Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has thanked UCD President Andrew Deeks for his “exemplary commitment and dedication” to UCD during his term.

At the Irish Universities Association (IUA) Future of Ireland Event, the Tánaiste started his speech by saying, “I want to start by thanking Professor Andrew Deeks, for his exemplary commitment and dedication as the President of UCD.”

“I’m sure I speak for all on this call, in wishing him well on his departure after many years in Ireland’s Higher Education Sector, to the next chapter of his career back home in Australia.”

This comes just over a month before Deeks will serve his last day in charge of Ireland’s largest university, the 25th of March. The interim Presidency to be undertaken by Professor Mark Rogers from the following day and a farewell ceremony is being planned for the afternoon of his departure.

Deeks originally announced his intention to resign from the role back in December via a special bulletin to the staff of the University. At the time, Deeks stated he was resigning in order to take up the role of Vice-Chancellor at Murdoch University in his hometown of Perth, Western Australia.

Why is Deeks leaving?

In the special bulletin announcing his departure from UCD, Deeks said; ‘I have greatly enjoyed my time at UCD, despite the various challenges Irish Universities have faced over these eight years. I have been constantly impressed by the dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff, by the talent and achievement of our students, by the generous support we have received from alumni and philanthropists, and by the productive partnerships we have formed with companies and organisations.’

He went on to explain his decision to resign before the end of his 10-year term, saying ‘the opportunity to return to my hometown to lead a university which is well-positioned to thrive in this time of disruption and opportunity, a time where the need to build a sustainable global society is increasingly recognised was one I could not pass up.’

The role of Vice-Chancellor at Murdoch University has recently been vacated by the new President of Maynooth University, Eeva Leinonen.

Hugh Dooley – News Editor

Additional reporting: Conor Paterson – Co Editor