The Hon. Michael Field AC

Chancellor of the University of Tasmania

The Hon. Michael Field AC joined the University of Tasmania Council in July 2012 and was appointed Chancellor in January 2013. He has since been reappointed until December 2020.

Michael grew up on the North West Coast of Tasmania and is a graduate of the University of Tasmania in History and Political Science. Elected to Parliament in 1976, Michael has been a Cabinet Minister, Premier and Leader of the Opposition over a 20-year career in politics.  Since leaving politics in 1997 he has been a member of several boards and has been a leadership consultant.

Michael is married to Jan, is the father of three adult children and a grandfather of four, and lives at Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula.


University Profile

For 127 years the University of Tasmania has been nurturing students to find their talent through the pursuit of knowledge. The University is a truly global institution regarded internationally for teaching and academic excellence. The University collaborates widely, while helping individuals to flourish. Students will not be lost in the crowd. They will get the personal attention they need, because the University believes that everyone has talent, and is committed to helping each student find theirs.

Studying at the University of Tasmania can take a student further than they ever expected. The University has a diverse range of degrees, student exchanges and learning experiences designed to shape future global leaders.

The University of Tasmania experience unlocks the potential of individuals. Graduates are equipped and inspired to shape and respond to the opportunities and challenges of the future as accomplished communicators, highly regarded professionals and culturally competent citizens in local, national, and global society.

The University of Tasmania is one of Australia’s premier universities for teaching excellence, receiving in 2015 more teaching awards than any other university. With a curriculum focused on developing multidisciplinary knowledge and skills, as well as global perspective and social responsibility, the University of Tasmania graduates are equipped and inspired to respond to opportunities and challenges in an ever changing world. The University of Tasmania provides exceptional facilities, an enviable campus lifestyle and an international reputation for excellence which means a degree from us is globally recognised.

The University of Tasmania is committed to the creation and dissemination of knowledge, with research activity and expertise that is recognised globally. In 2015, the University was ranked in the top 10 research universities in Australia and in the top 2% of universities worldwide. With a focus on research leadership, the University of Tasmania provides a dynamic environment for students wishing to pursue a research career, with ready access to academics who are leaders in their fields.

The University of Tasmania’s bold strategic plan identifies three central priorities: research, students and community.

That plan, Open to Talent, sets an agenda for the University over a 10-year span which is both ambitious and visionary. This is not just an aspiration set out by the University’s leadership team; it is what universities will need to achieve in an era of scarce resources and increasing national and international competition.

It is fair to say the University of Tasmania has held consistently lofty goals since it was established in 1890. This unwavering pursuit of excellence has led UTAS to be ranked in the top two per cent of research institutes in the world and among the top 10 institutions in Australia. But Open to Talent is also centrally about staff, students and the community. “At their heart, universities are about people: what they can become, what they can create and how they can inspire,” the strategic plan says.

The UTAS motto Ingeniis Patuit Campus, or “The Field is Open to Talent”, captures the institution’s spirit, reflecting its vitality and confidence in its identity.

To find out more, visit the University of Tasmania website www.utas.edu.au 



University of Tasmania Council

The University Council is the governing body of the University of Tasmania. It is established by the University of Tasmania Act 1992 (TAS).

The Council is chaired by the Chancellor, who is appointed by the members. The current Chancellor is the Hon. Michael Field AC , and the current Deputy Chancellor is Mr Harvey Gibson . These positions are honorary.

Council makes decisions in relation to policy and planning, makes University legislation and approves policy documents. It is advised by its committees, its working parties, and (in relation to academic matters) the Academic Senate.

For more information, refer to the University of Tasmania Council Charter .

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

Ex-Officio Members

The Hon. Michael Field AC – Chancellor (to 31 December 2020)
Professor Rufus Black – Vice-Chancellor (to 28 February 2023)
Professor Dianne Nicol – Chair of Academic Senate (to 31 December 2018)

Appointed Members – Ministerial

Mrs Susan Chen (to 31 December 2020)
Ms Jenny Gale (to 31 December 2020)

Appointed Members – Council

Mr Rhys Edwards (to 31 December 2018)
Professor Kwong Lee Dow (to 31 December 2019)
Mr Harvey Gibson – Deputy Chancellor (to 31 December 2018)
Mr Paul Gregg (to 31 December 2018)
Ms Pip Leedham (to 31 December 2020)
Ms Leanne Topfer (to 31 December 2019)
Ms Tania Price – Student member (to 31 December 2018)

Elected Members

Distinguished Professor James Kirkpatrick – Academic Staff (to 31 December 2018)
Mr Corey Peterson – Professional Staff (to 31 December 2018)


Other Governing Bodies

Other Governing bodies within the University include:

Audit and Risk Committee

Chair – Mr Harvey Gibson, Deputy Chancellor

Built Environment and Infrastructure Committee

Chair – Mrs Susan Chen

Ceremonial and Honorary Degrees Committee

Chair – The Hon. Michael Field AC, Chancellor

Finance Committee

Chair – Mr Rhys Edwards

Remuneration and Nominations Committee

Chair – The Hon. Michael Field AC, Chancellor

Academic Senate

Chair – Professor Dianne Nicol