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Professor Margaret Petty appointed to Pro Vice-Chancellor Toi Rauwhārangi, College of Creative Arts


Professor Margaret Petty

Professor Margaret Petty starts at Massey on 7 February.


Massey University has appointed Professor Margaret Petty as Pro Vice-Chancellor Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts (CoCA).

Professor Petty has held several senior roles in tertiary education, predominately in Australia. She most recently worked at the University of Technology in Sydney as the Executive Director Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Prior to this, she was the Head of the School of Design at Queensland University of Technology and Victoria University of Wellington.

Her professional leadership experience includes serving on the boards of the World Design Organisation, StartupAUS and Cicada Innovations. She is an ambassador for Good Design Australia and was a founding member of New Zealand’s design advocacy body, DesignCo.

Professor Petty completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History. She then attended Bard Graduate Centre in New York where she completed a MA in Design History. In 2016, she graduated from Victoria University Wellington with a PhD in Design History. 

She says she is conscious of the growing industry demands for innovative and creative thinkers and is experienced in developing and managing a wide spectrum of impactful initiatives, from reimagining curriculum to the creation of student entrepreneurship programs and opportunities, and transdisciplinary research groups and partnerships.

Her research broadly investigates the discourse, production, and consumption practices of the modern built environment, with a particular focus on artificial lighting and interiors. She has published broadly in academic journals such as the JSAH, Journal of Design History, Home Cultures, Interiors, and PLAT and is co-editor of Cities of Light: Two Hundred Years of Urban Illumination (Routledge, 2015) with Sandy Isenstadt and Dietrich Neumann, as well as Architectures of Display: Department Stores and Modern Retail (Ashgate, 2017) with Anca Lasc and Patricia Lara-Betancourt.

Professor Petty will join Massey on 7 February.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says Professor Petty’s experience will be a huge asset to the university and CoCA.

“The interview panel and I were really impressed with Margaret’s professional experience. She has a wealth of experience as a senior leader and the proven ability to engage with the wider creative community, students and our staff. Please join me in welcoming Margaret to the Massey University whānau.”