Ian Young to retire as Vice-Chancellor of ANU in 2016

4 February 2015

This is a remarkable institution and it has been a great honour to serve as its Vice-Chancellor at a time of enormous change in the Higher Education sector.

The Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, Professor Ian Young AO, today announced that when his present term as Vice-Chancellor ends in February 2016, he will not be seeking a further term.

“By February 2016, I will have served as a Vice-Chancellor for 13 years in two universities, and in senior executive roles in four institutions over more than 20 years. I have found my time at ANU enormously satisfying. This is a remarkable institution and it has been a great honour to serve as its Vice-Chancellor at a time of enormous change in the Higher Education sector,” Professor Young said.

Professor Young has remained research active throughout his time in senior executive roles, including presently holding two ARC Discovery Grants, and he indicated that a key factor governing his decision was a desire to return to more intense research activity.

“My research interests are presently focused on the understanding of marine environmental extremes. This is a particularly important area in a time of significant climate change and I am keen to be able to devote more time to this critical issue. I plan to join the Centre for Ocean Engineering, Science and Technology at Swinburne University in a research and teaching role, and in addition return to acting as a specialist consultant,” he said.

ANU Chancellor, Professor Gareth Evans AC QC, said that he understood and accepted Professor Young’s decision, given the quality and global relevance of his research interests as a world-ranking oceanographic engineer, but that his departure would be a great loss to the ANU.

“Ian Young has been an outstandingly successful Vice-Chancellor at a time of great turmoil and uncertainty in the tertiary education sector. He has been intensely strategically focused, and totally committed to maintaining and enhancing our national university’s stellar reputation in research, teaching and learning, and public policy outreach. I look forward to him maintaining a cracking pace in his last year with us, and he will have the full support of the University Council in doing so,” Professor Evans said.

Professor Young said he expected his next year at ANU would be very busy.

“In addition to my role as Chair of the Group of Eight and the critical passage of the Government’s Higher Education reforms, there are a host of development activities across the University, including the mid-term review and updating of the University’s Strategic Plan which need to be completed,” he said.

Professor Evans said the University would shortly commence an international search for a new Vice-Chancellor to replace Professor Young, which he hoped would be complete by mid-year in order to enable a seamless transition in February 2016.