Professor Patrick Leman has commenced as Pro Vice-Chancellor to the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences (ALPSS) at the University of Waikato, having previously held senior roles at King’s College London.
A developmental and social psychologist, focused on researching the way children learn, develop and grow through their collaborations and interactions with others, Professor Leman is also increasingly interested in how experts from different academic disciplines are able to collaborate to create new knowledge to solve some of our biggest challenges.
“Issues from climate change, mental health and fake news to an emergent digital creative sector have huge societal importance and often require academics from different disciplines to bring together their different perspectives to solve problems. I believe divisions like ALPSS and the wider University of Waikato, have a great advantage in being able to operate on a human scale and solve these problems quicker and in more creative and innovative ways than many larger, more silo-ed institutions.”
Professor Leman believes the broad range of disciplines across the Division will position the University well to meet research challenges faced over the next few years, and to produce and deliver important new initiatives in education to serve wider society now and into the future.
“I'm looking forward to the challenges and opportunities, and to working at a university with international quality research and education. I am looking forward to meeting all the people who help to make the university work! More people in New Zealand and the world need to hear about us and one of my priorities will be to help others to get that message out.”
Professor Leman most recently headed the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College, currently ranked second in the world for psychology and psychiatry.
He is excited about the start of the trimester and meeting students and staff, along with developing the University’s broad range of arts programmes, events and engaging with the local community to add value and impact to the Division’s research and teaching.
“The University has some wonderful facilities. By continuing to grow our engagement with the broader community I believe we can really put Waikato arts, humanities, law, psychology and social sciences on the map internationally,” he said.
“I have no doubt that the next few years will be exciting ones for everyone at the university and I am really looking forward to them.”
Professor Leman was welcomed with a pōwhiri in early February 2021 after a delayed arrival in New Zealand due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.