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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

Renowned professor joins Zayed University as new provost

Prof Clayton MacKenzie takes up post after university's nine-month search

Students at Zayed University's Abu Dhabi campus. Antonie Robertson / The National
Students at Zayed University's Abu Dhabi campus. Antonie Robertson / The National

A renowned professor joined Zayed University as its new provost and chief education officer.

Prof Clayton MacKenzie begins his post on Sunday after the university's "long but well worth it" nine-month search for a new senior academic administrator.

He joins the UAE's third oldest university after serving four years as provost and acting president at the Hong Kong Baptist University, a leading liberal arts university in the region. There, he led the overall development of the university's globalisation strategy, overseeing recruitment, outreach and benchmarking.

Before his post in Hong Kong, Prof MacKenzie led large academic units in Europe, Asia and Australia. Throughout his career, he has championed interdisciplinary approaches, industry partnerships and a student-focused learning environment, a statement from the university said.

Prof Clayton MacKenzie joins Zayed University as its new provost and chief education officer.
Prof Clayton MacKenzie joins Zayed University as its new provost and chief education officer.

"It is my great honour to join the ZU team and to be part of a university that is so fully committed to the well-being of student and to the progress of the UAE," Prof MacKenzie said.

"I will work hard to enhance the excellence of this fine, future-facing institution."

As provost and chief academic officer, Prof MacKenzie will be charged with expanding the university's offerings to become a regional leader in distinct interdisciplinary fields.

He will help the university equip their students with the tools needed to become highly employable, and support faculty to generate impactful research.

Noura Al Kaabi, President of Zayed University, said Prof MacKenzie was joining staff at a "crucial time in higher education and at ZU in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and an increasingly competitive higher education sector in the UAE".

Ms Al Kaabi, who is also Minister of Culture and Youth , thanked Prof Nagi Wakim, who served as acting provost until Prof MacKenzie's appointment.

"I am deeply grateful for the committee's hard work over these past nine months, an extraordinary time in which to conduct a search of this magnitude," she said.

"I look forward to working closely with Prof MacKenzie to achieve our institutional goals, while ensuring our students flourish both personally and professionally."

Updated: February 21, 2021 10:02 AM

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