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New Chancellor appointed by Monash University for 2008

26 April 2007

Dr Alan Finkel, who has been appointed as the new Chancellor of Monash University, is due to take up the position next year and will follow Mr Jerry Ellis, who has served in the role since 1999.

Respected neuroscientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Alan Finkel will be the next Chancellor of Monash University.

Dr Finkel is the seventh Chancellor in the University's 50 year history, but the first Monash graduate to be appointed to the prestigious role.

The Monash University Council finalised the appointment at a meeting last week.

Vice-Chancellor Richard Larkins said it was a coup for the University to secure the services of such a prominent Australian.

"Alan Finkel will bring a wealth of experience and skills to Monash, from his experience with medical research, the commercialisation of scientific discoveries, through to the governance of complex organisations," Professor Larkins said.

"Like Monash University, Alan has a truly global perspective on the links between science, innovation and education.

"As a Monash graduate and the current chair of the National Research Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse, based at the University, Alan is already very much part of the Monash family."

Dr Finkel said he looked forward to starting on January 1, 2008.

"I am honoured by the opportunity to work with Professor Larkins and the Council on the governance of this extremely successful University," Dr Finkel said.

"I look forward to participating in the development of the strategies that will enable Monash to be highly responsive to the continually changing nature of university funding, and to be innovative with respect to educational initiatives and research priorities."

Dr Finkel received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering at Monash University in 1981. After two years of postdoctoral research at the Australian National University he went on to establish and lead Axon Instruments, a world-class supplier of electronic and robotic instruments and software for use in cellular neuroscience, genomics and drug discovery both in the university and pharmaceutical company research sectors.

Dr Finkel recently invented a device that was successfully commercialised to speed drug research, and has also co-founded the award-winning science magazine Cosmos.

He has also managed the merger of several prominent research institutes, represented the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in a program to foster appreciation of science in secondary school students, and co-founded a company distributing educational toys and books for children.

Dr Finkel will follow Mr Jerry Ellis, who has served as Chancellor of Monash University since 1999.