Avondale appoints new president

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Professor Petrie.

Avondale University College has appointed a new vice-chancellor and president after its council completed a “vigorous” four-month process of application, interview, discussion and vote yesterday (March 24).

Professor Kevin Petrie brings to the role an understanding not only of higher education but also of the way it is being provided at Avondale. He served until yesterday afternoon as dean of the Faculty of Education, Business and Science and previously as a lecturer and senior lecturer in and head of the School of Education. And he is an alumnus of Avondale, having graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) in 1995 and a Master of Education in 2002.

An interest in school bullying, school climate, peer popularity, classroom management, teacher education and mentoring has informed Professor Petrie’s research. As has professional experience predominantly within the New Zealand school system as a primary teacher and principal. A move to Melbourne saw Professor Petrie complete a Doctor of Education while working part-time at La Trobe University.

Chancellor Pastor Glenn Townend describes the new president as a listener with a “calm . . . but determined” style but notes that the impact of the coronavirus will challenge his leadership.

“I have already prayed for Kevin in his new role and wished him God’s full blessing,” writes Pastor Townend in an email to staff members and students. “I encourage you to do the same.”

Professor Petrie replaces Dr Ray Roennfeldt, who announced his retirement on November 4 after 11 years in the role.