UTAS, Hobart campus (Tom Wakefield)

Renowned scientist and university leader Professor Peter Rathjen has been appointed Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide.

When he takes up the role at the start of 2018, it will bring to a close almost seven years as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania – a period which is already being described as historic in the life of the institution.

University of Tasmania Chancellor Michael Field said the transition in leadership would be undertaken with an emphasis on the principles of stability and continuity.

“Changes in leadership are part of the usual course of events for long-standing institutions, but they invite reflection for each successive period,” Chancellor Field said.

“Without doubt, Professor Rathjen has led a transformative phase for the University and we face the future built on a set of foundations which will serve us well in the years, if not decades, ahead.

“Professor Rathjen has navigated a complex and mercurial period in which the relationship between the University and its State have been fundamentally reimagined and redefined.

“This process has been ongoing and will continue to be, but it was clearly manifest in the signing of the historic agreement with the Tasmanian Government, which bonded the efforts of the University with the vital economic and social outcomes required for our State’s future.”