Deans diary header
Issue 414 | 11 November 2016 | Previous Issues

A personal message from the Dean

A new Academic Development and Performance Review (ADPR) will be initiated this year using on-line system Career Tools.

This system proved very useful for the Evolve process for Professional Staff. The new ADPR process focuses more on the D than the P and I beleive is a significant improvement in annual review of academic performance and the setting of career objectives.

I would urge Academic Heads to start the ADPR process early in December and not leave it all until after the summer break. In departments with large numbers of research fellows and senior research fellow, I would encourage Heads to delegate the reviewer task early. Information about ADPR can be found at the Academic Standards staff intranet link.

This year, the University will be holding a November Graduation Ceremony for our Pharmacy, Nursing and Medical graduates (see story below).   

While a formal convocation of council, these ceremonies will still include all the enjoyable aspects of our qualifying ceremonies including student prizes and the taking of the Oath of Professional Dedication. The faculty will continue to have Fall and Spring ceremonies for other graduates and postgraduate students. I encourage as many staff as possible to attend.

On Thursday our International Manager Karen Dorrian, and the Head of the School of Medical Sciences Paul Donaldson, and I met three senior representatives of Penn State University. We agreed to a cooperative exchange in undergraduate student electives and study abroad, postgraduate and research academic exchange and cooperative research funding.

This will be particularly for, (but not limited to), Indigenous Health, Nursing, Ageing studies or any areas where a uniquely New Zealand perspective would strengthen their academic and research pursuits.

Penn State is a $6 billion university with 24 campuses spread throughout the state of Pennsylvania. They have very strong health sciences programmes and have selected three universities in the South Pacific, Melbourne, and Auckland. This agreement will offer exceptional opportunities to collaborate at an institutional level with a major United States university and provide us with a route into American funding. Please contact me directly if you already have collaborative links with Penn State University.

Best wishes,

John Fraser, PhD, FRSNZ
Dean, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland


Vision Prize for oral presentation

Image of From left: Maximillian Joret, Dr Ali Mirjalili, Maria Ji and Associate Professor Warwick Bagg
From left: Maximillian Joret, Dr Ali Mirjalili, Maria Ji and Associate Professor Warwick Bagg

Congratulations to Maximillian Joret who received the Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) Vision Prize at the annual Oral Presentations held recently at Grafton Campus.

Maximillian's presentation was titled “The immunosuppressive phenotype of human brain pericytes in glioblastoma multiforme”. His supervisors are Professor Michael Dragunow, Dr Thomas Park and Dr Patrick Schweder.

Congratulations to runner-up Maria Ji who presented on "The diagnostic use of cell-free DNA in IVF embryo culture medium”, supervised by Professor Peter Stone, Professor Larry Chamley and Dr Lynsey Cree.

This year there were 19 oral presentations which is the largest group the programme has ever had to host.

The judges were Dr Ali Mirjalili (Academic Coordinator of the programme), Dr Bridgett Kool and Professor Colin Green who agreed that all the presentations were of exceptionally high quality and calibre.

I look forward to seeing more student successes at our Faculty.


First November Graduation this year

School of medical Health science from Undergraduate Prospectus

Next month we have our first November Graduation Day to confer degrees on our graduands from undergraduate medicine, pharmacy and nursing.

The new timing of the ceremony recognises the desirability of students having their qualification in hand as they commence their new positions and also to avoid students having to take time off in May from new jobs around the country or overseas. The May graduation option remains for those who prefer it.

The November Graduation Ceremony will replace the faculty’s completion ceremonies and will combine aspects of a university graduation with elements of our completion ceremonies.

The Nursing and Pharmacy Graduation Ceremony starts at 10.30am on Friday 18 November in the Auckland Town Hall, followed by drinks and nibbles in the Concert Chamber from 12.30pm. Class photos taken in Aotea Square will precede the ceremony.

The Medical Graduation Ceremony takes place in the Town Hall at 2pm with entry at 1.15pm, preceded by a class photo at 12.45pm in Aotea Square. The ceremony will be followed by drinks and nibbles in the Concert Chamber at 4pm.



2016 Professional Staff Awards announced

I am delighted to announce our faculty winners of the 2016 Professional Staff Awards.

The honourees include individuals from different areas of expertise, and the awards are all well deserved.

It proved to be an especially difficult task this year, due to the quality of nominations we received which also highlights the talent in this faculty.

This year our faculty has awarded the ‘Ian Houston Award for Sustained Excellence in Job Performance’ to:

To recognise this year’s recipients of the FMHS Professional Staff Awards our faculty will conduct a presentation ceremony.

We will hold the event in the atrium of the Grafton Campus on the afternoon of Wednesday 23 November and I invite all members of our faculty to attend this special event and to acknowledge the worthy recipients.

See some our highlights below from last year's Professional Staff Awards.

UoA Staff Awards 73
UoA Staff Awards 67
UoA Staff Awards 32
UoA Staff Awards 9

New cafe at Grafton Campus

Image of Cafe 85 at Grafton Campus
Cafe 85 at Grafton Campus

From semester one next year, there will be an exciting new cafe operator at Grafton Campus.

Superfino aims to offer the best in coffee, food and service - providing a menu to meet the needs and wants of the Grafton Campus community, from fresh cabinet sandwiches, to grab-and-go sushi and wholesome salads.

For further information, please email

We are sad to say goodbye to Cafe 85 after a memorable 10 years on campus, but wish John and the team the very best for the future. Cafe 85’s last trading day will be Friday 16 December.

Renovations for the new cafe will begin on Monday 9 January with an opening in early March. There will be an interim coffee cart in situ from Monday 9 January in the Grafton foyer.

We are thrilled to let you know that Flametree catering will be on site managing the kitchen area behind the cafe to cater for Grafton functions.

The Flametree kitchen will have the capacity to cater everything from morning teas and lunches, to cocktail functions.

For more information, please contact