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Principal officers

Our senior leadership team

Our Deputy Vice-Chancellors and Vice-Principals contribute to decision-making across the University on strategy, management, administration and related policy.

Led by the Vice-Chancellor, each principal officer in our executive team furthers the development of the university through the management of a specific portfolio.

Principal officers

Professor Stephen Garton

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost

Professor Stephen Garton BA Sydney PhD UNSW, FAHA FASSA FRAHS

Appointed: August 2009

Duties: As Provost, Professor Garton is the Vice-Chancellor's senior deputy and together they are responsible for the general management of the University. The Provost oversees the delivery of our academic programs and is responsible for the general performance of the faculties, including budgets.

Biography: Professor Garton is a graduate of the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Royal Australian Historical Society. His research interests include Australian, British and American social and cultural history, with a specific focus on crime, incarceration, medicine, masculinity and sexuality.


Professor Philippa Pattison

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)

Professor Philippa Pattison AO, PhD Melbourne, FASSA

Appointed: June 2014

Duties: Professor Pattison is responsible for strategy around teaching, learning and students’ educational experience. She oversees institution-wide development of better support for student learning, including our approach to curriculum renewal, new thinking in pedagogy, learning and teaching analytics, e-learning and quality assurance.

Biography: A quantitative psychologist by background, Professor Pattison began her academic career at the University of Melbourne, and has previously served as president of Melbourne’s Academic Board and most recently as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). The primary focus of her research is the development and application of mathematical and statistical models for social networks and network processes. She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1995.

Professor Pattison was named on the Queen’s Birthday 2015 Honours List as an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to higher education, particularly through contributions to the study of social network modelling, analysis and theory, and to university leadership and administration.

Professor Shane Houston

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services)

Professor Shane Houston PhD Curtin

Appointed: April 2011

Duties: Professor Houston leads our institution-wide strategy to advance Indigenous participation, engagement, education and research including the Wingara-Mura Bunga Barrabugu strategy.

Biography: Professor Houston was previously executive director of systems performance and Aboriginal policy with the NT Department of Health and Families. He has been actively engaged in Aboriginal advancement issues for more than 30 years at a community level, working in government and in a number of international settings, including various United Nations-related activities. He has a long-standing interest in the development of culturally secure health services and systems, and in health economics – especially in finding greater equity in how health systems allocate and use resources. He had previously been a board member of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Lowitja Institute.


Professor Tyrone Carlin

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Registrar)

Professor Tyrone Carlin BCom UNSW, LLB (Hons) Sydney MCom (Hons) UNSW LLM Sydney PhD Macquarie Grad Dip Fin SIA, CA FCPA FFin

Appointed: March 2014

Duties: Professor Carlin manages key elements of the University’s relationship with students from the recruitment to graduation, including a range of initiatives directed towards the enhancement of the student experience.

Biography: Professor Carlin has held senior positions at the University of Sydney, including Pro Vice Chancellor (Education Operations) and Co-Dean of the Business School. He was Dean of Law at Macquarie University immediately prior to his appointment at Sydney. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and the recipient of the Law Graduates Association Medal in Law, his research interests include the application and operation of good faith requirements and fiduciary obligations in commercial contexts and corporate financial reporting and regulation.


Professor Duncan Ivison

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (Acting)

Professor Duncan Ivison BA McGill MSc PhD LSE, FAHA

Appointed: 1 July 2015

Duties: As DVCR, Professor Ivison is responsible for helping to develop and deliver the University’s research strategy, and support the pursuit of outstanding fundamental and applied research across the institution. 

Biography: Professor Ivison is a political philosopher with research and teaching interests in contemporary political theory, the history of political thought and moral philosophy. Prior to this role, he was Dean of the University of Sydney's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2010. He has also held appointments at the University of Toronto and the University of York (UK). He was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow and Visiting Fellow in Ethics and Public Affairs at the Center for Human Values, Princeton University (2002-03), as well as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU (1993-96). He was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2009.


Tim Dolan

Vice-Principal (Advancement)

Tim Dolan BA UCLA

Appointed: February 2014

Duties: Mr Dolan oversees all of the University of Sydney's fundraising programs. His leadership encompasses all areas of alumni relations, development and advancement services, including our $600 million fundraiser: INSPIRED – The Campaign to support the University of Sydney.

Biography: Tim Dolan has spent his entire professional career as a fundraiser. He commenced his role as Director of Development at the University of Sydney in January 2009. For the previous six years, he was responsible for Leadership Gifts at UCLA and before that he led the development effort for the Medical School and Comprehensive Cancer Centre at the University of Hawaii.


Ms Sara Watts

Vice-Principal (Operations)

Ms Sara Watts BSc Sydney MBA Macquarie, FCPA GAICD

Appointed: August 2014

Duties: Ms Watts is responsible for the streamlined and cost-effective delivery of our key operational units, including Finance, Human Resources, Information and Communications Technology and Campus Infrastructure Services. She also has ownership of the Project Management Office, a unit tasked with developing and implementing transformative programs in support of the University’s strategic goals.

Biography: Ms Watts has held a number of senior positions with IBM, spending her last six years there as the Chief Financial Officer for IBM Australia / New Zealand. Her corporate experience includes business process improvement, finance process transformation, and internal audit. She currently sits on the board of Vision Australia, chairs the Audit Committee of the Victorian Auditor General’s Office and is the immediate past chair of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.


Associate Professor Peter McCallum

Chair of the Academic Board

Associate Professor Peter McCallum BMus Dunelm MMus London PhD Sydney, DSCM

First elected: December 2010

Duties: The Chair of the Academic Board provides the University community with outstanding leadership in research, learning and teaching through benchmarking and quality assurance.

Biography: Peter McCallum is an expert in music analysis and investigation of the compositional process, and is currently working on Beethoven’s sketches for the last five string quartets. He has published work on the music of Beethoven, Boulez and the classical era, and has a secondary research area in aspects of Australian music including Australian music criticism.

University of Sydney General Counsel Richard Fisher AM.

General Counsel

Richard Fisher AM, LLB Sydney MEc New England

Appointed: April 2007

Duties: As General Counsel, Mr Fisher is responsible for overseeing the provision of legal advice to the University as well as the management of its internal audit team, the Trusts Office, the Policy Management Unit, the Group Secretary’s Office and the Archives & Records Management Unit

Biography: In addition to his role as General Counsel, Mr Fisher is an Adjunct Professor in the University’s Faculty of Law. He is also a company director. Prior to joining the University, Mr Fisher was a partner for some 25 years in Blake Dawson (now Ashurst) and is its immediate past Chairman of Partners. He has also been an international consultant to the Asian Development Bank and was a Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission.