Fri 4 May 2018

New Director Named

WITT has always known it has stars among its ranks, and this week one of those stars is shining even more brightly.  Nita Hutchinson has moved into the pivotal role of Academic Director. 

This follows Rod Bentham’s decision to return to the capital. 

Nita has spent more than 20 years in tertiary education as an academic manager, lecturer and resource writer in New Zealand, Germany and the United States.

She has expertise in TESOL (teaching English as a second language) and adult education.

She completed her B.A. in German and Japanese at Waikato University, her M.A. in TESOL and German Studies at Mississippi State University in the US and further postgraduate study through Massey University.

WITT’s new Academic Director arrived at WITT in 2012 having earlier worked at PIHMS (Pacific International Hotel Management School).  At WITT she has held posts as a tutor, programme coordinator, Head of Department and, most recently, Faculty Leader.

Her husband, Aaron Lock, is a house dean and hospitality teacher at New Plymouth Boys High.

“I am looking forward to continuing the work we have been doing to lift student outcomes in the past year – we have made progress and it’s important to keep the momentum going,” she said.

“It’s an exciting step for me and a challenge.”

Rod Bentham was appointed Academic Director at the start of 2017 and has been a key figure in positioning WITT to meet the demands of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority EER (External Evaluation Review).

Rod said he had enjoyed the challenge of implementing the recommendations from WITT’s 2016 EER and leading the development of new and replacement programmes of learning.  He is moving back to Wellington to become General Manager, Learning Solutions, at Careerforce Industry Training Organisation.

WITT Chief Executive Barbara George said it was a tribute to the quality of WITT staff that the Academic Director’s position had been filled from within – and that Nita’s previous role as Facility Leader would also be filled internally, by Carol Curtin, presently the Programme Manager of Business, Computing and Design.

Barbara was quick to pay tribute to the excellent work of Rod.  He has an enormous quality and academic background, and a huge capacity for knowledge.  His larger than life persona will be a loss, and we wish him all the very best.