Professor Patricia Davidson

Global leader in nursing, health, and education returns as next Vice-Chancellor

Global leader in nursing, health, and education returns as next Vice-Chancellor

UOW alumna Professor Patricia Davidson to assume role in May 2021 from Johns Hopkins University, USA

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Patricia Davidson, who will join the University in 2021.

After an extensive global recruitment process, Professor Davidson was chosen from a highly competitive field of candidates for her experience in leadership and higher education, her depth of knowledge in the health sciences, and her commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Professor Davidson will be the fifth Vice-Chancellor since UOW became an independent university in 1975, the University’s first female Vice-Chancellor, and the first UOW Vice-Chancellor who is also an alumna.

As Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Davidson will assume responsibility for the UOW Group which encompasses UOW’s global network of campuses including UOW in Dubai, the four campuses comprising UOW Malaysia KDU, UOW College Hong Kong as well as the University’s Australian campuses and controlled entities.

Professor Davidson will join UOW from her current position as Dean of the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, USA. Johns Hopkins University is one of the top private research universities in the world. Professor Davidson has held the role of Dean since 2013.

A global leader in the field of nursing, cardiovascular science, and global health, Professor Davidson brings to the role of Vice-Chancellor an impressive background that has seen her work across - and in partnership with - international institutions and universities. Currently, she is Co-Secretary General of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery and Counsel General of the International Council on Women’s Health Issues.

Professor Davidson, who has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles and 30 book chapters, is passionate about nurturing early- and mid-career researchers, and about the importance of interdisciplinary research. Much of her career has been devoted to the needs of women and disadvantaged communities. In 2016 she received the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.

As a UOW alumna, Professor Davidson is returning to the place where she began her career in academia. She completed her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education at UOW and in 2013, received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Prior to her studies at UOW, Professor Davidson was a clinician and nurse consultant undertaking her clinical training at Wollongong Hospital and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. 

UOW Chancellor Ms Jillian Broadbent AC, said she was thrilled at the appointment.

“Professor Davidson has been described by her Hopkins colleagues as being truly transformative in taking Hopkins Nursing to a higher level.

“She brings passion, energy, knowledge and leadership together with strong financial disciplines. Each of these qualities will be critical at this challenging time for the tertiary sector.”

Professor Davidson said “I am honoured and humbled to take on this role at this critical point in history. I have watched the UOW expand and flourish since I started here as a student in the 70s and am excited to be part of the next phase of the university’s history and to build on the exceptional achievements of Vice-Chancellor Wellings and Chancellor Broadbent.”

UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wellings CBE, who announced his retirement in March, also welcomed Professor Davidson’s appointment as his successor.

“Professor Davidson is an outstanding scholar who will bring a wealth of leadership experience to UOW after eight years of working in the USA at a great research-led university.

“Her understanding of philanthropy and foundations will be a major asset in UOW’s future development.”

Professor Wellings will continue to lead the university until he stands down as Vice-Chancellor in May 2021, after 10 years at the helm of UOW.

Media Resources

A high resolution image of Professor Davidson is available for download from Drop Box at this link.

Professor Davidson can be available for media interviews from the United States by arrangement. Please contact the .