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Campus News : October 2011
8 Campus News October 2011 University of Wollongong www.uow.edu.au The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has been operating since 1993 and is now one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United Arab Emirates. UOWD currently has an enrolment of approximately 3500 students undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Business, Finance, Computer Science, Engineering, International Studies and Media & Communications at its campus in Dubai's Knowledge Village. Postcard from Dubai Rome returns to UOWD Former University of Wollongong Vice-Principal (Administration) David Rome has returned to Dubai for his second term as Interim President of UOWD. Mr Rome took over from Professor Rob Whelan, whose three-year term as President finished in August. Mr Rome will continue in the role until early in 2012, when the position is expected to be filled by a permanent appointee. Vince Lendrum, Chief Executive of ITC Limited, the University of Wollongong 's corporate arm which operates UOWD, said negotiations were well advanced with an eminent academic to take over as President early next year. "We expect to make an announcement on a permanent replacement for Rob Whelan soon," Mr Lendrum said. "In the meantime, we are delighted to have an experienced administrator like David Rome as Interim President -- a position he has held before." Mr Rome was previously Interim President of UOWD from January - August, 2008. During this time he introduced and managed a number of changes that paved the way for the eventual appointment of Professor Whelan. "David was extremely effective last time he acted in this role, so we were fortunate that he was able to act in this position again," Mr Lendrum said. Mr Rome was Vice-Principal (Administration) at UOW from 1996-2005. In 2007, he was the CEO of the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee during its transition to Universities Australia. Mr Rome said he was delighted to be back in Dubai. "My time at UOWD during 2008 was a richly rewarding experience and I look forward to consolidating the fantastic work done by Professor Whelan over the last three years and ensuring that the University maintains a solid platform for the appointment of a new long-term President," he said. Mr Lendrum paid tribute to Professor Whelan for his The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has honoured outgoing President Professor Rob Whelan by naming its Majlis and case teaching room after him in recognition of his stellar contribution during his three-year tenure. The Professor Rob J Whelan Majlis and the Rob Whelan Case Teaching Room were unveiled at the end of the University's annual staff Iftar evening in August, which also served as a farewell function for the outgoing President. The dual honour recognises Professor Whelan's pivotal role in setting up a permanent traditional Majlis to introduce a local touch to the campus, and his efforts to raise the profile of case-based teaching in the United Arab Emirates. Professor Whelan had previously been Faculty of Science Dean at the University of Wollongong. Speaking at the unveiling, UOWD's Vice-President (Academic) Professor Mohamed Khalifa hailed Professor Whelan's leadership qualities in his three years at UOWD. "Rob Whelan structured UOWD, gave it a vision and a mission, put new strategies in place and introduced research elements," Professor Khalifa said. "He has been a great mentor, and his leadership style will be remembered by all." Professor Whelan responded by saying that he was proud to have contibuted to building the stature of UOWD in the region, and attributed his achievements to a team effort and the qualities of UOWD staff -- "loyal, committed, hard-working and great at their jobs". The UOWD Majlis is used to host informal meetings with staff members, reflecting Professor Whelan's vision of incorporating the role of the traditional majlis in effective management of a modern university and the way he embraced the local culture in his three years in Dubai. Meanwhile, Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), the region's leading destination for higher education and a member of TECOM Investments' Education Cluster, honoured Professor Whelan when TECOM CEO Dr Amina Al Rustamani presented him with a golden dhow as a token of appreciation for his noteworthy contributions to the University. CN contribution during his time at UOWD. "Rob Whelan achieved a great deal during his three years in the chair at UOWD," Mr Lendrum said. "He strengthened the academic structure and created a successful faculty system -- setting up strong teams that are doing really well. "He focused strongly on improving research output and introduced PhD programs and a Doctorate in Business Administration -- the first offered by a private university in Dubai. "Rob also guided UOWD through the Global Financial Crisis, and set the University up well for future growth." NH Professor Rob Whelan at the naming of the UOWD Majlis in his honour, marking the end of his three-year term as President. Majlis name honours Whelan's contribution David Rome