Outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO.

Outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO. Photo by Stuart Hay.

Q&A: Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO

Vice-Chancellor PROFESSOR IAN YOUNG AO will leave ANU at the end of 2015 on a high. After four-and-a-half years in the top job, ANU continues to be ranked among the world's top universities, attracting the finest researchers and students from around Australia and the world.

Despite holding the Vice-Chancellor position and the role as Chair of the Group of Eight universities, Young has continued to be an active researcher throughout his time in the senior executive. He holds two Australian Research Council Discovery Grants and has published 12 research papers while at ANU. He will continue to work as a world-ranking ocean engineer when he returns to Melbourne next year.

Here, Young reflects on his time at ANU and the prospects for his research.

What are you most proud of from your time as ANU Vice-Chancellor?

There are many things I could name, starting with establishing public policy as a core issue for ANU.

I'm proud of the appointment of an outstanding senior management team, with close to 50 per cent female participation, and the Tuckwell endowment from Graham and Louise Tuckwell, which was the largest in Australia at the time of its announcement.

We have started the process of rebuilding and modernising the administrative systems of the University, introduced a transparent budget model and maintained the international ranking of the University in a period during which there were five Federal Budget cuts in four years.

I have established the Vice-Chancellor's Strategic Appointment fund to the value of $10 million and appointed a host of high-profile academic staff.

I always believe attracting and retaining top staff is a key role of the Vice-Chancellor.

We have transformed our educational programs to include flexible double degrees, vertical double degrees and online activities, including edX, as well as starting the process of rebuilding the campus, with new investments planned for a host of academic buildings and the commencement of a new residential hall.

There are also exciting plans for further student residences and the possible redevelopment of Union Court.