Lincoln University Chancellor, Tom Lambie, today announced the appointment of Dr Andrew West – former Chief Executive of AgResearch Ltd and current Adjunct Professor of AgriBusiness at the University of Waikato – as the new Vice-Chancellor of New Zealand’s specialist land-based university.
In August 2011 outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor Roger Field announced his intention to retire from the role with effect from April 2012. An international executive search process has taken place over the summer with Dr West accepting the position this week. Dr West will take up the position of Vice-Chancellor from 16 April.
Dr Andrew West comes to the University from a career spanning education, science and innovation, agriculture, process manufacturing and tourism. Educated in the United Kingdom, Dr West graduated with a BSc in Ecology from the University of Westminster and a PhD from the Council for National Academic Awards prior to emigrating to New Zealand.
Dr West has been particularly influential in his roles as leader of the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Ltd (GNS) and latterly AgResearch Ltd. As Chief Executive of these highly acclaimed organisations, Dr West focused particularly on wealth creation and environmental management, working extensively with the oil, gas, minerals, seafood, dairy, meat, wool, agritechnology and biotechnology industries, and firms therein, including overseeing mergers and acquisitions.
In a manner that complemented those Crown research institute leadership positions, Dr West was instrumental in the establishment and early leadership of the NZ Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and in running the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Throughout his career, Dr West has also been involved in a large number of directorships, predominantly within the primary industry sector, but also with a strong emphasis on innovation and commercialisation.
“The Council is delighted to be able to make this appointment. We had a number of very high calibre applicants – showing the regard this institution is held in, both here and overseas – and the selection process has been rigorous and closely fought. As a result we now have the right person to lead this university into the future,” says Tom Lambie.
“Despite the recent earthquakes in the region, the University has demonstrated its resilience and is continuing to significantly contribute to the overall recovery. The University is committed to contributing to creating wealth and increasing productivity in the land-based sectors, while achieving matching sustainability and environmental goals. The role of the new Vice-Chancellor will be to build on the current strengths, recognise the future opportunities, and to lead Lincoln University into the future. The success of the University will be dependent upon the quality of this leadership and the Council has been very fortunate to have been able to secure the skills of Dr West for this role”.
Dr West’s achievements have been recognised by his peers and others, as noted by the awarding of the Thomson Medal for outstanding contributions to the development of science and technology from the Royal Society of New Zealand (2008); an Honorary Fellowship of Waikato Institute of Technology (2009); and, most recently, a Companionship of the Royal Society of New Zealand (2010).
“It is a privilege to be asked to lead such a venerated institution, one with a genuinely global and well-earned reputation. Lincoln University is claimed to be the longest established agricultural education institute in the southern hemisphere and is one of the older organisations in New Zealand society. I relish the move to Canterbury. The excellence of teaching and research, and the quality of staff and students at Lincoln University very much attracted me to this role. Moreover, I look forward to working with the land-based industries of New Zealand and those of other countries. Lincoln University is New Zealand’s only specialist university and the only university to be located in the countryside, true to the spirit of its land-based specialisation. Long may that continue,” says Dr West.