Griffith welcomes new Vice Chancellor

Griffith University welcomes the arrival of its recently appointed Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Carolyn Evans, today.

Professor Evans joins the Griffith community following her role as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Graduate and International) and Deputy Provost at the University of Melbourne.

Griffith University Chancellor Mr Henry Smerdon AM has described Professor Evans as “a dynamic, experienced and outstanding university leader with the drive to take Griffith into the future”.

In her introductory address to the community, Professor Evans said she was honoured to step into the role of Vice Chancellor — she is only the fifth person to hold the title since Griffith’s inception in 1971 — and highlighted the University’s dedication to progressive, socially inclusive values in its research and operating environment as a key drawcard for leaving her Melbourne post.

“I was attracted to Griffith because of its dual commitments to excellence in all aspects of its work alongside a commitment to strong values, particularly around inclusion and social justice,” Professor Evans said.

“I am looking forward to building on that legacy and, indeed, on the broader legacy of Griffith, which was established with a distinctive identity that embraced interdisciplinarity, a focus on Asia and research excellence.”

Also key to Professor Evans’ enthusiasm to make the move north are Griffith’s close ties to — and demonstrable impact in — its local communities, with the University’s geographically and socially distinct campuses each contributing its own strengths and flavours to the GU cultural stew.

“I firmly believe that the best universities are transformative,” she said. “They change the lives of the individual students by the experience of education and the support they provide.

“They change the lives of all those who benefit from the research, public intellectual engagement, clinics, performances and exhibitions, and a myriad of community connections they create.

“All of this is only possible through a strong partnership between academics, staff, students, alumni and so many others who create a vibrant and strong university community. I am just delighted to now be part of that community here at Griffith.”

In addition to her work at the University of Melbourne, Professor Evans’ academic credentials also include a doctorate from Oxford University, at which she studied as a Rhodes Scholar and received the esteemed Fulbright Senior Scholarship.

Outside academia, Professor Evans is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and, prior to her time in tertiary education, she worked as a lawyer for a leading national law firm.