New ACU Council convenes in London

New ACU Council convenes in London

Published on 04 December 2017

Following his recent appointment as new Chair of ACU Council, Professor Amit Chakma, President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University in Canada, was in London last week to chair his first meeting of Council, welcoming nine new members as well as continuing and re-elected members.

Professor Amit Chakma said: 'I am thrilled to work with colleagues from across the Commonwealth higher education sector in my new role as Chair of the ACU Council, and to lead the organisation in its next phase of development. The ACU has a crucial role to play in connecting universities globally, and I look forward to working with my fellow trustees on Council during my two-year term to advance international learning opportunities for university staff and students.'

Professor Chakma succeeds Professor Jan Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of Massey University, New Zealand who will continue as a co-opted member of Council for a further term. Professor Thomas said: 'I am proud to have been part of the ACU as Chair of Council. This is an institution that really makes a difference and it will go from strength to strength in coming years. I congratulate Professor Chakma on his election as Chair of Council and look forward to continuing to work with him as a member of the Council.'

At the meeting, Council appointed Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, UK to the post of Vice-Chair. Professor Boyle has recently been re-elected as a member of Council for a second term and succeeds Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, South Africa in the post of Vice-Chair.

Additionally, Professor Nirmala Rao, Vice-Chancellor of the Asian University for Women, Bangladesh, was co-opted to serve on the Executive Committee of Council and Professor Wim de Villiers, Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and Professor Nigel Healey, Vice-Chancellor of Fiji National University, were appointed to serve on the Audit and Risk Committee.

Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU said: 'I was delighted to formally welcome all members of Council, both new and returning, when we met in London last week. I’m looking forward to working with them and our new Chair, Professor Amit Chakma, on a revitalised vision for our organisation.

'I would also like to thank all those Council members who have stood down for their hard work and dedication over the last few years – especially our outgoing Chair and Vice-Chair, Professor Jan Thomas and Professor Cheryl de la Rey, who excelled in their roles and helped steer the ACU's strategic direction.'

Find out more about the ACU Council, its role and purpose here.