Avondale appoints new vice-chancellor

New Avondale vice-chancellor Dr Malcolm Coulson.

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Avondale’s council has appointed a new vice-chancellor and president for the university.

Dr Malcolm Coulson, the interim vice-chancellor, brings to Avondale years of experience in the Seventh-day Adventist education sector, in which he has served as a teacher, principal, lecturer and administrator, the latter in the role of vice-president (learning and teaching) at Avondale. A former president of Fulton Adventist University College in Fiji and director of education for the Church in the South Pacific, “his knowledge of education across sectors, including Australian higher education, and in different countries, makes him the best person to lead Avondale to its desired future”, said chancellor Pastor Glenn Townend.

As a member of Avondale Council, Dr Coulson helped prepare the university’s re-registration submission and develop a Renewal Plan for sustainability and growth. “He knows the goals and now can lead toward their fulfilment,” said Pastor Townend. “His questions on council are challenging, and his insights are reasoned and wise.”

Pastor Townend described Dr Coulson as a “spiritual man who confidently articulates the mission of Avondale”—to transform lives through Christ-centred higher education. “Our whole-of-life philosophy is unique and just as relevant today as when our pioneers first articulated it,” said Dr Coulson. “It needs to inform our identity and decision-making.”

Avondale, as Dr Coulson sees it, supports the aspirations of students and their families, supports ministries of the Church and serves the community, locally and “with a sense of the needs of the wider world”. He is impressed by the promise of Proverbs 3:6: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (NKJV).

Dr Coulson replaces Professor Kerri-Lee Krause, who has called time on her tenure as the first woman to lead Avondale since its founding in 1897. Appointing him now—with Professor Krause finishing towards the end of this month (July)—“gives Avondale continuity of leadership”, said Pastor Townend.

“Anyone accepting a leadership role at Avondale appreciates its 127-year history and its impact on people,” said Dr Coulson. “I certainly do. Avondale at its best is a cohesive and positive environment and my hope is to ensure staff members and students feel valued.”

Dr Coulson is married to Marcia, the professional experience placement officer in the School of Education and Science.

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