Professor Kerri-Lee Krause

New VC to lead renewal at Avondale

Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Brenton Stacey
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Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale University’s Public Relations and Philanthropy Officer. He brings to the role experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities.

Brings senior sector experience and stability

An internationally recognised academic who has shaped higher education policy and practice in Australia is the new vice-chancellor and president of Avondale University.

With long-standing senior executive experience, including at The University of Melbourne, Professor Kerri-Lee Krause has a record of leading strategic change by engaging students and staff members in cultural transformation.

She is also committed to enhancing quality, serving as deputy chair of the federal government’s Higher Education Standards Panel, chair of its Advisory Committee for the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions, and board member of the peak body representing independent higher education providers. Her research informs the contemporary student experience, the evolving nature of academic work and higher education leadership, quality and standards.

“Kerri-Lee brings great sector knowledge and experience,” writes Chancellor Pr Glenn Townend in an email to staff members today. And her appointment brings a sense of stability, with the former provost serving as interim vice-chancellor and president since April. In the role, “she worked with a taskforce of senior colleagues on a renewal plan that has now been endorsed by [the university] council to secure Avondale’s future,” writes Townend.

“I am honoured to serve Avondale in this capacity and am dedicated to renewing our university’s focus on developing and fostering a ‘greater vision of world needs,’” says Krause, a third generation alumnus. “I am delighted to lead a university with a longstanding mission of transforming lives and communities. I look forward to the challenge of collaborating with our students, staff members and industry partners to refresh our appeal to the next generation of learners through a range of new pathways into our nationally recognised top-tier courses.”

That recognition comes from students who, according to the 2021-2022 national Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching survey, rank Avondale as number one in Australia for quality of educational experience and quality of teaching practices. “These rankings are a tribute to our students, staff members and the wraparound experience we offer to support student wellbeing, resilience and success,” says Krause.

Avondale is one of Australia’s newest universities but has a pioneering heritage—established in 1897 by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Building on the legacy of church founder Ellen White, Krause is the first woman to lead Avondale. “I admire the tenacity and vision of Ellen White. She fought so hard to establish this place when resources were tight and when many had trouble imagining how it might work. Now I am privileged to play my part in partnering with students, staff members and members of the community to bring continued success for all.”