Leadership change at Avondale University

Outgoing president Professor Kevin Petrie.

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The search for a new vice-chancellor and president of Avondale University will now begin following a decision by Professor Kevin Petrie to step down.

Professor Petrie yesterday informed members of Avondale Council, staff and students that this semester will be his final one in the role.

“I count it as one of the greatest privileges of my life to have served in this capacity and thank Council for entrusting me with this opportunity and responsibility,” he wrote. “I am passionate about the role Avondale plays in transforming lives and positive about Avondale’s future in continuing to make a significant difference in the journey of all who come here.” 

He thanked staff for their “support, enthusiasm and commitment” and challenged students to continue the legacy of graduates who serve their world for good.

Chancellor Pastor Glenn Townend acknowledged Professor Petrie’s contribution to Avondale over the past three years. “He has given steady and deeply spiritual leadership during a very difficult time for Avondale—the COVID-19 restrictions,” Pastor Townend said.

“His thoroughly Adventist approach to academia has been a blessing to everyone. Receiving university status was a milestone in his tenure. We know Kevin’s gifts and skills will be a blessing in future roles.

“Council will work with Kevin in the transition and is committed to ensuring a transformative on-campus experience as the primary mode of business and look at creative ways with stakeholders to develop Avondale and to open new markets for students. We thank everyone for their prayers as we pursue this vision with God.”

Appointed as vice-chancellor and president in 2020, Professor Petrie previously served as dean of the Faculty of Education, Business and Science, and, before that, as a lecturer and senior lecturer in and head of the School of Education.

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