|Professor Karen Nelson|
|Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)|
Professor Karen Nelson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) leads the Academic Division of the University of Southern Queensland.
Comprising USQ’s Faculties, Schools, Colleges and the Education Portfolio, the Academic Division is responsible for providing high quality education and academic services, achieving excellence in student outcomes and further enhancing USQ’s reputation as a leading Australian university.
Karen commenced at USQ in February 2019. Prior to joining USQ, she was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and in this role she was responsible for transforming USC’s approach to student learning engagement, success and retention.
A recognised authority in the first-year experience, and student engagement and retention, Professor Nelson’s research into the complex nature of the student experience has been instrumental in uncovering the factors influencing attrition and has advanced policy and practice nationally and internationally.
Previously, Professor Nelson was Director of First Year Experience and Director of Student Success and Retention and held a series of traditional faculty-based academic roles at the Queensland University of Technology.
Her contributions to higher education have been recognised by three national awards and in 2016 she was made Principal Fellow of the UK based Higher Education Academy.
Memberships and affiliations
As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Karen represents USQ on the Universities Australia DVC (Academic) Group. She has been the Chair of the Regional Universities Network DVC/PVC Learning and Teaching Group and Student Success Cluster since 2014 and is also a member of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA).
Karen also serves the sector as the chief editor of Student Success, an open access journal exploring the experiences of students in tertiary education. She has been a member of the organising committee, Chair or Co-chair of the annual STARS Conference (and its predecessor FYHE conferences) for more than ten years.