Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
He began his career as a biochemist at the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic, working in academic roles from 1978 to 1986, when he became the President of the New Zealand Association of Staff in Tertiary Education, a role he held until 1990. The late 1980s was a period of extensive reform of the national tertiary education system along with much else in the state sector, and during it Derek served on numerous government committees and working parties, including the establishment body of the NZ Qualifications Authority. He joined the senior management of Auckland Institute of Technology in 1991 eventually as its General Manager and worked on the re‐establishment of the institute as a university, which took effect from 2000.
Derek became AUT’s Deputy Vice‐Chancellor in 2000 and was appointed as the Vice‐Chancellor in 2004. He has led the extensive transformation and growth of AUT as a university since then.
Over the years Derek has served as chair for a number of national organisations including the New Zealand Academy of Sport, the New Zealand Stroke Foundation, the New Zealand Vice Chancellors Committee and Universities New Zealand.