01st November 2018

Pioneering academic Professor Glyn Davis to speak at Exeter College


Professor Glyn Davis, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, will be speaking at Exeter College on 7 November and all alumni and members of the College are warmly invited to attend.

Professor Davis is a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, an Exeter College Visiting Fellow, and a Visiting Professor in Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. He served as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Melbourne from 2005 until September 2018, becoming the University’s longest serving Vice-Chancellor. During that time he oversaw the University’s rise to 32nd in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, steered it through the largest building programme in its history, and led the institution’s fundraising scheme, the Campaign for the University of Melbourne, which hit its target of A$500 million in philanthropic funds two years ahead of schedule, in 2015, and subsequently reset its target to A$1 billion by 2021.

Professor Davis also oversaw radical changes to teaching at the University of Melbourne, including the creation of the Melbourne Curriculum, which was rolled out in 2008. Instead of focusing on preparing undergraduates for professions, students are asked to complete a broad three-year qualification before undertaking postgraduate professional training or careers in research.

When announcing his decision to step down from the University of Melbourne, Professor Davis, who publishes on public policy, said: ‘For me, a change in role will allow a welcome return to scholarship and teaching, a chance to complete long-standing research projects and to begin some new writing.’

Professor Davis is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Institute of Public Administration Australia. He received the Centenary Medal ‘in recognition of contribution to public service’ and, in 2002, became a Companion of the Order of Australia for his service to public administration. In September 2018 he was awarded the lifetime achievement award in higher education by the Australian Financial Review.

Professor Davis will speak on ‘Thinking about Leadership: Alfred Lord Tennyson and the Temptation of Ulysses’ at the forthcoming Rector’s Seminar. The talk, which will be aimed at a broad audience, will begin at 5.30 pm in the Rector’s Lodgings. There will be an opportunity to put questions to Professor Davis afterwards. The talk is free to attend and there is no need to book.

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