Marshall said he was pleased to join RMIT with its location in the heart of Melbourne, strong global reputation and industry connections.
“I am looking forward to joining a university that is deeply grounded in its city while also being global in outlook and activity,” he said.
“I’m attracted to RMIT for many reasons including its focus on addressing global issues, working together with indigenous communities and reputation for innovating and breaking new ground organisationally and academically.
“RMIT has a strong capacity to effectively educate, from vocational education to PhD level creative and scholarly research.”
Marshall brings a wealth of experience in Design and Social Context and a record for driving transformational change to ensure quality education for students.
As Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, he championed innovative approaches to curricula development and pedagogy, and also spearheaded some of the most significant advancements in the institution’s history.
Marshall also held the role of Dean of Parsons School of Design, where he led a major transformation effort, setting the foundation for Parsons’ outstanding global reputation and consistent ranking as the USA’s top art and design institution.
He hopes that his international experience will also benefit RMIT and expand its global reach.
“I have been fortunate to build networks throughout Asia, Europe, South and North America and the mid-East. Africa is a fast-changing region that deserves more of our attention too,” he said.
At a time of constant change and disruption, Marshall says a focus on cross disciplinary collaboration will be more important than ever.
“The capacity to bring critical thinking together with the ability to create, design, make, and enact positive change in the world, and for this to be a fundamental part of our students’ education is vital,” he said.
“I see opportunities to bring a design approach and sensibility to a broader range of educational programs and research agendas.
“RMIT also has an enviable reputation in the arts and we need to pay attention to it as an agent of broader change, and as an even greater future asset for the University.”
Marshall brings extensive leadership experience to the role and is keen to foster an environment that embraces diversity for staff and students.
“One of the greatest privileges of the leadership roles I’ve held is that they have allowed me to learn from a diverse group of remarkable people,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the relationships with the incredible people at RMIT with whom I’ve already worked and to meeting new colleagues.”
He is also passionate about finding paths into education for a highly diverse community of students.
“I want them to be drawn to a place where a diverse cohort can flourish, find opportunities to make some sense of their world, their place in it, and ways to prosper and have agency,” he said.
While the higher education sector is affected by a rapidly changing and disrupted world, Marshall says the current generation of students are perceptive and provide hope.
“Students know their world is changing and that their future is deeply uncertain,” he said.
“However, I see young people stepping up to the challenge while not accepting the world they are inheriting on its own terms.
“This generation gives us hope but we need to better understand how the world looks and feels to them.
“We need to be humble in the face of this and help them achieve their aims and to get to the place they are striving for.”
Story: Kate Milkins