After eight years at the helm, Bond University Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Robert Stable is preparing to retire from the role he has so passionately dedicated himself to since January 2004.
In his wake, lies a legacy of great leadership, enormous growth and a multitude of achievements for the private, not-for-profit Bond University on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
As was the case when he vacated the role of Director-General of Queensland Health in 2003 – a role he also held for eight years – his tenure is being touted as “The Stable Years” for Bond. A time during which the University came to be recognised as an equal amongst its higher education counterparts.
It is this notion of recognition that Emeritus Professor Stable says is perhaps the biggest step forward for Bond.
“It was a creature that no one really understood eight years ago. Most people didn’t know about it; those that did had mixed views, and it certainly wasn’t treated as an equal partner within Universities Australia, nor given the recognition it deserved by any level of government,” Emeritus Professor Stable said.
“Today, Bond is accepted by other Australian universities, by governments at all levels – as evidenced by the grants we’ve now had from all levels of government towards the University’s endeavours – and by the community locally, nationally and internationally as a top rate university that’s really making a mark.
“People are now actually taking note and looking at what we do more so than ever before, and I think that perhaps is our greatest achievement – ensuring the University gained the status it so rightfully deserved, yet never really had,” said Emeritus Professor Stable.
Clearly, people are taking note. Over the past eight years, Bond’s student numbers have grown from 2,000 to 4,500, external research funding has increased 20-fold and Bond academics were awarded an unmatched ten percent of national teaching and learning awards this year.
Changes have also been significant and numerous on campus, right through from the refurbishment and upgrading of all existing facilities to the addition of impressive new facilities and introduction of new Faculties, Schools and programs.
Among them, was the introduction of Australia’s first private medical program and opening of the $20 million Health Sciences and Medicine Faculty building, the unveiling of the 6-Star Green Star design rated Mirvac School of Sustainable Development building and addition of the technology-rich Balnaves Foundation Multimedia Learning Centre and the ADCO Amphitheatre and Alumni Court.
Emeritus Professor Stable is quick to acknowledge Bond’s enormous success under his leadership is truly a team effort, and extended his thanks to former Chancellor Trevor C. Rowe AO (2003-2009) and current Chancellor Dr Helen Nugent AO, the University Council, senior management, staff, students, Alumni, benefactors and wider community of Bond University for a wonderful eight years.
“I’ve been very fortunate in that every single job I’ve had, I’ve made the decision about when I wanted to go and I think that is important. I think it’s always good to leave on your own terms. Even though I’m absolutely convinced it’s the right decision [retirement] – it’s right for me, it’s right for the University, there’s always some sadness when you move on. But I’m very much looking forward to the next stage of my life, whatever it may entail,” said Emeritus Professor Stable.