27 October 2010

Dr Ziggy Switkowski appointed Chancellor

Photo of new RMIT Chancellor Dr Ziggy Switkowski

Dr Ziggy Switkowski has been appointed Chancellor of RMIT University.

The RMIT University Council has confirmed the appointment of one of Australia's most respected technology, innovation and business leaders, Dr Zygmunt (Ziggy) Switkowski, as Chancellor of RMIT, effective 1 January, 2011.

Dr Switkowski has been Chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation since 2007 and of Opera Australia since 2009.

His distinguished career in business has included serving as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Telstra (1999 - 2005), Chief Executive Officer of Optus (1996 - 1997) and Chairman of Kodak (Australia) (1992 - 1996).

He has had extensive experience on company boards, as well as engagement with arts organisations and universities.

Chancellor Anne Dalton said Dr Switkowski represented an outstanding fit with RMIT's vision and strategic plans as a global university of technology and design.

"Council was unanimous in its decision and we are absolutely delighted to appoint Dr Switkowski," Ms Dalton said.

Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, welcomed Council's choice: "RMIT is global in its outlook and action, with a focus on work-related learning and research. In many ways, Dr Switkowski's background and achievements personify the RMIT difference - global, urban and industry engaged."

RMIT is one of Australia's original and leading educational institutions producing some of Australia's most employable graduates - currently ranked 76th in the world by global employers.

The University has teaching and research connections on every continent and has extensive links with partner institutions, which deliver RMIT degrees and diplomas in Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai. RMIT has highly successful campuses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The University's Annual Report, tabled in State Parliament in May, shows that group consolidated revenue increased by 10.5 per cent, from $735.6 million in 2008 to $813.1 million in 2009.

Group operating cash flows continued to be strong, enabling investment in infrastructure to grow by 12 per cent for the year. RMIT is currently investing $600 million over five years in improved infrastructure.

Dr Switkowski follows Ms Dalton, who was appointed from May until 31 December, following the resignation of Professor Dennis Gibson AO, who served as Chancellor from 2003 to mid-2010.

In welcoming the appointment of Dr Switkowski, Professor Gardner thanked Ms Dalton for her contribution in this role to the work of Council.

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