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Communication leader to head College of Business

Press Release – Massey UniversityMonday, November 21, 2011
Communication leader to head College of Business

A specialist in management communication, workplace wellbeing and organisational change will head Massey University’s College of Business from next year.

Professor Theodore (Ted) Zorn is currently head of the Department of Management Communication at the University of Waikato. As Pro Vice-Chancellor of the college – one of five at Massey – he will be based at the Albany campus, overseeing more than 300 staff there and at the University’s Manawatu and Wellington campuses and the teaching and research programmes provided for about 12,000 students internally and through distance learning each year. The college has five schools (accountancy; aviation; communication, journalism and marketing; economics and finance; and management) and New Zealand’s original MBA and executive education programme.

Professor Zorn, from the United States, has worked in New Zealand since 1994. His PhD in communication (1987) is from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, as is his Master of Arts degree (1981). He has a BA in English from the College of Charleston, South Carolina.

He has made a significant research contribution and has been the recipient of considerable external research funding in New Zealand, including as principal investigator on a five-year $1.125 million Foundation for Research, Science and Technology programme looking at the impacts of information and communication technologies on work and communities, and on a three-year $1.05 million grant for a programme entitled Engaging Senior Stakeholders: Positive Ageing at the Elder-Organisation Interface.

He has been a top ranked university researcher under the New Zealand Government’s Performance-Based Research Funding measure for the past eight years and is the chair on the fund’s business and economics panel for the upcoming round. He has written or co-written five books and monographs, published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. His teaching was recognised with the Waikato Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Teaching Excellence in 2004.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says Professor Zorn has a clear insight of the innovative leadership needed to address the global challenges facing workplaces, communities and societies and produce the outcomes that enhance economic wellbeing and social cohesion. “He understands and has led the thinking on managerial practices and communications, and is a proven exponent of what he teaches and what his research has taught us.”

Professor Zorn says he is excited by the opportunities and challenges presented in taking up the role. “My first priority is to nurture a culture of excellence, engagement and collaboration so that we attract and retain outstanding contributors,” he says. “Second, I want to proactively build and cultivate strong relationships with our key stakeholders, such as businesses, schools and alumni. And third, enhance infrastructure to support research and teaching excellence and relevance. If we do those things well, collectively we can achieve great things and be the kind of business college that all our stakeholders are proud to be a part of.”

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