New VC commences at Notre Dame

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Francis Campbell
Professor Francis Campbell meets first year law students at UNDA. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

The University of Notre Dame’s new Vice Chancellor, Professor Francis Campbell, spent his first full day on the job at the university’s Fremantle campus on 10 February but expects to be a familiar figure soon around Sydney’s Broadway campus.

Joining UNDA is a “huge privilege and honour” and he is looking forward to meeting students, staff and the community across all the campuses in the coming weeks, he said.

Professor Campbell was described upon his appointment in March last year as “one of the most distinguished Catholic laymen in the English-speaking world,” by Australian former ambassador to the Holy See John McCarthy QC.

Prof Campbell was appointed to the position last March but remained in London to conclude his term as vice chancellor of St Mary’s University. A one-time private secretary and adviser to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, he commenced his first full day on campus at Fremantle in Western Australia.

UNDA chancellor Chris Ellison said Prof Campbell has an outstanding reputation as an academic and diplomat and “brings considerable wisdom, leadership and international relationships to Notre Dame”.

Professor Francis Campbell. PHOTO: Supplied

“Over the past year, Prof Campbell has been putting considerable thought and effort into initiatives to establish valuable academic partnerships with international universities to provide our students with incredible opportunities to study locally and overseas,” Mr Ellison said.

Prof Campbell said it is a “huge privilege and honour” to join the university as its fourth vice chancellor. “Notre Dame Australia is a vibrant, modern and growing university which draws on centuries of tradition of learning and wisdom,” he said.

“Its reputation among Australian universities is exemplary and I’m committed to protecting and nurturing its outstanding achievements.

Its great name nationally and internationally is testament to the way its boards and previous vice-chancellors have been careful custodians of that unique heritage and role.

“I’m also excited to be joining a highly experienced and qualified team of professional staff who can be duly proud of what they are achieving for Notre Dame’s students across its three campuses, Fremantle, Sydney and Broome. I’m looking forward to meeting students, staff and the community across all our campuses in the coming weeks.”

Prof Campbell’s extensive tertiary qualifications include a Master of International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania in the USA, where he held a Thouron Fellowship, and a Master of European Integration from the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven in Belgium.

He has received honorary doctorates from five universities worldwide and is an honorary fellow at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University. He also served as the UK’s ambassador to the Holy See from 2005 to 2011.

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