New Acting Vice-Chancellor at Lincoln University will take up post in January

Professor Bruce McKenzie has been appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln University, taking over from Professor James McWha in January.

The appointment of Professor McKenzie, now Lincoln’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, follows the Government’s initiative to investigate an alternative structural arrangement for the university, which has resulted in partnership discussions with the University of Canterbury.

Negotiations continue and both parties will provide a proposal to Education Minister Chris Hipkins in December.

Chancellor Steve Smith said Professor McKenzie will provide solid, stable leadership to Lincoln while its future is determined.

“Bruce is well known to Lincoln and has a proven track record of impeccable leadership after working at the university for more than 30 years,” he said.

“Staff have shown overwhelming support for his appointment, and we are thrilled that Bruce has agreed to take on the role.”

Professor McKenzie’s association with the university began in the early 1980s, when he attended Lincoln as a postgraduate student, completing a postgraduate diploma in agricultural science and then a PhD in agronomy and crop science.

For 22 years he was an Associate Professor of Agronomy, responsible for teaching a range of classes in plant science, statistics and annual crop production.

In 2008, he became Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which involved managing 150 staff members in four departments.

He worked in this role for more than seven years before becoming the university’s Chief Academic Officer, overseeing Lincoln’s academic faculties, as well as the Library, Teaching and Learning department, University Studies and English Language, and the Research Management Office.

He was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor earlier this year.

Outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor McWha is expected to take on the role of Provost, which will involve offering advice, guidance and support to the university.

Professor McKenzie will take over as Acting Vice-Chancellor from 1 January 2019 and remain in the position until 30 June 2020.

Source:  Lincoln University

Scottish politician is shown agri-science projects during Lincoln University visit

The Secretary of State for Scotland was shown a new treatment system for dairy farm effluent during a visit to Lincoln University.

The Rt Hon David Mundell was at Lincoln as part of a trip around the country to explore potential opportunities for collaboration between New Zealand and the UK after Brexit.

He and his delegation met with Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha, then visited Lincoln’s Ashley Dene Research Development Station.

He heard from Assistant Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Edwards, fellow Scotsman Professor Keith Cameron and Lincoln Agritech’s Dr Blair Miller, about some of the innovations they have developed in recent years.

One project that attracted particular attention was ClearTech, a treatment system for dairy farm effluent which was developed in collaboration with Ravensdown and is designed to treat and recyle water at the dairy shed, thereby saving freshwater.

Professor Cameron said the visit proved “very positive”.

“The delegation were really interested in the science and technology development that we do at Lincoln University and Lincoln Agritech, because the UK and New Zealand share similar challenges in terms of sustainable production and environmental protection.”

The British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Laura Clarke, was part of the delegation. She complimented the university and Lincoln Agritech on the science and innovation that is being conducted.

Lincoln looks forward to potential future collaborations in science and innovation between New Zealand and the UK, Professor Cameron said.

Source: Lincoln University

Leadership change at Lincoln University as Professor McWha takes the helm



Professor James McWha,

Lincoln University has announced the resignation of Professor Robin Pollard as Vice-Chancellor and the appointment of Professor James McWha as his successor on a fixed term through to December 2018.

Chancellor Steve Smith said Professor Pollard was leaving to pursue new opportunities and he received his resignation with regret

A university spokeswoman said Professor Pollard was overseas and not available for comment, according to a report on the Stuff website.

He will stay on for a short period as a special projects adviser reporting to Professor McWha.

In a press statement announcing the leadership changes, Chancellor Smith said Professor Pollard could claim much credit for his leadership of Lincoln University during a period of significant challenge and change.

“He has helped engineer the financial and organisational revival of the University, including posting its first surplus for 10 years in 2016, followed by another record surplus in 2017.

“Professor Pollard was also instrumental in introducing concepts for a new way of organising the academic community and encouraged new collaborative ways of working with Crown Research Institutes and private sector companies.

“These achievements will bring lasting benefits to the University.”

Professor McWha has excelled in senior academic positions around the world and was foundation chief executive of HortResearch, which was merged with Crop and Food Research in 2008 to form Plant & Food Research..

Lincoln University was in good hands as it embarked on the next stage of the transformation set out in the Transformation Board report and the reshaping of its leadership around a culture of excellence and collaboration, Chancellor Smith said.

The Stuff report recalled Professor Pollard starting his term in difficult and controversial circumstances.

He angered the Tertiary Education Union by going undercover in February 2016, interviewing staff as a “visiting academic” before revealing he would be their new boss.

The post had been vacant for six months following the resignation of Andy West, who received a payment to “acknowledge his contributions to the university” upon leaving, despite concerns about his spending on consultants.

As vice chancellor, Pollard presided over the university’s “transformation programme”, axing more than 50 jobs and severing ties with its Telford satellite campus in Balclutha to address a $5 million deficit.

Through belt-tightening and a large insurance payout, the university posted its first financial surplus in a decade in 2016 and began construction of a $206m research facility.

Professor Pollard last year dismissed auditors’ recommendation that Lincoln merge with another institution as “naive”, believing the university would survive as a specialist provider of land-based science education and research.

His successor, Professor McWha, was appointed vice chancellor of Massey University in 1996, a position he held until 2002 when he assumed the same role at the University of Adelaide.

In 2013, he helped found and later lead the University of Rwanda as its vice chancellor until 2015.