Welcoming our new (interim) Head of School, Peter Draper
The School of Economics and Public Policy not only has a new name, but also a new (interim) Head of School. We congratulate Peter Draper on his appointment. Peter is also the Executive Director of our Institute for International Trade.
- Tell us about your new role in the School of Economics and Public Policy.
As Interim Head of the new School, my role is primarily focused on managing the School’s establishment by integrating the five constituent groups into the combined whole. As such I will be responsible for establishing common systems, and approaches to managing those systems, across the suite of day to day activities comprising the life of a typical University of Adelaide School. Related to this, the job involves leading a process of positioning the new School in the Australian and international market places at a time of turbulent change.
- What do you hope to achieve?
It has taken quite some time to achieve the goal of creating the new School, and this has generated some uncertainties, which are heightened by the broader University financial environment. Consequently, staff in the New School want to know what the future holds for them. So, my primary task is to bring clarity, focus, and commitment, from which platform building a shared team culture will position us well for the future.
Within this we need to properly position our organizational structure. This must be anchored in integration of key systems and processes, while at the same time ensuring people remain incentivised to perform to maximum levels. Establishing and orchestrating our School Executive will be critical. Leadership is needed at other levels, notably research, learning and teaching, as well as our professional staff. I will institute integrated School Committee structures to coordinate activities in relation to these areas, working closely with our Executive to ensure they are optimised.
By the time the substantive Head of School is appointed I hope to have delivered a properly functioning School structure comprising motivated staff, aligned around a shared vision for future growth.
- What do you enjoy most about working in the Faculty of the Professions?
Professions is a dynamic environment, filled with interesting people doing stimulating things, from shaping young minds to delivering cutting-edge theoretical, applied, and policy research. In this Faculty I constantly meet great people who stretch my thinking, which is a great benefit of working in a Go8 University environment.
- Tell us about your career journey that brought you to University of Australia.
I’m South African, and grew up in a country gripped by traumatic as well as exhilarating change – and so am no stranger to uncertainty. My career has traversed the academy, central government, think tanks, and consulting, which is probably a major factor behind my original appointment to the IIT role. I hope these attributes will be of some value as we embrace our future in the new School we are building.