Departing Avondale vice-chancellor thanked for her leadership and commitment

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause.

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After three years in senior executive leadership, Professor Kerri-Lee Krause will soon conclude her tenure as vice-chancellor and president of Avondale University.

An academic with long-standing experience who has shaped policy and practice in Australia, Professor Krause will seek opportunities to build on her passion for higher education leadership, quality, standards and sector-level reform.

“It has been an honour to return to my alma mater and to provide strategic leadership in support of Avondale’s historic transition to university status,” she said in a message to staff members sent by Chancellor Pastor Glenn Townend on April 9. “I especially pay tribute to the wonderful students, staff and community partners who make Avondale a unique and very special place.”

Building on the legacy of Seventh-day Adventist Church pioneer Ellen White, Professor Krause is the first woman to lead Avondale since its founding in 1897. Appointed vice-chancellor and president in July this past year, her achievements include strengthening university status and beginning a renewal plan for sustainability and growth.

Pastor Townend acknowledged Professor Krause’s contribution to Avondale. She has advanced Avondale’s reputation as “a high-quality faith-based university” and for “preparing well-rounded graduates with a greater vision of world needs”. On behalf of Avondale Council, Pastor Townend thanked Professor Krause for her leadership and commitment.

What of the future for Avondale? Professor Krause said the release of the 2023 Australian Universities Accord presents many opportunities for student-focused universities that provide personalised support while addressing labour market needs, particularly in fields such as nursing and teaching.

“We’re seeing soft demand in nursing and teaching across Australia, but I’m confident that will turn around,” she said. “We can’t operate hospitals and run schools without well-prepared nurses and teachers. They need to train somewhere. And we offer courses students rank as among the best in Australia.”

The offer of free accommodation and a larger investment in fostering the on-campus Avondale experience has helped fill the student residences this year, despite a move away from full-time study. “The Avondale experience is such a strong value proposition,” said Professor Krause. 

Council will now begin a search process for the next vice-chancellor and president. Professor Krause’s contract ends in July.

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