27 November 2012

A former UQ Vice-Chancellor, Professor Emeritus John Hay, AC, has received a prestigious national award for his crucial role in promoting excellent university teaching.

Professor Hay was this month awarded the 2012 Career Achievement Award of the Office of Learning and Teaching’s (OLT) Awards for Australian University Teaching.

UQ’s new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Høj, congratulated Professor Hay and commended the OLT for recognising his pivotal contributions to teaching and learning.

“John earned a formidable reputation as an unflinching champion for high-quality teaching and learning, during his 12 years as UQ Vice-Chancellor,” Professor Høj said.

“His impact was national, but at UQ itself he engendered an academic culture and a portfolio of cutting-edge infrastructure, all of which will continue to benefit students, staff, and UQ’s extended community long into the future.”

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Mick McManus said Professor Hay “firmly believed that we should subject our teaching to the same rigor as our research and that students had the right to hear the most recent developments in their chosen disciplines as they unfolded - not five years later”. .

“He always led from the front and his advocacy for teaching was a major factor in UQ winning more national teaching awards than any other Australian university.

“John believed that all students are important and encouraged a culture that reflected you don’t teach a class, you teach a student – the undivided student is of the utmost importance.”

Professor McManus said Professor Hay also played a key role in establishing world leading research institutes at UQ, which directly immersed students in a cutting-edge research environment.

“While a very prominent building is named after him on campus I believe his greatest contribution to the nation is through the quality of the graduates he helped shape as Vice-Chancellor,” Professor McManus said.

“His impressive legacy as an educator and leader are still evident at UQ today and in the Australian higher education sector.

“I congratulate him on this prestigious national recognition for his contributions to university teaching.”

Professor Hay was Vice-Chancellor of UQ from 1996 to 2007 and Deakin University from 1992 to 1995.

In 2002 he was appointed by the then Federal Minister for Education to the Higher Education Review Reference Group.

At a national level his leadership in fostering teaching excellence is highlighted by his role as chair of the board of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, and the Australian Universities Teaching Committee.

He also chaired the Australian Awards for University Teaching Committee from 1997-2011, the Group of Eight Australian universities, and the Universitas 21 global network.