After seven years of exceptional service to The University of Queensland, Professor Peter Høj AC formally advised UQ’s Senate on Thursday 30 May of his intention to retire from his role as Vice-Chancellor, effective 30 June 2020.
Chancellor Peter Varghese AO said Professor Høj’s thoughtful decision to advise Senate so far in advance of his planned departure would ensure the University had adequate time to find the next Vice-Chancellor and achieve a smooth transition.
Senate last night appointed a selection committee to oversee the process, chaired by the Chancellor, and approved an international search to commence.
Mr Varghese acknowledged the enormous contribution Professor Høj has made to UQ during one of the most significant periods of change for the sector.
“Under Peter’s leadership, UQ’s budget has returned to surplus through significant growth in international student numbers, business partnerships and improved operating performance,” Mr Varghese said.
“Peter has also led the development of UQ’s first philanthropic campaign, which has now raised $400m of our $500m target and, last year alone, awarded scholarships to more than 505 students who otherwise may not have had the chance to study at UQ.
“From a research perspective, Peter has overseen an improvement in UQ’s international rankings – consolidating its top-50 global position, continuing its strong track record of research commercialisation and deep global partnerships with world-renowned institutions. When Peter took up the Vice-Chancellor position, UQ was ranked 90 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Today it is ranked 55.
“Under his leadership, UQ is now one of Australia’s best teaching institutions, with graduate employability and employer satisfaction rates among the highest in Australia. More recently, his commitment to diversity has seen UQ launch its Reconciliation Action Plan and participate in the SAGE Pilot of Athena SWAN, a program that promotes and measures our progress on gender equity.
“To achieve so much requires great personal sacrifice and energy, and Peter has done this with the utmost passion and integrity.”
Over the next 13 months, Professor Høj will continue to deliver on the ambitious program of work that he has set for the University.
By the time he retires from his role on 30 June 2020, he will have served a combined 13 years as a Vice-Chancellor, both at The University of Queensland and the University of South Australia.