Mr Paul Jeans – BE(UNSW), FRSN, FIEAust, FAICD

Chancellor of The University of Newcastle

The University Council elected Mr Paul Jeans as the seventh Chancellor of the University, with his term commencing on 1 July 2013.

Mr Jeans is a fourth-generation Novocastrian with a senior leadership career spanning more than four decades.

Mr Jeans completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the Newcastle University College at Tighes Hill, the antecedent institution to the University of Newcastle. He undertook senior management development at the University of New South Wales’ Australian Graduate School of Management and the University of Hawaii. He is a fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Past Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Mr Jeans’ executive career spanned more than 40 years with BHP and included a number of Chief Executive roles, including Executive General Manager and CEO of its Ferrous Minerals Business, three of its Steel Businesses, which included responsibility for both Newcastle and Port Kembla Steelworks, and its Service Companies (Engineering, IT, Transport, Power and Insurance).  Earlier, Mr Jeans had a long career in BHP Engineering, ultimately leading that organisation.

Mr Jeans has also had extensive experience as a Director on a number of BHP Joint Venture and Subsidiary Companies, often as Chairman. He has also been a Director of Fosters Brewing Group, Energy Australia, Ausgrid and Newcastle Port Corporation, the latter of which he chaired from 2008 to 2013.

He is a Fellow and Past Councillor of the University of Wollongong and a Past Director and Honorary Governor of The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering at Sydney University. He was also a Director of Wollongong University’s Illawarra Technology Corporation.  He is a Past President of the Australia-Korea Business Council and a Past Councillor of the Australian Minerals Council.

A passionate advocate for regional development and the community, Mr Jeans has served on the Chambers of Commerce and Manufacturers as well as Regional Development Boards for the Australian and NSW governments in both the Hunter and Illawarra regions. Mr Jeans chaired the Illawarra Advisory Board of The Salvation Army and was Area President of both the Hunter and Illawarra Scout Associations.


University Profile


At the University of Newcastle, we are committed to realising our bold 2025 vision to stand as a global leader, distinguished by our commitment to equity and excellence.

In our relatively short history, we have developed a strong reputation as an institution dedicated to outstanding education and research. Currently ranked 214th in the world by QS World University Rankings 2019, we are consistently ranked within Australia’s top 10 universities, and we have 15 subjects recognised in the top 200 in the world.

Our degrees are shaped around global learning, work placements and entrepreneurial opportunities. We offer more than 250 undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs and over 150 research masters and PhD programs across five faculties – Business and Law, Education and Arts, Engineering and Built Environment, Health and Medicine, and Science.

We are proud to be the largest provider of enabling programs in Australia, and through the work of our Indigenous staff, communities and Elders, we have led Indigenous education for more than 30 years.


Through world-class research and strong partnerships with government and industry, the University drives innovation that challenges conventional thinking and changes lives. The University of Newcastle is number one university in Australia for Innovation Connections for ‘industry collaboration’ (League table 2017 Innovation Connections program, Ausindustry) and top eight in Australia for research ‘well-above world standard’ (Excellence in Research Australia, 2015).

Our Global Impact Clusters, help researchers work across disciplines to solve the world’s greatest challenges in the fields of Energy, Resources, Food and Water; Better Health, Healthcare and Treatment; Future Industries; and Strong Cities, Communities and Regions. And our research institutes, like the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources and the Hunter Medical Research Institute, are unrivalled in their impact.


The University of Newcastle is a pioneer in university education, with degrees designed around global learning, work placements and entrepreneurial approaches to bring innovative and relevant teaching to our diverse student body. With a focus on developing the world’s next generation of socially-oriented leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators, our problem-based learning approach, which underpins many of our key degree programs, shapes real-world skills for over 37,000 students from 115 nations.


With state-of-the-art facilities, the University of Newcastle offers innovative and inspiring approaches to delivering education across all of our locations: Newcastle, Central Coast, Sydney, Port Macquarie and Singapore. Our $95 million NeW Space facility in the heart of Newcastle’s CBD harnesses cutting-edge educational technology to deliver a world-class student experience.

To find out more, visit the University of Newcastle website newcastle.edu.au 



University of Newcastle Council

Council is the University’s executive governing body. It is the most senior decision-making body of the University and is responsible for the oversight, management and development of strategic plans and key policies. Council monitors the overall performance and accountability of the organisation and is subject to standards of corporate governance.

For more information, refer to the University of Newcastle’s Council Charter .

Membership of the University of Newcastle’s Council is as follows:

Ex-Officio Members

Mr P.E. (Paul) Jeans – Chancellor (to 30 June 2021)
Professor Alex Zelinsky AO – Vice-Chancellor and President (to October 2019)
Professor Mark Jones – President of Academic Senate (to 31 December 2019)

Appointed Members – Ministerial

Conjoint Professor Geoff Lilliss (to 31 August 2021)
Mr Robert Kennedy (to 31 January 2020)

Appointed Members – Council

Ms Dianne Allen – Deputy Chancellor (to 31 December 2020)
Ms Jann Gardner (to 31 December 2020)
Ms Michelle McPherson (to 31 December 2021)
Mr John Bowers (to 13 August 2019)
Mr Doug Dean (to 13 August 2019)

Elected Members

Associate Professor Brendan Boyle – Academic Staff (to 31 August 2020)
Dr Roslyn Larkin – Academic Staff (to 31 August 2020)
Dr Kylie Twyford – Professional Staff (to 31 August 2020)
Ms Madeline Temple – Elected Student (to 31 December 2019)


Council Committees

The Committees of the Council are:

Nominations and Governance Committee

Chair – Mr Paul Jeans, Chancellor

Controlled and Associated Entities Committee

Chair – Mr Bob Kennedy

Chancellor’s Committee

Chair – Mr Paul Jeans, Chancellor

Risk Committee

Chair – Ms Michelle McPherson

Finance Committee

Chair – Ms Dianne Allen, Deputy Chancellor

Strategic Development Committee

Chair – Conjoint Professor Geoff Lilliss

People and Culture Committee

Chair – Ms Jann Gardner

Academic Senate

Chair – Professor Mark Jones, President of Academic Senate