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Our people

Professor Helen Nicholson

Vice-Chancellor (Acting)

Helen Nicholson 2021

Professor Helen Nicholson was appointed Vice-Chancellor (Acting) at the end of March 2021.

After graduating from the University of Bristol, Professor Nicholson 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 became 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 and Enterprise) for six months.

Professor Nicholson was appointed as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) in February 2014 and became the inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) in mid-2015. In January 2021, Professor Nicholson took up the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Professor Nicholson continues to maintain an active research programme and publishes in the areas of clinical anatomy, male reproductive biology and medical education. To date she has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters and has supervised 22 PhD and 30 Masters and Honours students. With Dr Paul Trotman, she contributed to the production of two television documentaries: Donated to Science and Practising Medicine. She is an Executive Committee member of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists.

Professor Nicholson has been a member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Board and the Stakeholders Advisory Board of Education New Zealand.  She is currently a member of the Council of the National University of Samoa, and the Governance groups for the Ageing Well and Healthier Lives National Science Challenges.

Tel +64 3 479 8253
Email vice-chancellor@otago.ac.nz

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Sarah Lines

Sarah Lines

Executive Assistant

As Executive Assistant, Sarah provides high-level confidential, executive support and advice and is the first point of contact for the Vice-Chancellor.  Sarah manages the Vice-Chancellor's appointments, meetings, email and an extensive programme of events.

Sarah previously worked as a Personal Assistant to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic before taking up her current position in February 2016.

Tel +64 3 479 8253
Mobile +64 21 279 8253
Email vice-chancellor@otago.ac.nz

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Eleanor Harrison

Eleanor Harrison

Executive Officer

Since late 2005 Eleanor has provided executive support to two Vice-Chancellors at Otago - Professor Sir David Skegg and now Professor Harlene Hayne.  In her role, she has strategic oversight of the activities in the Vice-Chancellor's Office, working closely with the University's senior leadership team.

She provides governance support to the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Group and allied working groups which report to the Vice-Chancellor.

Tel +64 3 479 8280
Email eleanor.harrison@otago.ac.nz

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Chris Stoddart

Chris Stoddart

Registrar and Secretary to the Council

Mr Chris Stoddart was appointed Registrar and Secretary to the Council at the University of Otago on 1 October 2018.

He provides advice on governance and policy matters and advice and support for the Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor, Council and Committee members.

He leads a team including Corporate Records Services, the University Mediator and Copyright and Open Access.

He is the University’s Privacy Officer.

Tel +64 3 479 8899
Email registrar@otago.ac.nz

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Judith Thompson

Judith Thompson

Executive Officer

As Executive Officer in the Office of the Registrar and Secretary to Council, Judith manges the business of the University Council and its Committees in its annual programme of meetings.  She provides executive support to the Chancellor and members of Council and administrative support to the offices reporting to the Registrar.

She acts as Secretary to the University of Otago Foundation Board and the Ethical Behaviour Committee.

Tel +64 3 479 8250
Email judith.thompson@otago.ac.nz