Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

New Pro-Vice-Chancellor, International appointed


Tuesday 13 August 2013 3:25pm

The University of Otago has appointed Professor Helen Nicholson as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, International. Professor Sarah Todd is stepping down as she is moving to a new role in Australia.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor International is responsible for the strategic development of the University’s international profile involving recruiting and supporting international students; ensuring that all our students have the opportunity to include an international experience in their studies through our Student Exchange Programme; enriching internationalisation of the curriculum; and fostering partnerships with some of the top universities in the world so that the University of Otago sustains its role as a leading teaching and research organisation in the international arena.

Professor Helen Nicholson

Professor Nicholson brings a background of academic leadership, biomedical and health sciences to the role.

After graduating from the University of Bristol she worked as a doctor in hospital and community settings before taking up an academic position in the Department of Anatomy at Bristol. She moved to the University of Otago in 2000 to become Professor of Anatomy and subsequently head of the Department of Anatomy. In 2007 she was appointed Dean of the Otago School of Medical Sciences and in 2011 was the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) for six months.

Announcing Professor Nicholson’s appointment, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Academic & International Professor Vernon Squire says Professor Nicholson is the ideal person to undertake this crucial role at this point in time.

“Helen is a highly respected senior academic in the Otago School of Medical Sciences, responsible in recent times for the overall strategic leadership and academic development of several key departments in the School as its Dean.”

“I have immense respect for Helen – with her accumulated experience of many years in senior positions at the University of Otago. She brings strong problem solving skills complemented by a deep understanding of University processes to a vitally important part of the University’s future” says Professor Squire.

Professor Nicholson says she is delighted to have the opportunity to take up the role.

“I am excited about this new role and am looking forward to working with the International Office and the wider University to enhance Otago’s international profile further and build on the strong foundation that Professor Todd and her team have developed,” said Professor Nicholson.

Professor Todd is moving to Griffith University (Queensland) where she will be responsible for the International Office, Griffith English Language Institute & International Business Development Unit.

Professor Todd began as a staff member at Otago in the Department of Marketing in 1989. She was Academic Dean in the School of Business immediately prior to taking up the inaugural Pro-Vice-Chancellor role in 2006.

Professor Squire paid tribute to the outstanding job done by Professor Todd over her last seven years as Pro-Vice-Chancellor International, drawing on her marketing expertise and central administrative roles in the Commerce Division.

“Sarah has done a marvellous job to safeguard and progress relationships with partner universities and affiliated organisations around the world; it is to her credit that these associations are as healthy and as productive as they are.”

“She has worked tirelessly to ensure that the pastoral care of our international students, from as many as 100 different countries, is second to none and that students eventually leave the University as proud alumni with great memories of their time here and of Dunedin and New Zealand. Her considerable familiarity with international tertiary education has allowed her to progress many initiatives that the University of Otago can now be proud of,” says Professor Squire.

Professor Todd moves to Australia in October to take up her new role.

“While being excited at the opportunity to further enhance Griffith University’s internationalisation I am bittersweet about leaving Dunedin and the University of Otago.”

“I’m looking forward to extending my skills and experience in a different university and country. I am leaving International at Otago in good heart, and wish Helen all the best and look forward to seeing initiatives put in place bear fruit in the future,” says Professor Todd.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

Electronic addresses (including email accounts, instant messaging services, or telephone accounts) published on this page are for the sole purpose of contact with the individuals concerned, in their capacity as officers, employees or students of the University of Otago, or their respective organisation. Publication of any such electronic address is not to be taken as consent to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages by the address holder.