University appoints Academic Director to lead Tauranga CBD campus development
4 April 2016
The University of Waikato has appointed Associate Professor Ken Perszyk to the position of Academic Director – Tauranga Campus Development.
He is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington and for the past 11 years headed the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations – the largest School at Victoria.
Dr Perszyk is looking forward to taking up his new position at the University of Waikato on 1 July 2016.
“The role is an exciting and important one, not only for the University, but for Tauranga and the greater Bay of Plenty. The Tauranga CBD campus development will be a definite game-changer,” he says.
The University of Waikato is leading the CBD campus development on behalf of the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership. The new campus will open in central Tauranga by 2020.
Professor Alister Jones, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University, says the appointment of an Academic Director is another important milestone for the Tauranga CBD campus and he will work closely with Dr Perszyk on the campus development.
“The Tauranga CBD campus development is integral to the future of the region and also significant for the future growth of the University. Academic programme development for the CBD tertiary campus is a priority for the University over the next four to five months and this provision will align with regional growth needs and activity.
“Students who are starting secondary school now will have great tertiary study options in the Bay of Plenty from 2020 with the development of the Tauranga CBD campus.”
The campus development has gained significant momentum in recent months. Greenstone Group was appointed to manage the design and build of the campus while Jasmax has been appointed as architects. Internally, a University project team has also been appointed. In conjunction with Greenstone Group and Jasmax, the University has recently held a series of talks with iwi, community, tertiary and business partners associated with the project to gain feedback and contribution to the vision of the campus.
Dr Perszyk says his initial priorities in the role of Academic Director will be building relationships with University Deans and internal stakeholders as well as external stakeholders in both Hamilton and Tauranga.
“I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to develop distinctive, relevant undergraduate programmes/pathways that lead into appropriate postgraduate research degrees and jobs. It is crucial there is careful planning, not only in terms of what we will teach there, but in terms of services and infrastructure. We must plan for growth.”
Overall, the emphasis is on working in partnership, both internally and externally, he says.
“Students need a lively environment and proper amenities. That leads to partnership with the Tauranga City Council and other external stakeholders. A vibrant CBD campus will energise the city and the entire Bay of Plenty region.”
Originally from Wisconsin in the United States, Dr Perszyk has been based in Wellington since 1985, when he first moved to New Zealand to complete his PhD at Victoria University. He also holds BA and MA degrees from Marquette University, USA.
Dr Perszyk’s current area of research expertise is the philosophy of religion. Currently he is writing a book with Professor John Bishop from the University of Auckland on an alternative to the dominant conception of God in Anglophone philosophy of religion.
To keep up to date with Tauranga CBD campus developments visit waikato.ac.nz/tauranga-campus