A search for a new vice-chancellor and president of Avondale University has ended with the historic appointment of Kerri-Lee Krause.
Avondale Council approved the appointment at its meeting on July 11. Chancellor and South Pacific Division president Glenn Townend announced the appointment in a recent email to staff members. “Kerri-Lee brings great sector knowledge and experience,” he wrote.
With senior executive roles at some of Australia’s largest universities, including the University of Melbourne, Krause has a record of leading strategic change by engaging students and staff members in cultural transformation.
She is also committed to improving quality, serving as deputy chair of the federal government’s Higher Education Standards Panel, chair of its Advisory Committee for the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions, and board member of the peak body representing independent higher education providers. Her research informs the contemporary student experience, the evolving nature of academic work and higher education leadership, quality, and standards.
The former provost at Avondale, Krause has been serving as interim vice-chancellor and president since April. In that role, “she worked with a taskforce of senior colleagues on a renewal plan that has now been endorsed by [the university] council to secure Avondale’s future,” Townend wrote.
“I am honored to serve Avondale in this capacity and am dedicated to renewing our university’s focus on developing and fostering a ‘greater vision of world needs,’” Krause, a third-generation alumnus, said. “I am delighted to lead a university with a longstanding mission of transforming lives and communities. I look forward to the challenge of collaborating with our students, staff members, and industry partners to refresh our appeal to the next generation of learners through a range of new pathways into our nationally recognised top-tier courses.”
That recognition comes from students who, according to the 2021-2022 national Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching survey, rank Avondale as number one in Australia for quality of educational experience and quality of teaching practices. “These rankings are a tribute to our students, staff members, and the wraparound experience we offer to support student wellbeing, resilience, and success,” Krause said.
Building on the legacy of Seventh-day Adventist Church pioneer Ellen White, Krause is the first woman to lead Avondale in its 126-year history. “I admire the tenacity and vision of Ellen White,” Krause said. “She fought so hard to establish this place when resources were tight and when many had trouble imagining how it might work. Now I am privileged to play my part in partnering with students, staff members, and members of the community to bring continued success for all.”