The Riddet Institute, a world leading Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), and its host Massey University, are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Stuart McCutcheon, as the incoming chair of its board. Professor McCutcheon will take over from Dr Kevin Marshall, who is retiring as the current chair, on 1st July 2021.
The Riddet Institute was awarded continued CoRE funding for the next eight years, and it begins its new research programme in July 2021. The governance of the organisation is moving to a skills-based board, consisting of four independent members as well as the Vice-Chancellor of the host organisation. The Board Chair is the first of the new high-profile appointments to be announced.
Professor McCutcheon, a distinguished alumnus of Massey University and eminent governance leader brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new role. As a previous Vice-Chancellor of both Victoria University of Wellington and The University of Auckland, he has an extensive knowledge of research and university sectors. He will guide and facilitate the Riddet Institute to grow and deliver its strategic objectives over its third term as a CoRE.
Riddet Institute Director, Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh is extremely pleased with this appointment and is looking forward to working alongside Professor McCutcheon. “Professor McCutcheon’s strong leadership and experience will help us to refine our new strategic direction and deliver real impacts for New Zealand” he says. “I am excited to see the new board beginning to take shape, bringing a wealth of skills that will take us from strength to strength. As we move into our new phase of the Riddet CoRE, never has it been more critical that we discover and deliver the cutting-edge knowledge required to transform our food sector. It is a privilege to join with Professor McCutcheon and lead the Institute into its third term”.
Professor Jan Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of Riddet Institute host, Massey University, is also a member of the board and describes the Institute as the jewel in the crown of food research at the University. “Here at Massey we strive to be a world leader in food science. Massey University is very proud to host the Riddet Institute and welcomes the appointment of Professor McCutcheon. Under his leadership we look forward to the institute’s continuing success and the delivery of world- leading research and food innovations.”
Professor McCutcheon is delighted to accept the appointment and has long admired the Institute. “Naturally, I am familiar with the Institute as a successful CoRE. As a previous Vice-Chancellor of The University of Auckland, one of the partners in the Riddet, I have followed the Institute’s successes with great interest. I relish the opportunity to increase my involvement. The Riddet Institute is a world leader in its field, and I want to ensure that its standing on the world stage continues to grow”, he says.
The Riddet Institute has been building its global reputation since it was established in 2007. Its two previous chairs, the late Professor Jim Watson, and Dr Kevin Marshall, have each led with emphasis on setting up the Institute for academic success, scientific excellence, creating tangible impacts and in strategic partnerships, respectively. In its third term Professor McCutcheon will be instrumental in leading the new strategy. The vision of Riddet Institute’s new programme is entitled “Future Foods in Harmony with Nature”. The Institute will develop the fundamental underpinning science to support tomorrow’s innovations in advanced foods and creating a new cohort of highly qualified food scientists. These foods will be sustainable, support optimal nutrition, human health and well-being, and appeal to the preferences of tomorrow’s global consumer.
There will be three further appointments to the Riddet Institute board that will be announced in due course. The Riddet Institute would like to express its thanks to outgoing chair Dr Kevin Marshall and the other current board members, who are assisting in the smooth transition to the new board.
Professor Stuart McCutcheon holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) and PhD, both in Animal Science, from Massey University. After a period as a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University while the recipient of a Harkness Fellowship he returned to Massey as an academic, subsequently holding the positions of Head of Animal Science (1990-1994), Assistant Vice Chancellor (Research) (1994-1999) and Deputy Vice Chancellor (1999-2000). Professor McCutcheon was appointed Vice Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington (2000-2004) and then Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland (2005 to 2020). He currently serves on a number of boards in the commercial, educational and philanthropic sectors.
The Riddet Institute has five partner organisations; Massey University (host), AgResearch, Plant & Food Research, The University of Auckland and the University of Otago, and a number of collaborators (Auckland University of Technology, Lincoln University, University of Canterbury, University of Waikato and Victoria University Wellington). Scientists within these New Zealand organisations, specialists in food science as well as other supporting disciplines, are brought together within the Institute. The Institute will continue in its role with the partner universities, in training highly skilled graduates that move into careers in industry, research institutes and universities. This transfer of skills and knowledge will strengthen the nation’s research capacity in food. The Riddet Institute’s new CoRE programme will run from July 2021 to December 2028.