Sociologist Zlatko Skrbis takes over as ACU’s fourth Vice Chancellor

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Slovenian-born sociologist Prof Zlatko Skrbis is ACU’s fourth Vice Chancellor, taking over from long serving and high-profile VC Prof Greg Craven.

Australian Catholic University has appointed Professor Zlatko Skrbis as the University’s next Vice-Chancellor and President.

The Slovenian-born sociologist joined ACU in 2018 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) after holding senior executive roles at the University of Queensland and Monash University; he replaces Prof Greg Craven who is retiring after 13 years leading Australia’s largest Catholic tertiary institution.

ACU Chancellor John Fahey announced the appointment on 6 August.

Migration, social theory and youth researcher

Professor Skrbis holds a PhD in Sociology and has a prominent international research profile in the fields of migration, social theory and youth studies.

He is currently serving as Acting Provost.

Grounded in mission

Prof Skrbis has been instrumental in establishing a university-wide program focused on creating new and mission-based value for the University. He said he was committed to ensuring that ACU students were grounded in Catholic mission and were prepared for a career that would likely be characterised by unpredictable shifts and turns.

“I believe that to maintain a competitive advantage, ACU must deliver a diverse range of market-facing courses that lead to future-ready career outcomes,” he said.

“This will be achieved by offering courses that provide our students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the demands of current and emerging markets.”

Prof Skrbis said he was honoured to be appointed as ACU’s fourth Vice-Chancellor and President, and that he would build on the impressive achievements of his predecessors.

Building the Catholic intellectual tradition

“It is humbling to be the next Vice-Chancellor and President of ACU. Whilst still very young, our University has already made a significant mark on the Catholic and higher education landscape in Australia and internationally. I am particularly grateful to Professor Craven for his wisdom, guidance, and support,” he said.

“I am committed to providing ACU with leadership that is grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and predicated on a strong commitment to excellence, enterprise, and empathy.

“My ambition is that we evolve as a dynamic and innovative university, while being globally recognised as an institution that adheres to its strong Catholic principles and makes a tangible improvement to the lives of others through excellence in education, research, and community engagement.”

Mr Fahey, who led the international search for a successor to the high-profile Prof Craven, congratulated Prof Skrbis on his appointment. He said the academic had already established himself as playing a fundamental role in the future of the University.

“He is an outstanding candidate with a solid background in the Australian higher education sector,” Mr Fahey said.

“He has built a distinguished international research profile and is committed to the tradition of Catholic higher education. The University’s Senate and I look forward to working with Professor Skrbis.”

Prof Skrbis will take up his role on Monday 11 January 2021.

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