Australian Catholic University (ACU) has extended the contract of its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Craven, by seven years.
Professor Craven, whose initial contract was until 2013, will now remain at the University until March 2018.
A constitutional lawyer and regular contributor to public debate, Professor Craven has led the University through a period of tremendous growth – in student numbers, research, and infrastructure.
Since he commenced in February 2008, equivalent full-time student numbers have grown from 11,000 to 17,000, and are set to reach 25,000 by 2016. Access to university has been a particular focus, with the introduction of programs to engage low SES and disadvantaged students, as well as students who have shown commitment to their communities.
To manage the significant growth in student numbers, Professor Craven has committed to an extensive capital works program of more than $150 million, which began in 2008.
Projects in progress include $18 million worth of improvements at the Brisbane Campus, the new eight-storey National Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Melbourne, and the recent purchase of a 22-storey tower building in North Sydney.
While the University’s traditional operations lie in the areas of health and education, Professor Craven has overseen the introduction of a suite of new courses – from physiotherapy and international development studies, to occupational health, global studies, and public health.
The number of faculties themselves have also grown. The Faculty of Theology and Philosophy was formed in 2009, the Faculty of Business in 2010, and the new Faculty of Law is set to open in 2013.
The single area of the University which has witnessed the biggest growth under the guidance of Professor Craven is research. In late 2009, the University appointed its first stand-alone Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), and completely reconstituted Research Services. Since 2009 the research budget has more than doubled, and will continue to rise.
ACU Chancellor, General Peter Cosgrove, said it was a superb coup to have secured the leadership and vision of Professor Craven for a further seven years.
“Under Professor Craven’s guidance ACU has taken its place alongside the world's great Catholic universities,” he said. “He has proven that a Catholic university is more relevant today than ever, and ensured ACU is an increasingly active and important participant in the national discourse.”