UNIVERSITY of Newcastle Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Janet Nelson has resigned from the role, 17 months after she joined the institution from the US.
Vice Chancellor Alex Zelinsky wrote to staff on Monday to inform them of Professor Nelson's resignation, which was tendered late on Friday.
"As colleagues will know, Janet joined us last year from the University of Idaho, just ahead of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic," Professor Zelinsky said.
"With continued uncertainty about the reopening of international borders, I appreciate that this has placed substantial pressures on colleagues with family and loved ones located overseas."
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Professor Zelinsky thanked Professor Nelson for her "leadership and commitment" and said her key achievements during her time in the role included leading the Hunter Hydrogen Taskforce to drive the region's energy transition, implementing the Strategic Investment in Research investment scheme and "overseeing continued strong performance in research income".
She was also a vice president of UON and part of its 13-member executive committee.
Professor Zelinsky said Professor Liz Sullivan would continue to serve as Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation).
She's been acting in the role since May 20, after Professor Zelinsky asked Professor Nelson to work on a number of divisional projects and with him on "institutional strategic priorities".
He said an announcement "in relation to longer term interim arrangements will be made before the end of August".
Professor Nelson did not respond to request for comment.
She started in the role in February 2020, after leaving her position as Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Idaho.
She was also the University of Idaho's Chief Research Officer and the principal point of contact for the university in all research-related matters.
Prior to this, she was the Associate Vice-Chancellor of Research Development at the University of Tennessee and, earlier, the Director of Business Development for URS Corporation (now AECOM) and a Director at Biotechnology Industry Organisation in Washington, DC.
Professor Nelson holds a PhD in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology and a BA in Chemistry from Carleton College, Minnesota.
She said in a statement at the time of her appointment, in November 2019, that UON was a vibrant economic community "where faculty and students are engaged in ground-breaking research with a view toward positive societal impacts".
"I'm excited about the possibility of supporting ongoing efforts and encouraging new cross-disciplinary research teams, raising the profile of the university nationally and internationally, and developing new community partnerships," she said.
Meanwhile, UON has announced it will continue operating in "study-from-home mode" until August 13.
All courses scheduled for face-to-face learning will continue to be offered online, according to class timetables which remain unchanged.
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