Tue 11 Sep 2018

Diana takes research role

Diana Fergusson has been named as successor to Lily George as WITT’s Research and Innovation Manager.

Diana, who has been at WITT for 12 years, including 10 as Head of the School of Nursing, takes up her new role after spending the last year as Nurse Academic and Researcher.

Her elevation continues a trend of appointing existing staff to lead roles.

Dr Lily George, who introduced a series of public lectures to WITT, has returned home to Northland but continues to work on a research project for WITT, examining Maori student success rates and progress through programmes.

She gained funding for two other projects through The National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, Ako Aotearoa, examining adult numeracy skills and WITT’s Foundation Skills programme.

Diana, who will oversee that research, is also involved in research into how nursing graduates are perceived by employers.

“This involves comparing the work readiness for Year Three nursing students from the perspective of tutors, students then as Registered Nurses and employers,” she said.

She is also completing her Doctor of Health Science through AUT.

The role of a Research and Innovation Manager involves examining research culture, capacity and capability within WITT.

“It is mostly around the leadership of research activity and that is important because all degree teaching tutors have to engage in research – it is an NZQA requirement.”

Diana will also be looking to continue and strengthen the lecture series Ngā Ara Rangahau which has attracted some excellent speakers but has struggled to draw strong public turnouts at Te Piere. 

WITT Chief Executive Barbara George is pleased that Diana has been appointed to this role.  "Witt is a knowledge centre for the Taranaki community, and Diana is well-known for her commitment to excellent research at the Institute.  WITT research is in strong and capable hands."