Renewing TEQSA’s leadership

The Minister for Education has announced the appointment of Dr Mary Russell as the next CEO of TEQSA, Australia’s independent national regulatory and quality assurance agency for higher education.

TEQSA Chief Commissioner Professor Peter Coaldrake said the Minister’s decision had the full support of the TEQSA Commissioners.

Dr Russell was appointed as acting CEO in June 2023, and prior to that she was TEQSA's Executive Director of Regulatory Operations.

With the CEO appointment confirmed, Professor Coaldrake has advised the Minister that he will be stepping down from the TEQSA Commission.

Commissioner Joan Cooper has agreed to extend her term on the Commission for up to a year to ensure the continuity of the Commission while recruitment for a new Chief Commissioner takes place. Commissioners Adrienne Nieuwenhuis and Steve Somogyi continue in their roles.

Arrangements are being put in place to appoint an acting Chief Commissioner ahead of Professor Coaldrake’s departure on 10 May.

Quotes attributable to TEQSA Chief Commissioner, Professor Peter Coaldrake AO

“The full TEQSA Commission warmly congratulates Dr Mary Russell on her appointment as TEQSA’s next CEO.

“The Commission is confident that under Dr Russell’s leadership, TEQSA will continue to uphold its values of trust, respect, accountability and collaboration, and foster constructive relationships with the sector we regulate.

“With the CEO appointment confirmed, I have advised the Minister that I will be stepping down from the TEQSA Commission.

“I feel it is an opportune time for the Government to appoint a new Chief Commissioner to guide the next stage of Australia’s approach to higher education regulation as part of the Australian Universities Accord implementation agenda.

“Despite the many challenges at hand and those ahead, Australia continues to have a strong higher education system by international standards, and a strong system needs a robust regulatory framework. TEQSA has an essential role in protecting the quality and integrity of our system. Neither of those are guaranteed in a world of AI, and nor should we underestimate the various other influences which could weaken the cache of an Australian degree qualification or university.

“I would like to warmly acknowledge the efforts and professionalism of all TEQSA staff.  It has been a privilege to work alongside my fellow Commissioners, and I urge you to strongly support Dr Russell as the new CEO.”

Quotes attributable to TEQSA CEO, Dr Mary Russell

“I know all of us at TEQSA are going to greatly miss Professor Coaldrake’s leadership and generous and wise counsel. We wish Peter all the best.

“As the agency’s CEO, I look forward to continuing to work with our Commissioners, staff and wider sector to ensure that TEQSA’s work continues to assure the quality of Australian higher education for the benefit of students, employers and the wider Australian community.”

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