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New Wellington Dean passionate about research, teaching and capital connection

William-Levack-image
The incoming Dean and Head of the Wellington Campus, Associate Professor William Levack. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

Associate Professor William Levack from the Department of Medicine has been appointed as Dean and Head of the Wellington Campus.

Associate Professor Levack has worked at the University of Otago, Wellington, for 18 years, and is currently Associate Dean of Research and the Academic Head of the Rehabilitation Teaching and Research Unit (RTRU).

Prior to coming to the University he worked as a physiotherapist in the public and private sector, specialising in rehabilitation for complex brain injury, and served for some years as a manager at the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

"Having worked full-time here since 2003, I am passionate about the work we do, proud of our accomplishments and very keen to contribute further to the growth of teaching and research excellence here over the next five to 10 years."

He is on the Executive Committee of Cochrane Rehabilitation, an international group of researchers who strive to improve evidence-based practice in rehabilitation, a group he helped establish in 2016. He is also President of the New Zealand Rehabilitation Association.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences, Professor Paul Brunton, said he was delighted that Associate Professor Levack would now be in a position to provide his leadership to the Wellington campus.

Associate Professor Levack says he was motivated to apply for the role by the encouragement of other staff.

“Having worked full-time here since 2003, I am passionate about the work we do, proud of our accomplishments and very keen to contribute further to the growth of teaching and research excellence here over the next five to 10 years.

“My success in this role will be hugely dependent on the support of our excellent staff.”

Associate Professor Levack says there will be challenges for the School going forward, with 2020 likely to be a very busy year.

“Fortunately we have a team of amazing people in all of our core areas of business – clinical, academic, and professional – so we are in a good position to meet these challenges.”

He believes one of the School’s strengths is its location in the capital city.

"I think the Wellington campus can play a key role in connecting the University to government, and by extension, to the rest of the country."

Associate Professor Levack will step down from his roles as Associate Dean of Research and Academic Head of the RTRU when he takes up his new position on 15 January. He has been promoted to Professor from 1 February.