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Incoming VC Professor Rufus Black to lead new chapter for the University

The University of Tasmania's incoming Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rufus Black

Noted ethicist, educator and strategic consultant, Professor Rufus Black, has been announced as the incoming Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Tasmania.

Professor Black will start in the role in March next year, replacing Professor Peter Rathjen, who has been appointed to the equivalent role at University of Adelaide.

University Chancellor Michael Field AC said the selection panel had sought and found in Professor Black an extraordinary individual; one who could lead a new chapter in the life of the institution.

“As one might expect, our University’s world standing attracted an international field for the Vice-Chancellor’s position,” Chancellor Field said.

“Within that group, Professor Black demonstrated a rare mix of high intellect, academic standing and commercial experience that we feel will be necessary to lead a period of cultural transformation here.”

Professor Black said: “I clearly recognise and am excited by the promise which lies within the relationship of the University of Tasmania and its island State.

“There is an emerging vision of the future and I’m very keen to explore how we harness the collective energy and insight of those within our University – along with the broader community – in bringing that vision to reality.”

Chancellor Field said: “Crucially, Professor Black has a deep affinity with and understanding of the Tasmanian context. He, his wife and twin daughters, have been frequent visitors to our island.

“Professor Black articulated to the selection panel an intimate understanding of the University of Tasmania’s central role in delivering a more prosperous future for the State and its citizens.”


Professor Black is Master of the University of Melbourne’s Ormond College and Deputy Chancellor of Victoria University. He holds degrees in law and politics from University of Melbourne, and degrees in moral theology from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He is a Principal Fellow in the Department of Management and Marketing in the Faculty of Business and Economics and Principal Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.  He is co-founder of the Wade Institute for Entrepreneurship and a Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research.

His private sector experience includes nine years as a partner at McKinsey & Company and he is a director for national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth. He is President of the Museums Board of Victoria. Professor Black has undertaken significant public policy commissions, including the Accountability and Governance Review at the Department of Defence in 2010 and the Prime Minister’s Independent Review into the Australian Intelligence Community in 2011 and he currently serves on the Board of Innovation Science Australia