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Professor Simon Biggs. Picture: Supplied/IRU

Innovative Research Universities has a new chair

Vice-chancellor of James Cook University Professor Simon Biggs has been appointed as the new chair of Innovative Research Universities (IRU) group, to serve a two year term to 2025.

He succeeds the former chair, University of Canberra vice-chancellor Paddy Nixon, who was meant to be chair until 2025, but who resigned earlier this month.

The group, which includes Flinders University, Griffith University, James Cook University, La Trobe University, Murdoch University, the University of Canberra, and Western Sydney University, is dedicated to building inclusive education and better research capabilities among the campuses.

Professor Biggs said he is committed to continuing the IRU's achievements after it celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

"I’m honoured to be named as the Chair of the IRU, with its commitment to equity and innovation," he said.

"I’d like to thank Paddy for his leadership in 2023 and I’m looking forward to continuing the IRU’s values-based work in our communities, around Australia, and the wider Indo-Pacific."

Executive director Paul Harris said this was an important time to lead the university group.

"This is an important moment for Australian universities and for higher education policy, as we await the final report of the Universities Accord panel," he said.

"I look forward to working with Professor Biggs over the next two years as the IRU continues to engage constructively with government on evidence-based policy reform that will maximise the contribution of our universities to the Australian economy and society."

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