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Professor Jessica Palmer new PVC of Humanities

Tuesday 22 December 2020 2:57pm

Jessica Palmer 2020 image
Professor Jessica Palmer.

Leading a diverse and vibrant Division of Humanities is something Professor Jessica Palmer is looking forward to.

The University announced today that Professor Palmer, currently the Dean of Otago's Faculty of Law, has been appointed to the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Humanities, following an international recruitment process.

Professor Palmer describes the humanities as “a vibrant and diverse group of disciplines and schools and yet they are all, at their core, concerned with what it means to be human, understanding what shapes our cultures and what enables us to live meaningfully together”.

“There is wonderful work happening in the Humanities Division and I am really proud to be a member and its next Pro-Vice-Chancellor. I am looking forward to working closely with all of my colleagues to support their research, to inspire our students, and to continue to show the wider community how valuable our work is.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne describes Professor Palmer as a highly accomplished legal scholar and an inspirational leader with considerable governance experience.

Alongside her current role as Faculty of Law Dean, Professor Palmer says career highlights include working with the NZ Law Commission on the reform of trusts law, seeing her research students go on to secure scholarships and academic careers of their own, and providing continuing legal education for judges and lawyers to contribute to how the law works in practice.

She has degrees in law and commerce, including a Master of Laws from the University of Auckland and a Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge.

As well as being a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, Professor Palmer is a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and was the recipient of the Otago and Southland Emerging Director Award this year.

She has also won several early career awards for distinction in research from the University of Otago as well as multiple teaching awards.

She will continue to teach in the Faculty of Law.

“It has been a privilege to be the Dean of Law since 2018. The Faculty is a lively and stimulating place to be. In recent times, we have put significant effort in to reconsidering our curriculum and exploring how we can be a community that actively values diversity and I am grateful to my colleagues for their commitment to the Faculty and our students.”

Professor Palmer starts in her new role on 15 January 2021, and is excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.

For more information, contact:

Lea Jones
Communications Adviser, Media Engagement
University of Otago
Tel +64 3 479 4969
Mob +64 21 279 4969

Professor Jessica Palmer
Dean of Law
Department of Humanities
University of Otago