Pip, Pip, Hooray!
Professor Pip Hamilton A.M., who retired in August, has made an enormous contribution to turning Deakin University into a genuine research institution.
“Under Pip’s leadership, Deakin’s research performance and research profile have improved greatly,” said Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Walker, at a well-attended formal farewell at the Management Centre at Waurn Ponds on August 8th.
“His strategy has been to encourage and facilitate the development of research concentrations, aligning a critical mass of researchers into Research Priority Areas.
“These Research Priority Areas have contributed to the creation of a stimulating research culture and an excellent environment for research training; they have encouraged the optimal use of infrastructure and scarce resources.”
Pip Hamilton was appointed to the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Deakin in 1997; he became Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) in 2002.
During Pip’s tenure, annual research income has grown from $2 million in 1996 to $22 million in 2005. This rate of research growth far exceeds the average annual rate of growth for the higher education sector.
His contribution to developing a culture of research at Deakin University is demonstrated by other performance measures: publications in the national collection have grown from 350 in 1996 to more than 1,000 in 2005, higher degree by research completions have grown from 54 in 1996 to more than 140 in recent years.
Pip’s contribution to Deakin goes way beyond figures though.
Deakin’s first Federation Fellow, Professor Peter Hodgson, said it was his personal touch, his ability to walk the university and talk to potential researchers, that really won the respect and support of staff.
“It was amazing the way he went out into the schools and spoke to the staff,” Professor Hodgson said. “That would be unheard of in other universities, but that’s the sort of person Pip is.
“He was instrumental in me applying for my Federation Fellow. He not only talked me into it, but gave up his time on weekends to read and re-read my submission.
“It’s that sort of dedication that has helped changed the university’s approach to research.
No longer is it just an add-on to teaching work, it is part of the culture.”
Alison Hadfield, Director of Research Services, said Pip was a wonderful team player.
“He has the ability to put his ego in his hip pocket when it comes to the good of the cause,” she said.
“And we all know how important that is when separating great leaders from ordinary ones.”
As for Pip, he was deeply moved by the occasion, but the trademark wit was still there.
Presented by his long serving PA, Cynthia Korevaar, with a mirror framed in timbers from the original buildings that form part of Deakin’s Waterfront Campus, he gazed into the glass and declared: “What a great picture.”
Pip also thanked the Research Service Division staff he had worked with for the past nine years, both for the contribution to changing the way Deakin goes about its research, and for their friendship.
Pip’s wife, Margaret, to whom he’s been married for 43 years, was presented with a bouquet.
After 42 years in both research and research management teams, Pip says he is now going to spend his time with his number one team, Margaret.
His legacy at Deakin though will live on, honoured every time there is mention of “Australia’s fastest growing research institution”.
• Professor David Stokes is acting as DVC (Research) until a permanent appointment is made.