Acclaimed academic appointed Professor of Otago Polytechnic

Press Release – Otago Polytechnic

The internationally recognised academic, Dr Khyla Russell, has been appointed full Professor of Otago Polytechnic by the institute’s Professorial Appointments Committee. 16 January 2012

Acclaimed academic appointed Professor of Otago Polytechnic

The internationally recognised academic, Dr Khyla Russell, has been appointed full Professor of Otago Polytechnic by the institute’s Professorial Appointments Committee.

Professor Russell is Otago Polytechnic’s Kaitohutohu, overseeing the incorporation of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Polytechnic’s Memorandum of Understanding with four Kāi Tahu rūnaka*, in day-to-day operations. She facilitates relationship-building between the institute and the wider Māori community and tertiary sector organisations. She performs an advisory role in any Māori-related research embarked on at the Polytechnic, and undertakes her own research and provides consultancy outside of the organisation.

Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive, Phil Ker, says the appointment reflects Professor Russell’s level of recognition as an academic leader. “She is one of New Zealand’s leading academics in indigenous studies and is held in high regard both nationally and internationally. The leadership she has provided here at Otago Polytechnic has made a demonstrable difference in our ability to deliver on our Treaty of Waitangi obligations and develop meaningful partnerships with local rūnaka.”

Professor Russell was already a grandmother when she came to academia later in life, after having spent much of her career teaching te reo and tikaka. Her first degree was a Bachelor of Arts, attained extramurally through Massey University. It was followed soon after by a postgraduate diploma and then a PhD from the University of Otago.

She is of Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha and Rapuwai descent on te taha Māori, and Polish and Northern Irish on te taha Tauiwi.

Professor Khyla Russell becomes the second full Professor of Otago Polytechnic, alongside Professor Leoni Schmidt who is Head of the Dunedin School of Art.

*The four rūnaka Otago Polytechnic signed a Memorandum of Understanding with in 2007 are collectively known as Arai te Uru Papatipu Rūnaka, and are

• Te Rūnanga ō Moeraki
• Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki
• Te Runanga ō Ōtākou
• Hokonui Rūnanga.

ENDS

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