The new Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University, Martin Bean CBE, has arrived – and his first priority is to listen.
The Melbourne-born executive has been formally greeted by an Indigenous Elder in a Welcome to Country ceremony on the City campus in Melbourne, Australia today.
Martin Bean's previous position was Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, the largest university in the United Kingdom.
Before joining The Open University, he was General Manager Worldwide Education Products Group at Microsoft, following executive leadership roles at Novell and other IT companies integrating technology and learning systems.
"I am delighted and honoured to be here at RMIT, a university with a great past and an even greater future," Martin said.
"Global, urban and connected, RMIT is positioned to build on its excellent reputation in the years ahead.
"I come pre-wired with a strong belief in the importance of providing the best possible student experience, enabling students to apply their skills and launch successful careers, and in ensuring RMIT's research continues on a trajectory of excellence.
"I'm also passionate about leveraging the power of technology, the built environment, and innovative learning and teaching to achieve our goals.
"But my first priority on arriving at RMIT is to meet students and staff and hear from them directly about their successes, the opportunities and challenges they face, and to learn how I can help them achieve even more."
RMIT's Chancellor, Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO, welcomed Martin Bean.
"Martin's focus upon the student experience and understanding of how technology enables better learning and teaching outcomes will drive a new era in quality education for students attending RMIT," Dr Switkowski said.
"He is an executive with strong international relationships within the higher education sector and industry built over many years and will bring a wealth of commercial and operational experience to the RMIT community."
Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of London in 2013, Martin has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Technology, Sydney.
At the invitation of the UK Government, Martin developed and launched FutureLearn in December 2012, the UK's response to the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) movement.
Under his leadership The Open University has also made its award-winning course materials available to more than 200,000 enrolled students via tablets and smartphones.
He has won numerous awards in the US and UK for his contribution to education and was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 United Kingdom New Year's Honours list, for services to higher education.
Martin Bean will spend February meeting staff and students around the University and deepening his knowledge of RMIT, before starting work in March on developing the University's next Strategic Plan.
He will also visit RMIT's campuses in Vietnam and the University's largest offshore partner, the Singapore Institute of Management.