Derek was appointed Vice Chancellor of Auckland University of Technology in April 2004. He was previously a Deputy Vice Chancellor at AUT and was General Manager for Auckland Institute of Technology (the precursor to AUT).
He has led a wide range of key areas during a decade and a half of extensive development and growth for the organisation – from major campus developments to academic structures, processes and programmes, and the advancement of AUT’s university profile.
Derek started out teaching Biochemistry at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, but his career quickly took an early turn into tertiary education policy and management. He has held national roles in a range of authorities, professional bodies, and ministerial and government working parties related to tertiary education, and is the current chair of the New Zealand Vice Chancellors’ Committee (NZVCC).
In other fields, Derek has been a Chair of the NZ Academy of Sport network, and is a past President of the NZ Stroke Foundation, as well as a member of various service and community clubs and societies.