The President and Deputy President are elected from the members of the Board. The role of the President is a full-time appointment, while the Deputy President role is a half-time appointment.

The President acts as the executive officer of the Board, and chairs the Academic Board and most Board Committees. The President remains informed of the workings of the academic staff and other related sections of the University.  Section 7 of PPL 1.30.03 Academic Board are in relation to the President and the Deputy President. 

The Deputy President assists the President and carries out functions on behalf of the President, as determined by the Board or President.  Should the President be unable to act, the Deputy President may discharge all functions of the President.


 Peter AdamsPresident (Acting)

Professor Craig E. Franklin

BSc (Hons), PhD, University of Canterbury

Professor Craig Franklin is the President of Academic Board and a Professor in Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland.  He has been a member of academic staff at UQ since 1995. 

Craig is an animal ecophysiologist whose research program investigates how fish, frogs & reptiles can survive and function under extreme and changing environmental conditions. He is recognised as one of the leading proponents of the emerging field of conservation physiology. 

His research is supported by the Australian Research Council, the National Environmental Science Program, a Cooperative Research Centre, industry partnerships, and through philanthropic donations.    He oversees a large and productive research group, currently composed of 3 postdocs, 8 Ph.D. and 5 Honours’ students.  

Craig has published over 300 scientific articles, including articles in Nature, Nature Climate Change, Nature Ecology & Evolution, Global Change Biology, and The Journal of Experimental Biology, where he is a regular contributor.  He jointly won the Whitley Book Award for a proceedings on “Crocodilian Biology and Evolution” and has co-written an enthusiast's field guide to Antarctica; “Antarctica Cruising Guide” published by AWA Press, now in its 4th edition.    

Craig is a passionate and enthusiastic teacher, educator and mentor.  His teaching experience ranges from coordinating large 1st year biology classes to focused third year courses in zoology/animal ecophysiology and conservation biology.  He has taught more than 20,000 students during his academic career at UQ,

He has been awarded a number of awards/prizes including being appointed as an ARC Professorial Fellow; receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Göteborg, Sweden; and receiving the President’s Medal from the Society for Experimental Biology, UK.  Craig has also been recognised for his contributions to teaching and learning, including being twice a finalist in the Australian Awards for University Teaching (for team teaching) and was the recipient of a UQ teaching excellence award.   

Craig serves on a number of external professional bodies, committees and editorial boards.  He is the   Editor in Chief for the Journal of Experimental Biology (Company of Biologists, Cambridge UK) and past President of the Society for Experimental Biology (2019-2021). He is the Director of Research for the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve. 

Craig actively champions diversity and inclusion within all aspects of his life - at work, in his communities, and within society more broadly.  He is a ‘UQ ALLY’ in support of the LGBTQAI+ community and upholds the fundamental values of mutual respect, tolerance and honesty.  He always aims to maintain a sense of humour in facing life’s challenges.

Outside of work he is a cook, gardener, lover of the oceans, bush & wildlife, and gets enjoyment sharing good food & wine with family and friends, and from being a grandfather.


Deputy President (Acting)

Professor Lydia Kavanagh

BE, MEngSc, GCEd, PhD, The University of Queensland

Since returning to academia from industry in 1998, Professor Lydia Kavanagh has become a leader in engineering education and has used her background as a professional engineer to design both curricula and courses for active learning by combining real-world projects and specialist knowledge. She has had a significant impact on the delivery of UQ’s undergraduate engineering program through creative new teaching pedagogies including the Flipped Classroom, innovative authentic approaches to assessment, and the introduction of multi-disciplinary courses. As Director of First Year Engineering for almost a decade, Lydia was responsible for a significant program of extra-curricular transition support for first year students and she co-coordinated two compulsory courses that delivered what could arguably be the world's largest flipped classroom for 600 students. Recently, she has set up Leaders@EAIT for all EAIT faculty students (undergraduate and postgraduates), an ongoing opportunity for students to develop leadership competencies.

Lydia is now the Deputy Associate Dean Academic (Curriculum Review and Teaching Innovation) for the Faculty of Science where she has overseen a faculty-wide overview of curriculum resulting in streamlined undergraduate and postgraduate offerings. Until September 2021, she held a concurrent position with the Institute of Teaching and Learning Innovations, where she developed frameworks and systems for UQ shorter form credentials.

Lydia remains involved institutionally with training and mentoring academics and professional staff with teaching responsibilities through programs such as Teaching@UQ (for staff new to teaching), and TeachingPlus@UQ (for emerging leaders in Teaching and Learning).

Lydia’s work has been recognised with a Principal Fellowship of the HEA, a national Excellence in teaching award in 2011 and she has lead and participated in Carrick/ ALTC/ OLT projects on teamwork, online learning, curriculum innovation (2x), preparing students for first year engineering, and Flipped Classrooms. 


Executive Support Officer to the President and Deputy President

Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is an Executive Support Officer, supporting the President and Deputy President of the Academic Board. Prior to taking on this role, Sarah was the Administrative Assistant within the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, here at UQ. Sarah has 6 years of experience in supporting high profile offices and her expertise in data management systems and project coordination, as well as her extensive experience with all things administration, make her an invaluable asset to the office. Sarah is lauded for her high degree of diligence and adherence to policies and standards, and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Sarah is inspired daily by her husband and their two children. In her free time, Sarah likes to bake, coach U6 Football, and play video games with her kids.