University of Newcastle Chancellor Paul Jeans

Mr Paul Jeans – BE(NSW) FIEAust, FAICD

Chancellor of the University of Newcastle

The University Council elected Mr Paul Jeans as the seventh Chancellor of the University, with his term commencing on 1 July 2013.

Mr Jeans is a fourth-generation Novocastrian with a senior leadership career spanning more than four decades.

Mr Jeans completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the Newcastle University College at Tighes Hill, the antecedent institution to the University of Newcastle. He undertook senior management development at the University of New South Wales’ Australian Graduate School of Management and the University of Hawaii. He is a fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Past Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Mr Jeans’ executive career spanned more than 40 years with BHP and included a number of Chief Executive roles, including Executive General Manager and CEO of its Ferrous Minerals Business, three of its Steel Businesses, which included responsibility for both Newcastle and Port Kembla Steelworks, and its Service Companies (Engineering, IT, Transport, Power and Insurance).  Earlier, Mr Jeans had a long career in BHP Engineering, ultimately leading that organisation.

Mr Jeans has also had extensive experience as a Director on a number of BHP Joint Venture and Subsidiary Companies, often as Chairman. He has also been a Director of Fosters Brewing Group, Energy Australia, Ausgrid and Newcastle Port Corporation, the latter of which he chaired from 2008 to 2013.

He is a Fellow and Past Councillor of the University of Wollongong and a Past Director and Honorary Governor of The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering at Sydney University. He was also a Director of Wollongong University’s Illawarra Technology Corporation.  He is a Past President of the Australia-Korea Business Council and a Past Councillor of the Australian Minerals Council.

A passionate advocate for regional development and the community, Mr Jeans has served on the Chambers of Commerce and Manufacturers as well as Regional Development Boards for the Australian and NSW governments in both the Hunter and Illawarra regions. Mr Jeans chaired the Illawarra Advisory Board of The Salvation Army and was Area President of both the Hunter and Illawarra Scout Associations.


At the University of Newcastle (UON), our research and innovation creates new thinking, new ideas, and new breakthroughs to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Challenges that will be met by a new generation of leaders in industry, society and community—pioneers and trailblazers, whose skills and passion were grown right here. Our 2025 vision to stand as a global leader, distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence, creating a better future for our regions through innovation and impact.

UON is ranked in the top 1% of Universities in the world, by QS World University Rankings 2018, and 13 of our disciplines are ranked in the world’s top 200. The University is ranked top 8 in Australia for research ‘well above world standard.’ These independent rankings are evidence of our commitment to excellence, purposeful research, uncommon innovation and the highest standards in educational outcomes.


Through world-class research and strong partnerships with government and industry, the University drives innovation that challenges conventional thinking and changes lives.

Our Global Impact Clusters, help researchers work across disciplines to solve the world’s greatest challenges in the fields of Energy, Resources, Food and Water; Better Health, Healthcare and Treatment; Future Industries; and Strong Cities, Communities and Regions. And our research institutes, like the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources and the Hunter Medical Research Institute, are unrivalled in their impact.

The University of Newcastle logo.


Over 90% of the University of Newcastle’s research is ‘at’ or
‘above world standard’ (Excellence in Research Australia 2015).


Top 1% of Universities in the World by QS World University
Rankings 2018


The University of Newcastle is ranked 5th in Australia for
generic skills (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching 2016).


89.8% of graduates are in full-time or part-time work within four
months of graduation (Australian Graduate Survey 2015).


90% of the University of Newcastle’s programs incorporate
work integrated learning opportunity.


The University is a pioneer in university education, with degrees designed around global learning, work placements and entrepreneurial approaches to bring innovative and relevant teaching to our diverse student body.  Our problem-based learning approach, which underpins many of our key degree programs, shapes real-world skills for over 37,000 students from 120 nations.


With state-of-the-art facilities, the UON offers innovative and inspiring approaches to delivering education across all of our locations: Newcastle, Central Coast, Sydney, Port Macquarie and Singapore. Our $95 million NeW Space facility in the heart of Newcastle’s CBD harnesses cutting-edge educational technology to deliver a world-class student experience.

To find out more, visit the University of Newcastle website opens-in-a-new-window

University of Newcastle Council

Council is the University’s executive governing body. It is the most senior decision-making body of the University and is responsible for the oversight, management and development of strategic plans and key policies. Council monitors the overall performance and accountability of the organisation and is subject to standards of corporate governance.

For more information, refer to the University of Newcastle’s Council Charter opens-in-a-new-window.

Membership of the University of Newcastle’s Council is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Mr P.E. (Paul) Jeans – Chancellor (to 30 June 2021)
Professor Caroline McMillen – Vice-Chancellor and President (to October 2019)
Professor Mark Jones – President of Academic Senate (to 31 December 2019)

Appointed Members – Ministerial

Conjoint Professor Geoff Lilliss (to 31 August 2018)
Mr Robert Kennedy (to 31 January 2020)

Appointed Members – Council

Ms Dianne Allen – Deputy Chancellor (to 31 December 2018)
Ms Jann Gardner (to 31 December 2020)
Ms Michelle McPherson (to 31 December 2021)
Mr John Bowers (to 13 August 2019)
Mr Doug Dean (to 13 August 2019)

Elected Members

Professor Pablo Moscato – Academic Staff (to 31 August 2018)
Dr Roslyn Larkin – Academic Staff (to 31 August 2018)
Mr Michael Robertson – Professional Staff (to 31 August 2018)
Mr Bhavi Ravindran – Elected Student (to 31 December 2018)

Council Committees

The Committees of the Council are:

Nominations and Governance Committee

Chair – Mr Paul Jeans, Chancellor

Controlled and Associated Entities Committee

Chair – Mr Bob Kennedy

Chancellor’s Committee

Chair – Mr Paul Jeans, Chancellor

Risk Committee

Chair – Ms Michelle McPherson

Finance Committee

Chair – Ms Dianne Allen, Deputy Chancellor

Strategic Development Committee

Chair – Conjoint Professor Geoff Lilliss

People and Culture Committee

Chair – Ms Jann Gardner

Academic Senate

Chair – Professor Mark Jones, President of Academic Senate

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