New role for geography professor

23 January 2014

Robyn Longhurst

New Pro Vice-Chancellor Education: Geography professor, Robyn Longhurst, has been appointed to the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor Education at the University of Waikato.

Robyn Longhurst is as Waikato as it gets.

The geography professor went to school here, did her bachelors, masters and PhD at Waikato and has now been appointed to the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor Education.

It’s a revamped role from the former PVC Teaching and Learning position and Robyn says she is slowly figuring out what her new job entails.

“It’s quite a broad portfolio and I’m still finding my way around what it involves,” she says.

Teaching and learning strategies

“I’ll be working with the other PVCs and looking at the university’s teaching and learning strategies.”

The role will include considering issues such as ‘blended’ learning, that is, campus-based, face-to-face interactions between staff and students, combined with an online learning environment.

Robyn says the new role will still allow her to continue with her research.

“I’m keen to do that. It’s good for me and good for the institution,” she says.

Robyn was happy in her role as a geography professor and moving into senior management wasn’t something she aspired to.

“It’s not something I ever imagined I’d be doing but the more I thought about it, the more interested I became. It will challenge me in a new kind of way and it’s an opportunity to help shape things.”

Long history with the University

Her long history at the University gives Robyn a unique view on the past and she will now take an active role in shaping its future.

“I’m looking forward to establishing a lot of connections across faculties,” she says, “and to understand more about what’s going on for different people in different disciplines. That will be good.”

“I came here in 1980 so I’ve got a long term commitment to this university and I care that it does well.”

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