Officials from the Papua New Guinea University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) today welcomed new Vice Chancellor Professor, John Warren, and his wife Dr Cathryn.
Professor John Warren and wife Dr Cathryn arrived in the country this morning to a small welcome ceremony, at the Jacksons International airport, led by the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office, George Bopi.
Prof. Warren joins UNRE from Aberystwyth University in Wales, United Kingdom.
Prof. Warren’s appointment as Vice Chancellor of the PNG UNRE was endorsed by the National Executive Council on April 4th 2016.
This was done through the Higher Education Provisions Act 2014.
His contract is for a term of three years.
UNRE Registrar, Masi Fuawe, welcomed the Professor on behalf of the University.
Professor Warren says the world is faced with the uncertainties of climate change, it was an exciting time to be working with agriculture and food production. He said diversity is key in alleviating food shortage and Papua New Guinea is known for its diversity.
The new Vice Chancellor has a Bachelor of Science Honors in Plant Biology from the University of Newcastle; a doctorate in biology from the University of York; and a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education from the University of Wales Bangor.
He is also the author of the book The Nature of Crops, how we came to eat the plants we do, which was published by Oxford in 2015, and co-author of The Agri-Environment that was published in 2008 by Cambridge University Press. His blog Pick of the Crop (https://johnscropblog.wordpress.com/) contains a collection of biographies of domesticated plants.
The appointment of the new Vice Chancellor is seen as a way forward for the University, whose image has been marred by recent student unrests and allegations against the former Vice Chancellor.
Today, Professor Warren was expected to make a courtesy call to the Secretary of the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology Prof. David Kavanamur; and the Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology, Francis Marus.
Tomorrow Prof. Warren is expected to meet with the Prime Minister, as well as pay a courtesy call to the British High Commission. He is also scheduled to visit the University of Papua New Guinea as well as the Pacific Adventist University.
An official handover takeover ceremony will take place at the University on September 19.