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Source: University of Otago

Claire Gallop is the new Director of Student Services.
Leading a team which provides a backbone of support to University of Otago students is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Claire Gallop.
Claire, who has been a student and staff member of the University since 1998, is the new Director of Student Services, replacing Karyn Thomson who has just retired.
“I have a holistic approach to education,” Claire says. “I think you learn best when doing something that you’re committed to, and when your life is in order. “Student Services are a group of teams who spend every day (and night) helping young people achieve that.”
The teams which currently make up Student Services are the Māori and Pacific Island Centres, the Proctor’s Office and Campus Watch, Student Health, Recreation Services, Disability and Information Support, Career Development Centre, Te Whare Tāwharau and the Social Impact Studio. Student Health and Recreation Services are returning to the portfolio on 1 June.
A past professor of Claire’s once told her she was “clearly going to run something, ‘so it might as well make it big and important’.
“That’s what I see in this role. It’s an opportunity to work with people who are excelling in their fields and hopefully help bring the strands of their work together into a wellbeing strategy that meets the needs of our students.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Helen Nicholson says she is delighted to announce Claire’s appointment.
“Claire comes to the role with a wealth of experience of the University, from holding a variety of roles over 20+ years, and combines that with a genuine passion for student welfare.”
After moving to start a yet-to-be-completed PhD in 1998, Claire has worked in a number of academic positions before starting as the Manager of the Graduate Research School in 2011. Since then, she has worked as the Academic Manager in the School of Dentistry, as a Senior Manager of Client Services, the Manager of Policy and Compliance in the Registrar’s Office, and as the Manager of Research Infrastructure for the Division of Health Sciences.
“Throughout the years, I’ve had a strong student wellbeing and welfare interest, even in the roles which weren’t student-facing. It’s important to me to do work which makes a meaningful difference and while all my roles have done that, leading Student Services brings all of that together.
“This role has the added opportunity to make a commitment to the University’s Māori and Pacific strategic frameworks, and to make a difference as tangata tiriti, as a partner to the Treaty. It’s a real privilege all around.”
Claire starts her new role on 1 June.