Desna Jury


Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Success

In the 1980s there was a national and international youth unemployment crisis. While availing of her British Council Scholarship Professor Desna Jury spent time in the North of England looking at unemployment programmes. It was an eye-opening education and had an indelible impact on her views philosophically and politically.

Design, visual arts and media have been at the core of her working life with an overarching interest in education. She joined AUT as the Head of School of Art and Design in the year AUT became a university.

During her tenure as Dean, Professor Jury was instrumental in the development of the Sir Paul Reeves Building.

“Understanding how profoundly space and environment can impact on students and staff; on our perceptions of ourselves and what AUT can be, was an incredible experience. Great architecture and design can be truly transformational”, she says.

Outside of work she participates in arts and culture. She also enjoys the outdoors and is in love with the Volcano Plateau and Lake Taupo. “I grew up by the sea and love to go to sleep hearing the regular crash of water on the shore.”

“I work with an amazingly energised, vibrant community, where people are optimistic and enthusiastic but also caring. I really value doing something that matters that makes a difference. I learn every day.”

Professor Jury says she is inspired by the stunning success of AUT’s award-winning students and the alumni in leadership roles all over the world.