University of South Australia Chancellor Jim McDowell

Mr Jim McDowell

Chancellor of the University of South Australia

Jim McDowell is currently Chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and Chair, Defence CRC in Trusted Autonomous Systems. He is also a non-Executive director of a number of private and listed companies. He advises the Federal Government in a number of areas of Defence and Defence Procurement.

Prior to this he spent 35 years in the aerospace, shipbuilding and defence industries most recently as CEO of BAE Systems Saudi Arabia (a $6 billion business) and for almost 11 years prior to that as CEO OF BAE Systems Australia, the nation’s largest defence contractor. He has lived and worked in the UK, the USA, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

His term as Chancellor is due to run until January 2020.

The University of South Australia is Australia’s university of enterprise, globally connected and engaged in helping solve the problems of industry and the professions. Its teaching is industry-informed, its research is focused on end-user application and it creates knowledge that is central to economic and social prosperity.

With more than 32,000 students, around 6,000 of whom are international students, it is South Australia’s largest university and offers degree programs in business, education, arts, social sciences, health sciences, information technology, engineering and the environment. Programs are designed with strong professional emphasis and in partnership with industry. The Good Universities Guide 2016 ranked it as number one in the state for getting a full-time job.

The University maintains a strong commitment to teaching and learning, and ranks in the top 10 nationally for the proportion of its staff with a doctorate (73 per cent). Its MBA program consistently ranks amongst the best in the country, holding a five-star rating for seven consecutive years (as awarded by the Graduate Management Association of Australia).

Its rankings continue to grow. It is ranked in the top 50 world universities under 50 years old by both Times Higher Education (#35) and QS (#25) world university rankings. THE also ranked the University of South Australia amongst the world’s best international universities.

The university continues to develop a strong research environment and focuses its efforts on understanding scarce resources, future industries and cancer prevention and management, among other themes. It ranks in the top one third of Australian universities for research income, and in the Excellence in Research for Australia 2015 evaluation more than 97 per cent of its assessed research was deemed to be of world-class standard or above.

University of South Australia logo.


(QILT: Graduate Destinations Survey 2013-2015 Full-time
Employment Indicator).


97% of the University’s research is rated as world class or above
(Excellence in Research Australia ERA 2015).

A hallmark of the university’s research is the close, collaborative engagement it enjoys with its many industry, government, collegiate and community partners, which ensures that the outcomes are relevant to its end-users but also that the questions asked reflect real-world issues. Partnerships include Hewlett-Packard and the State Government to build an innovation and collaboration centre; the Centre for Cancer Biology to research genomics and personalised medicine; and the Port Adelaide Football Club to develop high performance in sport.

The University also engages closely with the communities it serves. Its Samstag Museum presents a changing exhibitions program of contemporary visual art, and its Hawke Centre public lectures are devoted to generating ideas and solutions to achieve cohesive, sustainable societies.

The University has a strong equity mission and was the first university in South Australia to have a Reconciliation Action Plan. It is also a proud supporter of vital community events including the Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks and the Santos Tour Down Under UCI World Tour cycling race.

With campuses in the heart of Adelaide, in the metropolitan area (Mawson Lakes and Magill) and in the regional cities of Whyalla and Mount Gambier, the university provides opportunities to students from a wide range of geographic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. It is currently implementing a $1 billion-plus building program to further enhance its physical and virtual infrastructure.

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

University of South Australia Council

Council is the governing body of the University of South Australia and is responsible for the following

  • overseeing the management and development of the University
  • approving strategic plans and major policies, devising or approving statutes and by-laws for the University,
  • monitoring and reviewing the operation of the University
  • appointing, and overseeing the performance of the Chief Executive Officer, the Vice Chancellor.

Membership of the University of South Australia’s Council is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Mr Jim McDowell – Chancellor (to 1 January 2020)
Professor David Lloyd – Vice-Chancellor and President
Dr Wendy Craik AM – Deputy Chancellor (to 31 March 2018)
Mr Terry Evans – Pro Chancellor (to 31 December 2017)
Professor Rick Sarre – Presiding Member of Academic Board (to 31 December 2016)

Appointed Members – Council

Ms Pauline Carr (to 31 December 2017)
The Hon. John Hill (to 21 July 2017)
Ms Paula Nagel AM (to 31 December 2017)
Professor Leanna Read (to 16 December 2017)
Ms Miriam Silva (to 20 February 2019)
Mr Eric Granger (to 20 February 2019)
Mr Jim Hazel (to 1 January 2017)

Elected Members

Professor Pat Buckley – Academic Staff (to 31 December 2017)
Ms Jade O’Donohue – General Staff (to 31 December 2017)
Mr Nick (Ka Leung) Li – Postgraduate Student (to 31 December 2016)
Mr Carey Moore – Undergraduate Student (to 31 December 2016)

Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Academic Board

Chair – Mr Rick Sarre

Audit and Risk Management Committee

Chair – Ms Pauline Carr

Finance Committee

Chair – Mr Jim Hazel

Foundation Committee

Chair – Mr Jim McDowell, Chancellor

Governance and Legislation Committee

Chair – Mr Jim McDowell, Chancellor

Honorary Awards Committee

Chair – Mr Jim McDowell, Chancellor

Immediate Business Committee

Chair – Mr Jim McDowell, Chancellor

Senior Academic Promotions Committee

Chair – Mr Jim McDowell, Chancellor

Senior Remuneration Committee

Chair – Mr Jim McDowell, Chancellor

Committees established as required:

  • Academic Staff Appeals Committee
  • Joint Consultative Committee
  • Misconduct Appeals Committee
  • Penalty Appeals Committee
  • Professional Staff Appeals Committee
  • Student Appeals Committee

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