Tuesday 13 September 2016 11:03am
Growing the University of Otago, Christchurch’s presence and involvement in the Canterbury community is a priority for its new Dean, Professor David Murdoch. Other priorities include building on the campus’ successes, innovations, diversity and global collaborations.
Murdoch talked about his priorities to staff and students in an official welcoming ceremony, or Mihi Whakatau, this week.
“A major part of my role is to develop and foster a positive presence within the city of Christchurch and wider Canterbury community. To further improve relationships with key partners and help develop our own sense of style here on the Christchurch campus, which sets us apart from but retains that vital link to the mothership in Dunedin.”
Murdoch said Christchurch staff and students had much to be proud of.
“There is general consensus that successful universities thrive on the achievements of their staff and students. We have many successes to celebrate at this School. I would like to make a special mention of general staff who do not always feel connected to academic achievements at the School, but who clearly play such a central role. It is the collective effort that makes us great, and that involves all of us.”
Murdoch said some distinctive aspects of the campus were its diversity, creativity and innovative approach.
“A Dean’s job … is to facilitate an environment that encourages and stimulates successes… to encourage initiative and creativity. To help attract the most talented staff and students, no matter where they come from, and open ourselves to new ideas and approaches. I don’t have figures for the whole School, but I know there are nearly 30 different nationalities represented in the Department of Pathology alone. We need to celebrate this diversity and embed a global perspective across all aspects of teaching, learning and research. In many ways, our students are leading the way in this regard.”
Murdoch said he was ‘deeply honoured to be the new Dean of such a great campus’.
“You will hear me talk a lot about creating and maintaining a positive culture. That’s what got us through the earthquakes and will keep us on a steady course during other tough times, as well as during the good times. It is also what makes us come to work each day.”
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