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New Vice Chancellor announces key appointments


Sharlene King
28 September 2020
Erica Wilson andThomas Roche
Professor Erica Wilson and Associate Professor Thomas Roche.

Southern Cross University today announced two key appointments who will help drive the institution’s path to recovery from the deep impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin said he was delighted to announce Professor Erica Wilson as Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation) and Associate Professor Thomas Roche as Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality).

The appointments come as Professor Carlin formally takes the helm of Southern Cross today as Vice Chancellor, following Professor Adam Shoemaker’s move to Victoria University.

“Professor Wilson and Associate Professor Roche will have carriage of the core elements of the university’s academic portfolio, including leadership of the implementation of the New Southern Cross Academic Model,” Professor Carlin said.

The Vice Chancellor said the New Southern Cross Academic Model, announced earlier this year, would provide greater flexibility and focus for students through shorter study periods.

Seattle-born Professor Wilson has been in Australia over 30 years and with Southern Cross since 2003, most recently holding the position of Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic). With international standing in the areas of academic quality in teaching and learning, she has also served as Deputy Head and Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Business and Tourism. She holds a PhD from Griffith University, a postgraduate diploma from Adelaide University and a first class honours degree from James Cook University.

“This new Pro Vice Chancellor role comes at an important time for the University as we rethink our online learning and assessment. Students are demanding it. We have to do things differently,” Professor Wilson said.

Associate Professor Roche joined Southern Cross in 2013 and became Director of SCU College in 2019, a position he will continue to hold. He has more than 20 years higher education teaching and leadership experience in universities in Australia, Europe and Asia. Associate Professor Roche is a specialist in the design, delivery and management of higher education programs. Under his leadership, SCU College has consistently delivered outstanding programs and high success rates for students. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from University of Queensland and attained his PhD in applied linguistics in Germany. He lectured at TU-Dresden for seven years before moving to Oman where he worked with UQ in the establishment of a new regional university.

Professor Carlin said the Pro Vice Chancellors would be integral to implementing the reforms required to place the University on a sustainable footing and further distinguish the quality and impact of its educational offers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great distress across the globe and our own university is not immune to that. But the response to this crisis is in our hands are we are fortunate to have such experienced leaders among us who will ensure we maintain a steady trajectory to recovery.”

The new appointments commence immediately.