From the Vice Chancellor

Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President

In a sign of our increasing faith in the possibility of resuming our normal lives, we are about to host the first graduation ceremonies of the year. Properly sanitised and socially distanced, our ceremonies will run across the end of September and into the early days of October. It gives us an opportunity to say farewell and wish good luck to the almost 1100 graduates who requested the formal acknowledgement of their academic endeavours.

Unfortunately, because of the truncated nature of the ceremonies, we are not going to be able to celebrate some incredibly important academics at these ceremonies; those who have through their exceptional service to the University and to their individual spheres of knowledge, have been awarded the title of Emeritus Professor.

The University of South Australia confers the honorary title of Emeritus Professor upon retired academic staff holding the title of professor who have given distinguished service to this institution. Distinguished service doesn’t even begin to cover it. The six people who would have been presented at graduations, are brilliant examples of great and inventive minds who have made outstanding contributions to knowledge through their research and have either passed that knowledge on to students through their teaching or made significant contributions to the community by improving the lives of others. 

I speak of course of professors Tanya Monro, Christopher Saint, Wasim Saman, Rick Sarre, Mads Gaardboe and Jordan Louviere, all of whom have made significant contributions to UniSA and, as a consequence, all have been approved by University Council to carry the title of Emeritus Professor.

Emeritus Professor Tanya Monro, a physicist known for her work in photonics was, for nearly five years, UniSA’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation and helped shape the University’s footprint in research. She significantly improved the performance and visibility of research, pioneering interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches and helped create a culture where research informs the way the University teaches its students;

Water scientist and environmental biologist Emeritus Professor Christopher Saint was Dean of Research and Innovation in the academic unit now known as UniSA STEM. He led UniSA’s Centre for Water Management and Reuse and was Research Director in the School of Natural and Built Environments, where he spearheaded the initiative to establish a new school-wide centre, the Natural & Built Environments Research Centre;

Emeritus Professor Wasim Saman spent 25 years of his career at UniSA establishing and growing research in sustainable energy.  He founded and led the Sustainable Energy Centre, the Institute for Sustainable Systems and Technologies (which was renamed in honour of environmentalist Barbara Hardy), and the UniSA Research Node for Low Carbon Living. Wasim also founded and led the South Australian Solar Car Consortium which were not only successfully raced in the World Solar Challenge but led to great educational outcomes for UniSA students who helped design, build and race the cars but also learned project management skills, logistics, fund raising and budgeting.

Before retiring after 34 years at UniSA Emeritus Professor Rick Sarre taught commercial law, media law, sports law and criminology in four countries, USA, Sweden, Hong Kong and Australia. Because of his expertise in criminal law he has provided valuable curriculum development in a number of programs and courses including in the development of the UniSA Online Criminal Justice program.

He has held senior roles at UniSA including Head of School of Law and Legal Practice in the academic unit now known as UniSA Justice and Society. He was also chair of Academic Board for five years. He is the immediate past president of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology and in 2017 was awarded Fellow status of that society. He also served three years on the Victim Support Service (SA) board, six years on the Offenders Aid and Rehabilitation Services of SA board, 18 years as an Associate of the Australian Institute of Criminology, and eight years as the president of the SA Institute of Justice Studies.

Emeritus Professor Mads Gaardboe was instrumental in bringing together the Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design and the South Australian School of Art to form the new School of Art, Architecture and Design in the academic unit now known as UniSA Creative. During his tenure the QS World University Rankings by Subject listed UniSA’s programs in Architecture, Art and Design in the world’s top 100. His commitment to building research capacity led to recognition in the 2018 Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) of UniSA’s research in the areas of Design Practice and Management, Urban and Regional Planning and Visual Arts and Crafts at world standard. He initiated the first Master of Sustainable Design program in Australia and was dedicated to developing and expanding the unique Design and Construct program at the University which is acclaimed nationally for outstanding community engagement with Aboriginal and Indigenous communities across Australia and the Pacific.

An internationally recognised expert in conjoint analysis and consumer choice modelling and the inventor of best-worst scaling, Emeritus Professor Jordan Louviere was co-founder of the Business School’s (UniSA Business) Institute for Choice (I4C). Choice modelling is the development of a system or process to predict the act of choosing between two or more possibilities. Within this, choice modelling builds a picture of how things are valued and the value trade-offs people are prepared to consider when making a choice.

The I4C works with partners to provide competitive advantage through a better understanding of how their customers and/or stakeholders make choices and how this feeds back into their own planning and decision-making. It offers insights into strategic growth, customer satisfaction, consumer and public opinion, measuring and predicting demand and trade-offs, willingness-to-pay, brand worth, brand equity, as well as quality of life and end of life decisions.

Because of social distancing rules you won’t see these folks at graduations this time around, but they are celebrated and valued anyway for the very positive benefits they have brought to UniSA and to their communities.

We make a big point of saying how unstoppable we are as a university and it was people like these who put us on that trajectory. We are very proud of them and of their achievements.

Professor David Lloyd
Vice Chancellor and President