Global ap­proach for UWA

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Near You -

AN in­ter­na­tional flavour will ar­rive at UWA in one pack­age when Kent An­der­son takes up new his ap­point­ment as Deputy Vice-Chan­cel­lor for Com­mu­nity and En­gage­ment on Oc­to­ber 1.

Pro­fes­sor An­der­son said he was in­trigued by the prospect of the role when one of his peers men­tioned it.

“Higher ed­u­ca­tion is a pretty small cir­cle,” he said.

“When some­one was talk­ing about it, I said ‘that sounds like a lot of fun’.”

Prof An­der­son, who has spent the past few years in Ade­laide as Pro ViceChan­cel­lor (In­ter­na­tional) at the Univer­sity of Ade­laide and Pro­fes­sor of Law in the Ade­laide Law School, said he was keen to move to Perth.

“Hav­ing grown up in Alaskan win­ters, I’m loving the heat,” he said. “I think I’m en­joy­ing the thaw.” Prof An­der­son grew up in Alaska be­fore study­ing in Ja­pan, Ox­ford in Eng­land and the US spe­cial­is­ing in law, pol­i­tics, eco­nomics and Asian stud­ies.

Be­fore study­ing, he had another life as a com­mer­cial lawyer in Hawaii and as an air­line ex­ec­u­tive in mar­ket­ing.

“I have been in­cred­i­bly lucky and priv­i­leged to move around the world,” Prof An­der­son said.

He said Ja­panese univer­si­ties were akin to UWA.

“I was a Hokkaido Univer­sity, which is sim­i­lar to UWA with their group of eight – it has a group of seven,” Prof An­der­son said.

“It is a pub­lic uni with a col­le­gial man­age­ment style, was founded on a ter­ri­tory – a new ad­ven­tur­ous place just like UWA was 100 years ago. “There are many sim­i­lar­i­ties.” Prof An­der­son ex­pects to take a grass roots ap­proach to the po­si­tion when he be­gins.

“I like to get my feet un­der the desk and lis­ten to peo­ple – it’s crit­i­cal to get­ting things right,” he said.

“Ba­si­cally I don’t want to screw it up be­cause there are so many good things hap­pen­ing at UWA.”

Prof An­der­son said his po­si­tion would be to see how the univer­sity was in­volv­ing the com­mu­nity.

“Univer­si­ties are a global world. I want them to learn from the won­der­ful things go­ing on here and get the mes­sage out to the wider world,” he said.

“Ba­si­cally shine that into a big­ger per­spec­tive.

“You can only do that by en­gag­ing on a broader scale.

“As an ex­am­ple the Perth In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val of Arts; are peo­ple in Sin­ga­pore aware of that, have they seen the gi­ant mar­i­onettes?

“We al­ready have ex­cel­lent re­sults and an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion but pro­mot­ing the uni is what we need to do – un­for­tu­nately do­ing things we are un­com­fort­able with as aca­demics.

“It will greatly help UWA’s goal of get­ting into the top 50 by 2050.”

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