The University of Notre Dame Australia has announced the appointment of Professor Francis Campbell as its vice chancellor commencing January 2020.
Professor Campbell is currently the vice chancellor at St Mary’s University, Twickenham in London and will become Notre Dame’s fourth vice chancellor.
He will succeed Professor Celia Hammond who resigned last month after 21 years and has replaced former foreign minister Julie Bishop as a candidate for the seat of Curtin in the Federal election.
Notre Dame’s chancellor Chris Ellison said that the directors and trustees of Notre Dame were delighted to welcome Professor Campbell.
“Professor Campbell has an outstanding reputation as an academic and diplomat, and brings considerable wisdom, leadership and international relationships to his new role at Notre Dame,” he said.
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Professor Campbell’s tertiary qualifications include an MA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania in the USA and an MA in European Integration from the Katholieke Universiteit in Belgium. He has received honorary doctorates from five universities worldwide and an Honorary Fellowship from St Edmund’s College at Cambridge University in the UK.
He is also an accomplished diplomat, having served as the UK’s ambassador to the Holy See, and a term as private secretary to former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Professor Campbell said he was excited to be joining Notre Dame.
“[It’s] reputation among Australian universities is exemplary and I am honoured at the opportunity to become its fourth vice chancellor,” he said.
“As a university, Notre Dame draws on centuries of teaching, scholarship and research, foundations which it shares with over 2000 Catholic universities and colleges across the world. Notre Dame’s 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 aim to protect and nurture Notre Dame’s outstanding achievements, in particular, the recognition by its students as the best university in Australia for overall quality of educational experience.
“Universities such as Notre Dame are incredibly successful in balancing their commitment to academic excellence with a strong pastoral care program for students and staff, which I see as essential.
“As vice chancellor, I’m as interested in our students’ personal growth as much as their academic development, because the two are uniquely intertwined.
“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. I am equally excited by the opportunity to further grow and develop Notre Dame across its three campuses, Fremantle, Sydney and Broome.
“I am honoured to take on this role at Notre Dame as I will have the opportunity, along with a wonderful team and community of highly committed people, to contribute to the future of a vibrant, modern and growing university which draws on centuries of tradition.
“The Fremantle Campus is something to behold, with its collection of heritage buildings. I am also looking forward to moving to Australia, a country where my family put down roots from Ireland in previous generations.”