The University of Divinity has announced the appointment of Professor Katharine Massam as Chair of the Academic Board for a term of three years, commencing in January 2024, Vox reports.
Katharine, who is a member of the ACI board, will succeed Reverend Associate Professor Frank Rees, who has served as Chair of the Academic Board since 2017. Professor Massam is the second woman to be appointed to this senior role at the University since its creation in 2005.
UD Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Sherlock commented:
The Academic Board and the University Council were unanimous in electing Professor Massam to this vital role, paying tribute to her wise leadership and significant experience in theological education and research over several decades. She brings a longstanding commitment to innovative and collaborative approaches to teaching, research and mentoring, not only in her primary discipline of religious history, but across a wide range of fields. I very much look forward to her contribution to academic integrity, educational innovation and ensuring the continuing excellence of our students’ experience.”
In response to the appointment, Katharine said:
I’m honoured by this appointment and look forward to taking up the role in 2024. I know we are all aware of the complexity of this time for the colleges and the University, and for theological education within the wider sector. I feel very sure that the Board will engage the challenges well, shaped significantly by Frank’s leadership and mentoring of a collegial culture. I am very much looking forward to working with the Board and with colleagues across the University in all the various tasks ahead.”
Katharine is a historian of religion, with particular interest in cultural and theological understandings of prayer and work. Her most recent book A Bridge Between: Spanish Benedictine Missionary Women in Australia (ANU Press, 2020) is recognised as a “model of how religious history, in its broader bearings, can be written” and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award in Australian History in 2021.
She has served variously as Academic Dean and Research Coordinator at Pilgrim Theological College, is Secretary of the Religious History Association, and a founding member of the Australian Collaborators in Feminist Theologies.
More recently, she has co-cordinated the Jocist Women’s History Project.
Congratulations from the ACI team, Katharine!
Professor Katharine Massam appointed Chair of the Academic Board (Vox)