ASI would like to congratulate Professor Richard Barker, appointed as the next Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago’s Division of Sciences.
Announcing the appointment Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says she is delighted that Professor Barker is moving into the position.
“Richard Barker is a highly experienced academic who has done much to transform his department’s research culture while also enhancing the quality of teaching and service it delivers. Additionally, his cross-disciplinary research background provides him with a strong appreciation of the importance of fostering collaboration across different areas of the University,” Professor Hayne says.
Professor Barker’s research interests include statistical theory, methods and analysis for applications in areas such as fisheries and wildlife ecology, sport science and exercise physiology and climate change.
Professor Barker says he is excited by the opportunity to lead the Division of Sciences at New Zealand’s most science-intensive university.
“It is a privilege to have the chance to build on the legacy established by previous leaders of a division which is already strongly performing in research as measured by its PBRF standing but also by the quality of its teaching,” he says.
Professor Barker says he looks forward to working with Heads of Department and other leaders in the division to build on its existing strengths in the natural and physical sciences, and particularly in areas relating to health sciences.
“A key part of our strategy has to be working with Health Sciences and the other two academic divisions at Otago, which already have strong collaborative links with our division,” he says.
Professor Barker says he is also keen to ensure that the division continues to play its part in supporting Māori and Pacific aspirations and diversity more generally.
“For example, we are already noted for our outreach activities that support Māori and Pacific Island development in the STEM subjects but there is always room for further growth in this area,” he says.