Professor Mike Calford steps down as Provost

6 December 2019

After two years overseeing a major reform program at The Australian National University (ANU), Professor Mike Calford will finish up in the role of Provost in February 2020.

As the University's chief academic officer and senior deputy to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Calford has led major strategic improvements in the academic domain at ANU.

This includes revolutionising student admissions, reforming budgeting processes, and changing the way the University implements National Institutes Grant funding.

He also had overall responsibility for the University's successful SAGE Athena-SWAN bronze award application - which Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt labelled "a great achievement for ANU". 

Professor Mike Calford said it had been an honour to serve in the role of ANU Provost and he was proud of the major innovations undertaken by the University during his time in office. 

"It has been a great privilege to be here at ANU in this role," Professor Calford said.

"ANU is truly Australia's national university.

"Over the last two years, working closely with the Vice-Chancellor and the executive, we have built a strategic plan that builds on this great institution's legacy of leadership for Australia.

"Our vision for ANU will ensure its ongoing role in providing the best thinking, teaching, research, innovation and public discussion that has genuine national impact and national reach.

"I look forward to seeing ANU fulfil that vision.

"I'm particularly proud of the work we have undertaken to reshape admissions. It's been a bold move and has turned many heads in the sector. But it is the right move.

"Admissions reform is opening the doors to people from all backgrounds, experiences and walks of life, ensuring our campus community reflects the diverse nature and needs of the nation, our region and the world."

After finishing in the role of Provost, Professor Calford will take up a position as an Emeritus Professor.

"I am really looking forward to continuing my neuroscience research and writing a few papers," Professor Calford said.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Schmidt thanked Professor Calford for his exceptional service to the University over the last two years, and "for his wisdom and leadership as Provost".

"Mike has been the right Provost for ANU during these times of change," Professor Schmidt said. "His years of leadership experience have been invaluable as we have worked together to deliver our ANU Strategic Plan.

"But I know Mike has increasingly been drawn back to thinking about his research, and reminiscing about his previous stint at ANU when he led the psychobiology laboratory in the then School of Psychology and held an NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship.

"After serving an unbroken 15 years in executive roles at four universities, Mike wanted to spend a few years being once again a researcher - a role he loves, but hasn't been able to completely focus on since 2004.  He also plans to contribute to developments across the higher education sector.

"With profound respect, I have accepted his decision, and I am delighted that Mike will become an Emeritus Professor in the ANU College of Health and Medicine when he steps down as Provost."