Prof. Kathryn Sutherland


Kathryn Sutherland is Associate Professor in the Centre for Academic Development at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. She also served six years as Associate Dean (Students, and Learning & Teaching) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, so has a wide understanding of the challenges facing both staff and students in twenty first century universities. Her research and practice has three main areas of focus: the experiences of early career academics; holistic academic development; and working in partnership with students to improve teaching and learning. Her latest book, Early Career Academics in New Zealand: Challenges and Prospects in Comparative Perspective was published by Springer in 2018. Kathryn served as co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development for 10 years, and is an award-winning teacher and researcher. In 2018, she was just the sixth New Zealander to become a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and, in 2019, she received the inaugural Distinguished Contribution to the Scholarship of Educational Development award for her article ‘Holistic Academic Development: Is it time to think more broadly about the academic development project?’. Kathryn also enjoys running, and has managed to run (slowly) at least one half-marathon race per year since 2001.


Holistic Academic Development for Staff and Student Success and Joy

As the world moves rapidly into the middle of the twenty-first century, higher education is chasing to keep up with all the changes. From low-tech to high-tech, from transmission-focused to learning-centered, from colonial curricula to curriculum reconciliation, what do our higher education workplaces, classrooms, colleagues, students, and learning environments look like? How might they be different, and more joyful, if we looked through fresh eyes?

In this presentation, I will share research on holistic academic development, and on ‘akoranga’ (a Māori word that acknowledges the reciprocity of teaching and learning). I will highlight various practices and programmes that encourage academic developers and academic staff to find practical ways to work more closely, deliberately, and joyfully, in partnership with students. My goal is that you will leave feeling challenged to seek different ways of being, teaching, learning, researching and working in your university.

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