Professor Kerri-Lee Krause

VC calls time on tenure

Wednesday, April 10, 2024
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.

Measured transition to longer-term leadership begins

After three significant years in senior executive leadership, Professor Kerri-Lee Krause will soon conclude her tenure as vice-chancellor and president of Avondale University.

An academic with long-standing experience who has shaped policy and practice in Australia, Professor Krause will seek opportunities to build on her passion for higher education leadership, quality, standards and sector-level reform.

“It has been an honour to return to my alma mater and to provide strategic leadership in support of Avondale’s historic transition to university status,” she said in a message to staff members sent by Chancellor Pr Glenn Townend yesterday (April 9). “I especially pay tribute to the wonderful students, staff and community partners who make Avondale a unique and very special place.”

Building on the legacy of Seventh-day Adventist Church pioneer Ellen White, Professor Krause is the first woman to lead Avondale since its founding in 1897. Appointed vice-chancellor and president in July this past year, her achievements include strengthening university status and implementing a Renewal Plan for sustainability and growth.

Pr Townend acknowledged Professor Krause’s contribution to Avondale. She has advanced Avondale’s reputation as “a high-quality faith-based university with commitment to mission” and for “preparing well-rounded graduates with a greater vision of world needs.” On behalf of Avondale Council, Pr Townend thanked Professor Krause for her “strategic, values-based leadership” and for her “commitment to building capability.”

What of the future for Avondale? Professor Krause says the release of the 2023 Australian Universities Accord presents many opportunities for student-focused universities that provide personalised support while addressing labour market needs, particularly in fields such as nursing and teaching. “We’re seeing soft demand in nursing and teaching across Australia, but I’m confident that will turn around. We can’t operate hospitals and run schools without well-prepared nurses and teachers. They need to train somewhere. And we offer courses students rank as among the best in Australia. I’m also excited about the potential of our VET and short course offerings to meet industry needs.”

The offer of free accommodation and a larger investment in fostering the on-campus Avondale experience has helped fill the student residences this year, despite a move away from full-time study. “The Avondale experience is such a strong value proposition,” says Professor Krause. “We’re six months into our three-year plan, so we must stay the course and continue to do everything we can to support the turnaround that’s started.”

Council will now begin a search process for the next vice-chancellor and president. “A measured transition to support longer-term leadership arrangements, that’s my priority,” says Professor Krause, whose contract ends in July.



  1. One year as vice-chancellor seems to be a short tenure. Why not re-appoint for another year?

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