Distinguished agricultural sciences academic, Professor Grant Edwards, has been announced as the next Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln University, to begin his tenure on January 1.
Appointed to lead the University into the next phase of its growth as a financially sustainable, globally-ranked top-five land-based university, Professor Edwards was selected from a pool of exceptional candidates following a comprehensive national and international search.
Announcing the new appointment, Lincoln University Chancellor Bruce Gemmell identified Professor Edwards’ outstanding leadership qualities as chief among his many qualities.
“Grant is an exceptional leader of people who encourages and inspires great team-building and collaboration through his authenticity, insight, empathy and unerring ability to articulate his vision.
“He is also particularly adept at gathering information from an expansive range of sources and individuals while skilfully and decisively determining a course of action.
“And it goes without saying that his intelligence, integrity and strength of character are second-to-none.”
The recruitment process included consultation with Lincoln University staff and students to help identify the defining attributes of a new Vice-Chancellor.
Bruce Gemmell explains,
“When we asked our Lincoln whānau what kind of Vice-Chancellor they wanted, we were told they wanted someone with a value-based leadership style, a collaborator and effective team leader, with a demonstrable understanding of transdisciplinary research and education.
“Our global recruitment search yielded a number of extremely high-calibre people, but no other candidate ticked all those boxes more emphatically than our own Grant Edwards.
“Grant will be an outstanding leader who has already demonstrated the capacity to dynamically lift the University’s performance, including actively empowering staff, students and key stakeholders to take on the grand challenges of the land-based sector.”
Rising to the role of Vice-Chancellor from his current position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor, held since 2019, Grant Edwards is a proud alumnus of Lincoln University, completing his Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours in 1990.
He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1991, and through this Scholarship completed a DPhil in behavioural ecology at Oxford University in 1994.
This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Imperial College, London, a Foundation of Research, Science and Technology postdoctoral fellowship back in New Zealand with AgResearch at Palmerston North, then a return to the UK to lecture at the former Wye College, now part of Imperial College.
In 2004 he returned to Lincoln University to take up a senior lectureship in Plant Science.
In 2007 he was promoted to Associate Professor and also won a Lincoln University Excellence in Teaching award, going on to represent the University in the National Tertiary Teaching Awards.
In 2009 he was promoted to Professor, three years later becoming Head of Department of Agricultural Sciences. In 2017 he was promoted to Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Originally from a bull beef farm at Wellsford, north of Auckland, Grant Edwards is a past student of Wellsford Primary School and Rodney College.
Grant Edwards will succeed Lincoln’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bruce McKenzie, who has held the position for the past three years.
Source: Lincoln University