VUW welcomes Professor Guilford as its new Vice-Chancellor

Press Release – Victoria University of Wellington

The new Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington, Professor Grant Guilford, has been officially welcomed to his new role at a formal occasion held on Victoria’s Te Herenga Waka marae.

The welcome for Professor Guilford and his family was hosted by Victoria’s Chancellor, Ian McKinnon, and led by Professor Piri Sciascia, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) at Victoria. It was attended by over 100 dignitaries, including members of parliament, Wellington local government, school, business and sporting leaders, student representatives and academic colleagues from both Victoria and Auckland universities.

Mr McKinnon said he was proud to welcome Professor Guilford to Victoria University and expressed his confidence that the new Vice-Chancellor would continue Victoria’s successful journey.

“You now lead a University that has made great strides in its history, not least in recent years,” Mr McKinnon said.

That includes having many established national and international relationships, the lead ranking in the quality of its research across all its disciplines, a commitment to diversity and equity and a strong emphasis on providing its students with an outstanding experience, Mr McKinnon said.

At the welcome, Professor Guilford, the former Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Auckland, outlined his vision for taking Victoria University forward.

He told guests that he will build on the outstanding achievements accomplished by his predecessor, Professor Pat Walsh, and lead Victoria to be ranked among the top 50 capital city universities in the world.

Professor Guilford said cultivating creative capital will be central to Victoria taking its place among an elite group of capital city universities.

“By that, I mean expressing new possibilities through creative activity, incorporating the genius behind art, music and writing, the curiosity and insight that finds new solutions to complex issues and the entrepreneurship that establishes new businesses. It is inspiration, innovation and leadership.”

A second, crucial role for Victoria, says Professor Guilford, is shaping national identity — something he describes as a particular responsibility for a capital city university.

Short Biography: Professor W. Grant Guilford

Professor Guilford was previously the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Auckland and a member of the Senior Management Team. He has successfully led large and complex academic organisations, beginning with the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University and continuing to his previous role as Dean of Sciences.

The Faculty of Sciences at the University of Auckland has approximately 850 staff and 7,500 students, including 1,400 postgraduates. It spans natural and social science disciplines, encompasses a number of professions and has revenues in excess of $180 million.

Professor Guilford holds a Bachelor of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from Massey University and a PhD in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis. Earlier in his career he undertook teaching, research, clinical and leadership roles at the University of Missouri, the University of California, Davis, and Massey University.

He has driven major capital works processes and participated in a wide range of commercialisation processes, and has been on the board of a number of companies, research consortia, joint ventures, centres of research excellence and a Crown research institute.

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