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CQUniversity remembers trailblazing Vice-Chancellor

Published:19 May 2022

Professor Glenice Hancock AM was the former Vice-Chancellor of CQUniversity Australia and the first woman appointed as VC of any Queensland-based university.

The CQUniversity Australia community is remembering former Vice-Chancellor and Queensland’s first female Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Glenice Hancock AM, who passed away in New South Wales on Thursday, 12 May.

Professor Hancock was a committed and dedicated educator, who joined CQUniversity in 1997 as a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and was later appointed to the University’s top job.

Her appointment in 2001 made her the first woman to hold the role of Vice-Chancellor at any Queensland university.

Before commencing with CQUniversity, Professor Hancock was the Executive Director, Schools in South Australia, Assistant Director-General, New South Wales Department of School Education, and prior to that, Commissioner, Corrective Services Commission of New South Wales. She was also on the Board of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation from 1995 to 2004.

Professor Hancock spent three years as Vice-Chancellor before her retirement in 2004.

During her tenure Professor Hancock emerged as a strong advocate for advancing regional higher education delivery by strengthening and increasing on-campus and online course delivery options and expanding the University’s focus on international student recruitment.

Under Professor Hancock’s leadership CQUniversity won many regional, state and national export awards that recognised the University’s value as a quality education provider.

Current CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Nick Klomp said that Professor Hancock will be remembered by her former colleagues as a strong leader, with great strategic vision.

“Professor Hancock was a driving force of change at CQUniversity when it came to growing international education and focusing strategic efforts on the evolution of traditional distance learning to online.

“During her time at CQUniversity, Professor Hancock was a pioneer for flexible learning models and authored many academic papers on the importance of distance education and flexible learning, with a particular focus on the success of CQUniversity.

“When CQUniversity was forced to transition all of its course offerings and teaching to online delivery in 2020 due to COVID, we were able to do this seamlessly and I think we owe a lot to the vision of Professor Hancock who helped to focus efforts in this emerging area,” said Professor Klomp.

“On behalf of the entire CQUniversity community, I extend my deepest condolences to Emeritus Professor Hancock’s family, including her daughters Kate and Penny, her grandchildren and her friends, and her colleagues in the sector.

As well as her extraordinary vision, Professor Hancock also inspired a new generation of female professional and academic leaders at CQUniversity.

CQU Vice-President Academic Professor Helen Huntly was the Sub Dean of Education on the Bundaberg Campus during Professor Hancock’s tenure, said that she was a strong advocate for empowering emerging female leaders within the University.

“As well as remembering Glenice as the first female Vice-Chancellor in Queensland, I remember her as a highly personable, approachable and knowledgeable leader who was committed to advancing opportunities for women in the higher education sector,” Prof Huntly said.

“She always found time for middle-management leaders as we navigated our way through what was (at that stage) a sector with very much male-dominated leadership”.

“CQUniversity can credit Glenice for supporting a new generation of female leaders at CQUniversity and for also paving the way for other female university leaders in Queensland and throughout Australia.”

Former CQUniversity Chancellor, the Hon Stan Jones AO said that Professor Hancock relentlessly pushed for the continuing progress of new generation universities, like CQU.

“When Glenice was appointed as Vice-Chancellor there was still a myth in the sector that higher education institutions can only flourish in major metropolitan centres,” Mr Jones said.

“However, Glenice believed that a great university is one that is intrinsically linked to its communities and that universities should be accessible for everyone.

“I think this is how CQUniversity is viewed as a university now.”

A celebration of Professor Hancock’s life will be held in Little Bay in New South Wales, on Tuesday 31 May at 10am. Former colleagues and associates are welcome to join the service via the livestream link that can be found here.