New governance structure key to transformational change

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Professor Kerri-Lee Krause.

Appointing an academic recognised for shaping higher education policy and practice to a new executive role is the latest marker on Avondale University College’s road map for sustainable transformation.

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause will become the senior academic leader when she begins as provost (senior deputy vice-chancellor) in April next year. The Avondale alumna is currently deputy vice-chancellor (Student Life) and deputy provost at The University of Melbourne, where she is accountable for the quality of the student experience.

Perhaps significantly for Avondale, the federal government appointed Prof Krause as deputy chair of its Higher Education Standards Panel. She also leads the Ministerial Implementation Working Group for the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions.

“We welcome the experience and expertise that Professor Krause will bring . . . and are grateful for the leading that has made this possible,” writes vice-chancellor and president Professor Kevin Petrie in an email to staff members. “I look forward to working with and learning from Professor Krause in the years ahead.”

A senior academic position at the deputy vice-chancellor level is a recommendation from a report commissioned for the higher education sector that informed a new governance structure model at Avondale. The model includes two vice-president (deputy vice-chancellor) positions and a chief operating officer. With Prof Krause’s appointment, Professor Stephen Currow will transition from vice-president (Academic) to deputy vice-chancellor (Quality & Risk) and Kelvin Peuser from vice-president (Quality, Risk and Infrastructure) to chief operating officer.

Having served as an executive at La Trobe University, Victoria University and the University of Western Sydney, Prof Krause has a record of leading strategic change “underpinned by a deep commitment to engaging students and staff through cultural transformation,” writes Prof Petrie. Her experience includes: systemic improvement of the student experience and outcomes; renewal of university-wide curriculum; and the reshaping of staff promotion policies and processes to recognise and reward contemporary academic work.

A return to her alma mater—Prof Krause graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) in 1987—will, adds Prof Petrie, further “the cause of Avondale and of the quality Adventist education that it aims to provide”.

Prof Krause began her career as a teacher in the Seventh-day Adventist school system before moving, with a master’s and PhD from Macquarie University, to the higher education sector.