2009–2013, and a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in 2008–2009, working with colleagues from Boston University and Harvard University. In 2014, he was NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced Study, University of London.
Past positions include lecturing and research posts at the University of Hong Kong and City University of Hong Kong, and teaching at the University of Texas and Harvard University.
Robin has authored over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and several books and chapters. His current research interests include: comparative health policy, health system and quality improvement, clinical governance, primary care, population based health funding formulas, and health information technology.
Associate Dean - Pacific (part-time)
Esmay is the Associate Dean – Pacific, appointed to the Division of Commerce in December 2017. Her role is to provide leadership and strategic advice in the Business School on all matters relating to the University’s Pacific Strategic Framework 2013–2020. She is based in the Dean’s Office and is currently the only Pacific staff member employed in the Business School.
Esmay is also is responsible for supporting all Pacific students in the Division, she has experience teaching as a Professional Practice Fellow at the University College of Education responsible for coordinating and teaching Pacific content. In 2018, she was a recipient of the Ako Aotearoa Pacific Professional Development Fund Award and is a member on the Ako Aotearoa Pacific Peoples’ Caucus.
Associate Professor Sebastian Filep
Associate Dean – International (part-time)
The Associate Dean International is responsible for developing the internationalisation strategy for the Otago Business School. In liaison with DVC External Engagement and the International Office, this role includes oversight of the student exchange programme, as well as other international initiatives that build the international focus of students and staff at Otago Business School. An important part of the role is academic leadership of international initiatives, ensuring the best use is made of both existing networks and establishment of new international collaborations.
Sebastian is based in the Tourism Department. His research area focuses on explorations of subjective well-being and flourishing in tourism contexts, drawing from the field of positive psychology (study of optimal human functioning). He is an Associate Editor of Leisure Sciences, a leading international journal in the field, and he is an active editorial board member of several major tourism, leisure and hospitality journals.
Dr Richard Greatbanks
Associate Dean - Academic (part-time)
Richard leads teaching and learning activities in the Business School, with a particular focus on undergraduate. He is involved in oversight of the regulations for papers and degrees and involved in the academic boards in the Business School and the University. He has an input into the student facing services the Business School and University offer.
Richard belongs to the Department of Management. He is a Chartered Manufacturing Engineer and has held several technical and managerial positions within Aerospace manufacture. After spending more than thirteen years in the UK Aerospace industry, Richard moved to academia.
Associate Professor Lisa McNeill
Associate Dean – Postgraduate Research
Associate Professor Lisa McNeill is responsible for the oversight of the Business School’s Postgraduate research programmes. She supervises the admission of students into the postgraduate programmes and leads initiatives involving postgraduate programmes, including curricula, recruiting and student relations.
Lisa teaches Innovation & New Product development, and Advanced Research Methods in the Department of Marketing, and her research focuses on sustainability in consumer behaviour, innovation and brand development, retail atmospherics and consumer decision making.
Professor Ronald Peeters
Associate Dean – Research (part-time)
Ronald leads the Business School’s research committee; liaises with staff to support and to encourage new research initiatives; and represents the Business School in the wider University (and beyond).
Ronald belongs to the Department of Economics. His research is within the areas of game theory, mechanism design, behavioural economics, experimental economics, evolutionary economics, network economics, and industrial organisation.
Feel free to contact him directly on issues related to research policy or research topics on his interest area.
Dr Rafaela Costa Camoes Rabello
Assistant Research Fellow (until end of July 2019), and Research Fellow (from August 2019-June 2024)
Rafaela works closely with Dr Katharina Rusckstuhl as her Assistant Research Fellow and is currently part of the a team of social science researchers – the Building New Zealand’s Innovation Capacity team (BNZIC) within the Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI), Science National Challenge. Within SfTI Rafaela supports research around human and relational capacities to use physical sciences and engineering for economic growth.
Rafaela holds a PhD in Social Investment in the oil and gas sector and a Master’s degree in Education, awarded by the University of Otago, New Zealand. Rafaela also holds a BA in Psychology from the University Center of Brasilia, Brazil. Rafaela has worked within the fields of corporate social responsibility – in the oil and gas sector in the Amazon (Brazil)– and education for more than 10 years. She has published in the areas of: corporate social responsibility; social investment in the oil and gas sector; higher education; and social science in the science and innovation sector.
Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl
Associate Dean - Māori. Manutaki Tuarua – Māori
Katharina started in the Dean's Office in April 2017 with a focus on providing leadership and strategic advice to the Business School in all matters relating to the University’s Māori Strategic Framework.
Katharina joined the University in 2008 after five years with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu as education manager and project consultant. Prior to that she had been in the teaching profession in management roles. Dr Ruckstuhl has Honours and PhD degrees through Otago’s English Department and post-graduate qualifications in Education through Massey University.
As a Senior Research Fellow, Dr Ruckstuhl is leading a number of research projects, including in the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge. She is the Vision Mātauranga leader of the Challenge and co-leads the Building New Zealand’s Innovation portfolio. Her broader research focuses on innovation and Māori business, resource extraction, energy transition and Māori policy.
Dr Lincoln C Wood
Associate Dean – Postgraduate Programmes (part-time)
Lincoln leads the Business School’s Postgraduate Teaching & Learning Committee; liaises with staff to support developments in the postgraduate programmes; and, manages the quality of the programmes.
Lincoln works in the Department of Management. His research investigates the design of sustainable operational systems, improving sustainable and social outcomes through operations and supply chain management practices, particularly in the construction, logistics, and healthcare sectors.
Feel free to contact him directly on issues related to postgraduate programmes and processes.
Associate Professor Ben Wooliscroft
Associate Dean – Research (part-time)
Ben leads the Business School’s research committee; liaises with staff to support and encourage new research initiatives; and represents the Business School in the wider University.
Ben belongs to the Department of Marketing and has taught in the marketing sector since graduating with a BCom(Hons) in 1998 - mainly in the areas of marketing theory, consumer behaviour, history of business and marketing research. He has a passion for the history of general theory development and philosophical issues in marketing
Other interests include researching complexity, chaos theory, self-organised critical states and the application of scientific methodology in marketing.
Senior Manager Client Services
As Senior Manager Client Services, Lornae's role is to ensure the smooth running of the Business School. Leading the general staff in the Dean’s office, she is responsible for the financial, administrative and personnel management of the Business School. Lornae also works on developing and implementing the Business School’s strategies and policies.
Adviser, Marketing Services
Jenna provides advice and support to portfolio leaders and managers within the Division of Commerce. Her role is to support the strengthening of strategic and operational marketing endeavours. Jenna works collaboratively with the Divisions Communications Advisor, and the wider Marketing Services team who deliver the provision of marketing services.
Graham's role is to provide strategic financial and non-financial information to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Director Administration, and to ensure the funding allocation, budgets, compliance issues and other financial activities of the school are coordinated effectively. He also provides support and advice to the Departments managing the financial resources within the School.
Specialist, Academic Committees and Services
Rebecca is the Specialist, Academic Committees and Services, embedded within the Division of Commerce.
Rebecca’s responsibilities include supporting staff within the Division through the academic approvals process by advising and assisting in the preparation of academic proposals, servicing the Commerce Divisional Board and University Committees, assisting with Annual Programme reporting, the GYR process, External Moderation, and Course Variations for undergraduate students.
Pacific Islands’ Student Academic Advisor (part-time)
Esmay is passionate about the retention and academic success of local and international Pacific students. Esmay’s role is to liaise with academic departments and Student Services with respect to any issues relating to Pacific students and their course of study. Esmay supports both staff and students in the Business School and has a network of contacts with other divisions around the University.
Information and Special Projects Officer
Theresa manages information related to programmes, papers, staff and students within the Otago Business School. She ensures all programme and paper proposals have appropriate documentation for academic board approval, that accreditation requirements have been met and performs special projects in support of the Business School’s academic mission. Theresa also provides administrative support for the Otago Business School Postgraduate students.
Executive Assistant to the Dean/PVC (Commerce)
Amanda provides executive assistance to the Dean/PVC. Her role includes handling correspondence, undertaking research as required, ensuring all activities comply with University and Business School policy, and providing general administrative support.
Internship Programme Manager
Julie is responsible for coordinating the Business School's Internship Programme. She liaises closely with students interested in the prospects of an internship, and connects with the New Zealand business community, meeting business people to talk about the Internship Programme and other opportunities on offer through the Otago Business School. Julie manages the Commerce Employability Programme, designed to assist Commerce students prepare for the workforce, liaising closely with the Career Development Centre when delivering this series of events.
Rachel Sizemore (Ngāi Tahu)
Rachel provides tautoko to Māori students in the Business School. Offering an ear to listen, help with scholarships, extra tutorials, and to liaise with academic departments and Student Services with regards to those students and their intended course of study. Rachel offers support also to those studying away from their whanau, hapū and iwi, to feel safe and supported. She has a background in research, but her passion is for young people and making sure they have successful tertiary experiences.
“Ui mai koe ki au, he aha te mea nui o te Ao? Māku e kī atu, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.”
If you ask me what is the most important thing in the world? I will reply, it is people, it is people, it is people.”
Client Services Administrator
Aggie looks forward to welcoming you to the Otago Business school. You can find her at the reception in the Dean´s Office and is the first point of contact to assist with queries from students, staff and visitors. Aggie also provides support to her colleagues in the Dean’s Office and administrative assistance to the DBA programme.