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Professor Shirley Leitch and Dr Bronwen Whiting

Professor Shirley Leitch and Dr Bronwen Whiting

Farewell, Professor Shirley Leitch

21 March 2017

On Friday, staff of the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE) gathered to bid a fond farewell to outgoing Dean, Professor Shirley Leitch, who is leaving the College to take up the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education & Global Engagement) at ANU.

CBE’s Associate Dean (Education), Dr Bronwen Whiting, was among those to thank Professor Leitch for her many contributions to the College.

“Shirley has shaped and spearheaded significant strategic advances for CBE and left the College in a very strong budgetary position,” said Dr Whiting.

“She has been a strong, thoughtful and forward-thinking leader and colleague, who has attracted and nurtured an amazing group of academic and professional staff at all levels, and has directed the College into the world-class facility it is today.”

Among her achievements as Dean of CBE, Professor Leitch deepened the College’s external engagement with industry, public sector, and international partners. Her legacy also includes the establishment of a suite of internship programs, a major upgrade of the College facilities - especially those that support informal learning activities -  and an expansion of international partnerships.

“It’s been a privilege to serve as your Dean,” Professor Leitch said. “The College has grown into a powerhouse for the university and has both the resources and vision to flourish.”

“The College Executive team now boasts both depth of experience and diversity, and will undoubtedly be the source of future leaders for ANU. Outstanding results in the recent Voice Survey spoke to the transformation of the internal culture that has taken place under their collective leadership. For me, the  Survey results were just a confirmation of what I experience everyday - a happier and more confident culture.”

Originally from New Zealand, with a doctorate from the University of Auckland, Professor Leitch, has lived and worked in Australia for the past decade. Her own research is focused on public discourse and change, including science-society engagement in relation to controversial science and technology. Her research will keep her connected  to the College, especially through her work with CBE colleagues on a new ARC Linkage project on Reducing Railway Suicides for Sydney Trains.

Professor Leitch has always been actively involved in external engagement as an advisor, board member and entrepreneur. In 2011, she co-founded  Online Education Services Ltd, a successful joint venture with ASX-listed company, SEEK Ltd, and served as founding Chairman. This week, it was announced that a 30% stake in the joint venture company was sold for A$118.5 million.

Professor Leitch has also been named by the UK Guardian as one of the top 10 social media influencers in Australian higher education.

“A loss for CBE is a gain for the wider ANU community,” said Dr Whiting. “We congratulate Shirley on her new position, and wish her the best for all of her future endeavours.”

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Updated:   21 March 2017 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team