‘Life-changing’ career ends for Lincoln chancellor

‘Life-changing’ career ends for Lincoln chancellor
Lincoln University’s chancellor has announced his retirement after 12 years in the top job.

“My time as chancellor has been a truly life-changing experience and it hasn’t been an easy decision to step down.  However, I am very confident that the time is right”, says Tom Lambie ONZM. 

Pro-Chancellor Tony Hall says “it was with much regret that the council received Tom’s resignation at the council meeting this week. Tom’s contribution over the last decade has been hugely significant – to the university but also to the wider tertiary and land-based sectors. A key part of Tom’s legacy will be the impact he had on the people he engaged with at Lincoln. He balanced his governance role with a very personal regard for the individuals he met – whether they were students, staff, alumni, stakeholders or visiting dignitaries.  He will be missed around the council table”.

Lambie joined the Lincoln University Council in 2002 becoming chancellor in 2005. During his time in office the university has heightened its focus as New Zealand’s specialist land-based university – a long-term strategy to reposition the 138-year-old institution. The strategy has led to the introduction of a new suite of qualifications to sit alongside Lincoln’s flagship programmes; entering the QS world-rankings top 400 universities (notably #13 in the world in the small university category); a re-focused farms’ portfolio; the introduction of the former Telford Rural Polytechnic qualifications into the university structure; and, more recently, overseeing the plans to commence the rebuild of the Lincoln campus as a fit-for-purpose, modern land-based institution.  

He says “I am a dairy farmer from South Canterbury and as the industry enters challenging times it has become obvious that I need to turn my focus to the farm – and to hand over as chancellor to allow the university to receive the focus it needs. I leave the university in very good hands, with pro-chancellor Tony Hall being voted in as chancellor and Linda Tame as pro-chancellor.  I have the utmost confidence in Tony, Linda, the council and the vice-chancellor to lead the university into the future”.

Lambie is an alumnus of Lincoln and has a close relationship with the Lincoln University Alumni Association. President of the Alumni Association, Jo Spencer-Bower, says “I am personally sorry to hear that Tom is stepping down from the role of chancellor at Lincoln. I can still remember when I was a student, how Tom would come along to the netball games and support the team. I have been lucky enough to cross paths with Tom again in my role as President of the Alumni Association. Tom has always taken the time to meet with the association executive, in particular when there are council decisions that will impact the association or the alumni of the university. He’ll be long remembered as a true gentleman who gave a huge amount of his time for the university – often way above the call of duty”.

Tom will officially step down after officiating at his 12th graduation in office, on Friday 8th April.