Murdoch appoints new Vice Chancellor

December 1, 2015

Professor Eeva Leinonen

Professor Eeva Leinonen

Internationally experienced university leader and academic, Professor Eeva Leinonen has been selected as Murdoch University’s next Vice Chancellor.

Professor Leinonen is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Wollongong, a role she has held since 2012. Prior to this she was Vice Principal (Education) at King’s College London.

She has an academic background in linguistics and psychology and has extensive experience in higher education in the United Kingdom, Europe and internationally, including 19 years at the University of Hertfordshire, where she served as Deputy Vice Chancellor and Dean of Health and Human Sciences.

Announcing the appointment, Murdoch University Chancellor David Flanagan said he was proud to appoint someone of Professor Leinonen’s calibre to Murdoch University’s top job. She will succeed Professor Andrew Taggart, who has been acting in the role for the past 14 months.

“Professor Leinonen is extremely well placed to deliver on our vision to be an internationally recognised research-led institution with high quality learning and teaching,” Mr Flanagan said.

“During her time at the University of Wollongong, Professor Leinonen has significantly advanced agendas that improved the quality of learning and teaching, including the use of technology in learning, the wider student experience, graduate employability, schools outreach and fair access agendas, and the operation of the University’s regional campuses.

“She is a distinguished researcher with international collaborations and outputs focusing on pragmatic language disorders in children. Professor Leinonen understands the importance of maintaining Murdoch’s research-led strategy.

“She also strongly believes in externally focused research as a jointly funded enterprise between universities and industry, commerce and public bodies, and has experience in brokering such partnerships, including the health and pharmaceutical sectors.

“I am also pleased to note that Professor Leinonen has academic leadership experience across Europe, the US, and Dubai. She will no doubt bolster Murdoch’s successful transnational education enterprises."

David Flanagan thanked the Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Taggart for his continued achievements in core priority areas of research, learning and teaching, and international engagement.

“Under his tireless leadership, the University has united around an operational plan, which I hope he will continue to contribute towards,” Mr Flanagan said.

“His enthusiasm for higher education for all and his passionate championing of our enabling programs have been inspirational. We cannot thank him enough for his efforts and leadership as Acting Vice Chancellor.”

Professor Leinonen said she was delighted to be taking the role at Murdoch University at such a critical time in its development.

“After forty years of investment, Murdoch University is now well placed to capitalise on the Australian Government’s renewed focus on innovation and applied research, particularly in the research areas of health, sustainability and food production,” she said.

Professor Leinonen said she saw Murdoch as a university with a solid foundation, a strong research focus and an impressive vision to attract and retain students through quality teaching and learning.

“I am passionate about education and supporting students to reach their potential. I look forward to working with everyone at Murdoch to ensure we exceed student expectations and prepare them to succeed in their lives after graduation,” she said.

“I am excited at being given the opportunity to lead Murdoch University and I am very much looking forward to joining the team and engaging with Murdoch’s supporters and stakeholders.”

When she takes up the role in 2016, Professor Leinonen will be Murdoch University’s first female Vice Chancellor.

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Media contact: Jo Manning
Tel: (08) 9360 2474  |  Mobile: 0408 201 309  |  Email: j.manning@murdoch.edu.au
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