Communications & Media

Two “firsts” for new Chair of Academic Senate

Professor Di Nicol

UTAS' Professor Di Nicol (Faculty of Law) has been appointed as Chair of Academic Senate.

Her appointment marks two firsts: Prof Nicol is the first elected female Chair and the first Chair from Law.

Prof Nicol said she felt honoured and privilege to be appointed for the position; and a little daunted.

"My predecessor, Professor John Williamson, has been in the role for 11 years and has very much made it his own. He has carried out his role with dignity and rigor.

"He is always thoroughly prepared for meetings and always has something insightful to say. I have big shoes to fill."

Academic Senate is the principal academic body of the University and the key forum for the Vice Chancellor and the Senior Executive team to seek advice on academic matters.

Prof Nicol began her academic career as a scientist, receiving a PhD from Dalhousie University in Canada in 1987.

She then started studying law after moving to Tasmania in 1992. She was admitted as a barrister and solicitor to the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the High Court in 1998 and spent some time in legal practice. She commenced work as an academic at UTAS in 2000. Her teaching focuses on primarily on the interface between technology and the law, in the following subjects: intellectual property law, information technology and the law, biotechnology and the law, media law and equity.

The broad theme of Prof Nicol's research in the law discipline is the regulation of biotechnology and human genetics. She is currently the lead chief investigator on two Australian Research Council funded projects, one on patenting of biotechnology inventions, the other on the role of law in the era of personalised medicine.

In October 2012 Prof Nicol was appointed to the three member expert panel examining pharmaceutical patents. She has also served as Deputy Dean of the UTAS Law Faculty and is currently Associate Dean, Research. She completed a five year tenure as Chair of the University's Animal Ethics Committee at the end of 2011.

Published on: 05 Dec 2012 9:25am