Margaret Harris to be Acting Dean of SCA

13 September 2016

Professor Margaret Harris, the former Acting Dean of the Sydney College of Arts, will resume the role, taking over from Professor Colin Rhodes who has decided to move to a new role after 10 years.

University of Sydney Provost Stephen Garton said, “With the proposal to transition SCA to the main University campus, and Professor Rhodes’ deanship due to conclude at the end of this year, the change in leadership at this time makes sense for all.”

“Margaret knows the SCA well having led it at various times during the period from 2000 to 2002.  Her career also includes experience in the University and the sector more broadly - nationally and internationally, including most recently research assessment processes in New Zealand and Hong Kong. In addition to being Head of the Department of English for a number of years, she was a Fellow of Senate between 2001 and 2011 and is known and respected for her vision across humanities, creative arts and social science disciplines. 

"Margaret was also Director of the University's former Research Institute for Humanities and Social Science, and a member of the ARC College of Experts and other national committees. Since stepping down from the position of Director of Research Development (Humanities and Creative Arts) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the end of 2014, she has maintained an active interest in supporting the research of others.

“Colin has been our longest serving Dean after more than ten years in the role.  I am pleased that he has agreed to continue his association with us as an Honorary Professor after a period of leave.

“Under Colin’s leadership the SCA developed significant research strengths, enjoyed ARC funding success and has been rated well above world standard in the Excellence in Research Australia exercise. National firsts include establishing a specialist graduate school and hosting visual arts postdoctoral fellows. He led major curriculum reform and forged much closer ties with internal and external stakeholders, including SCA's highly-respected alumni population. He chaired Museums and Galleries New South Wales and served as Chair of the Division of Architecture and Creative Arts at the University. He was architect and driver of the University Disability Action Plan, which accords with his strong personal commitment to disability and inclusion. Colin also curated the exhibition Roger Ballen's Theatre of the Mind and is founding director of STOARC, the Self-Taught and Outsider Art Research Collection, and editor of the international journal, Elsewhere.”

Colin Rhodes said, “I wish the SCA and all who are passionate about it every future success. I am looking forward to continuing my long running association with the University and I leave the SCA knowing it will be in great hands with Margaret as the Acting Dean.”