Professor Richard Blythe has been appointed as Curtin University’s new Pro Vice-Chancellor of Humanities, backed by his distinguished career as both university leader and practical achievements in the field of architecture.

Currently the Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech in the United States, Blythe has previously taken a lead role in establishing a national research centre for smart design and construction in Washington DC; creating a campus-based Creativity and Innovation District and providing executive leadership on strategy and international networks and programs.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says she is delighted to welcome the Professor, who was the ideal candidate in Curtin’s search for the role.

“I am extremely pleased that Professor Blythe will be the new leader for our Faculty of Humanities,” she says.

“For more than a decade, Richard has excelled in leadership roles at Virginia Tech in the US and RMIT in Australia, where he focussed on strategies to integrate practice, deliver high-quality teaching and build very successful external collaborations”

“Professor Blythe’s proven teaching and research capacity and ability to bring people, institutions and industry together, aligns with Curtin’s own focus on providing impactful and practical learning experiences and opportunities for our students.”

Professor Blythe was the founder and director of global architecture firm, Terroir, and has also held positions at the University of Tasmania.

Blythe says to be given the opportunity to lead the Faculty of Humanities is an honour.

“Humanities research and study has never been more important, as people around the world look for new ways to connect and create in the climate of COVID-19, and at a time of unprecedented political, economic and climate challenges. Curtin University is very well placed as a leading global institution with a reputation for future-focused, hands-on, creative and industry-aligned teaching learning and research, and I am thrilled to be a part of its exciting future,” he says.

“I look forward to returning to my home country and building on connections both inside and outside Curtin, including exploring opportunities in advancement to unite students, staff, community and industry in the common goals of thought leadership, high-impact research and real-world outcomes.”

Blythe will begin in the role later this year, taking over from Professor Alan Dench who recently retired from Curtin University after five years as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and then interim Provost.