UTS Business School has farewelled Professor Roy Green as its Dean after nine years in the role – a period during which its teaching, research and industry engagement were transformed, with the School also moving into a home specifically designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to support its aspirations.
Colleagues, friends and family gathered in the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building to reflect on Professor Green’s impact as Dean since his appointment in September 2008 just as the global financial crisis was taking hold.
“It was perhaps not the most auspicious time to be taking on another role as a business school dean,” University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Provost Professor Andrew Parfitt noted. But Professor Green went on to build “something special”.
He was determined to be a very externally engaged Dean, and the networks he established would continue to benefit the School and the university long after he his departure, Professor Parfitt said.
UTS Chancellor Catherine Livingstone, chair of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and former president of the Business Council of Australia, spoke of Professor Green’s work as Australia’s leading thinker in innovation. The issues paper he prepared for the federal government’s most recent innovation inquiry was the “seminal work”, she said.
The chair of the Business School’s industry advisory committee, Glen Boreham, said Professor Green had transformed business education at UTS during his tenure, having thought deeply about the different kinds of skills graduates would need in a fast-changing world.
Professor Green was an exemplar in relationship building, Deputy Dean Professor Tracy Taylor told guests, and someone prepared to explore ideas with an element of risk. Her email folder labelled ‘Roy’s ideas’ currently stood at 1356 items, she said, with a smile. Examples of ideas that had paid off included the School’s new MBA in Entrepreneurship.
The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building would be a major legacy, Professor Taylor said – “a statement of his vision of a business school of the future”.
As a leader, Professor Green was infused with energy, enthusiasm, empathy and encouragement. He made everyone feel valued and respected. “The trust Roy puts in people has been a hallmark of his leadership,” she said.
Professor Green told the gathering it didn’t seem nine years ago “when I looked very closely at UTS and thought, ‘There’s a place to do something really interesting – it’s not complacent or settled, it’s open to new ideas and ready to make a difference’.
“And we did,” he said. “We are now well recognised globally in all the rankings for the ever increasing quality of our research and teaching, and the employability of our graduates.
Solid foundations had been laid by previous deans, he said, and this work was supported by the ethos at UTS.
“The thing about UTS is we also know these rankings are not and have never been our defining purpose,” Professor Green said. “We have identified a clear mission around innovation, impact and engagement with our community, which we achieve through a more integrative approach to business education.”
You can read Professor Green’s full farewell speech here.
Professor Chris Earley replaces Professor Green as Dean from November 1, with Professor Taylor Acting Dean in the interim period.