Former Deputy Prime Minister named next Chancellor for our Uni

Friday, 4 June 2021

At the end of the month, the current Chancellor, Paul Jeans, steps down after two four-year terms. Today the Uni announced that former Deputy Prime Minister The Hon. Mark Vaile AO will be the next Chancellor for the University of Newcastle.

The Hon. Mark Vaile AO

You often hear the terms Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor used at our Uni. The best way to think of these roles is that the Chancellor is like the Chair of the Board (i.e. an external person who isn’t an employee), and the Vice-Chancellor is like the CEO. They have important roles in terms of the direction of the Uni and its future.

Here’s a little more about our incoming Chancellor:

Mr Vaile’s political career started when he entered local government as an Alderman at Greater Taree City Council from 1985. He was elected to the Federal House of Representatives in 1993. Whilst in government, Mr Vaile held several ministerial positions including Transport and Regional Development, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. In the pivotal role of Minister for Trade, Mr Vaile negotiated a number of Australia’s key Trade Agreements including the Singapore-Australia Agreement, the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement and the Australia-Thailand Free Trade Agreement. He served as Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007.

Since leaving Federal Parliament in July 2008, Mr Vaile has embarked on a career in the private sector and has served on the Boards of a number of ASX-listed companies and large organisations.

The announcement signals the end of current Chancellor Paul Jeans’ tenure after two four-year terms. He will step down at the end of June after presiding over graduations at Callaghan at the end of the month.


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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.