John Glynn

Emeritus Professor

Citation delivered by Professor Paul Wellings CBE, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of John Joseph Glynn as an Emeritus Professor of the University on 21 July 2016.


Deputy Chancellor, I present John Glynn.

As we honour the career and accomplishments of one of the University’s most committed and passionate academic leaders, let us reflect on the journey that began with a bright-eyed technology enthusiast keenly pursuing a career as an aeronautic engineer with British Aerospace. When that dream was not to be, being a resilient and pragmatic young man, John quickly retrained in accounting and project management. This move into the area of business management eventually led him to the realm of academia – and that path brought him to UOW, where we today acclaim his many achievements.

"Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them." This quote most befits the man whose visionary leadership, over 19 years, drove the strategic development and growth of the Faculty of Business and Law and the creation of UOW’s Sydney Business School. Indeed, his passion to develop Sydney Business School as a leading business school both in Australia and internationally resulted in its ranking in the Top-200 business schools in the world and number 5 in Australia by the QS Global 200 Business School Report 2013/14. Additionally in 2013, the London-based International Graduate Forum ranked the Sydney Business School MBA program Number 1 in Australia.

Professor Glynn also pioneered the launch of the first Master of International Business Program in Australia in 1999 and the Master of Executive Business Program in 2009. Under his leadership, Sydney Business School became the first Australian business school to be accepted into the Global Business School Network, which aims to educate local managers and entrepreneurs in the developing world. Furthermore, the faculty established a culture dedicated to instilling corporate social responsibility and sustainability amongst students and staff, and is a signatory to the UN's Principles for Responsible Management Education.

While John had a significant impact on the Faculty of Business and Law and Sydney Business School as a leader, he has also given outstanding service to teaching and research. He taught across a broad range of graduate level and corporate programs in the areas of accounting and financial strategy, international business, governance and ethics, management of innovation and business organisation. Never one to sit by and watch his staff ‘do all the work’ to achieve the goals of the faculty, he took a hands-on approach, often 'getting his hands dirty' by supporting the teams at recruitment fairs and alumni events or finding a lost student in the hallway and providing them academic and career advice while he escorted them to their destination.

John is also a strong believer in the importance of professional development, resulting in scholarships being offered to UOW staff members to complete business degrees at Sydney Business School and a fee-free graduate certificate being offered to UOW PhD students. He has mentored both staff and students, and maintains strong relationships with many UOW alumni.

Always passionate about innovation, he introduced the role of the Entrepreneur in Residence at Sydney Business School, with Mr John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia, the first to take up the role. This initiative enabled students and alumni to hear firsthand from one of Australia's key business leaders. He also worked on the commercialisation of ideas generated at the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials and provided a fee-free Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship for students at UOW's ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science.

John’s focus also ensured that the Faculty of Business and Law had strong links with the business community, and as a Director of The Illawarra Connection he was instrumental in ensuring high quality speakers regularly came to meet and inspire Illawarra leaders. Together with the Regional Development Agency, he established the Illawarra Leadership Program, to educate the next generation of regional leaders, and was also involved in the creation of the Illawarra Business Excellence Awards.

Internationally recognised for his business education expertise, Professor Glynn was invited to contribute to the UK Government's Small Business Charter initiative. He was also appointed as adviser to the OECD on performance management and improvement, and on European Union reconstruction projects in Bulgaria, Hungary and Russia.

John’s career achievements, contributions and commitment to the University and the Illawarra business community have been supported unstintingly by his beloved wife, Lourdes, who joins him here today to share in this honour.

In the words of Albert Einstein, "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." As his students, friends and colleagues from across the University and the wider business community can attest, John Glynn is someone who goes well above and beyond the call of duty – he is truly a man of value.

Deputy Chancellor, for his exceptional service and dedication to this University and his distinguished contribution to management and executive education, it is a privilege and pleasure to present John Glynn for admission as an Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong.