World expert to head college

Massey University has announced the appointment of an international health expert to the helm of its new College of Health.

Canadian public health specialist Professor Paul McDonald has been appointed to the lead role, Massey vice-chancellor Steve Maharey announced yesterday.

Prof McDonald is director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and will take up the position at Massey's Albany campus in March next year.

Prof McDonald is also a fellow of Britain's Royal Society for Public Health and has been recognised for his research into population health planning and reducing tobacco use.

Mr Maharey said the appointment marked a milestone for Massey.

"Professor McDonald is a recognised health leader for his work in Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. He will play a key role in Massey's goal of being a world leader in public health."

Prof McDonald is no stranger to the New Zealand tertiary sector.

In 2008 and 2009 he was visiting associate professor at the Auckland University of Technology's Department of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies.

Prof McDonald said the university's new College of Health would build New Zealand's capacity to provide creative health solutions in a time of need.

"New Zealand, like the rest of the world, is facing unprecedented challenges, such as population ageing and urbanisation, growing inequities, climate change, as well as increased global connectivity and trade," he said. "Each of them has huge, emerging implications for health. The need for innovation and leadership to deal with these challenges has never been greater."

More than 315 fulltime equivalent staff and 2000 students across Massey's campuses - Albany, Manawatu and Wellington - will come under the College of Health from January.

Manawatu Standard