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Jean Herbison

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Name  Jean Herbison
Role  Educator

Died  May 20, 2007

Education  University of Canterbury

Dame Jean Marjory Herbison DBE CMG (29 April 1923 – 20 May 2007) was a New Zealand academic, educator, researcher and Chancellor of the University of Canterbury. She was the first woman to hold the post of chancellor at a New Zealand university.



Herbison was born in Dunedin in 1923, and attended Southland Girls' High School. She earned a BA from the University of Canterbury, a Diploma of Teaching from Auckland Teachers College, and an MA from the University of Northern Iowa. She was an Associate of the University of London Institute of Education. She has held a Fulbright Scholarship and an Imperial Relations Trust Fellowship.

She taught at Avonside Girls' High School from 1952 to 1959, and in 1960 became Dean of Christchurch Teachers' College. From 1968 to 1974 she was Vice-Principal of the Teachers College and in 1975 became Associate Director of Christchurch Polytechnic, a position she held until her retirement in 1984. She was elected to the Council of the University of Canterbury in 1970 and was Chancellor of the University from 1979 to 1984.

Herbison was a Fellow of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and the New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society (aka NZEALS; see She was an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Jean Herbison Lecture

The Jean Herbison Lecture at the New Zealand Association for Research in Education honours Dame Jean for her services to education.

A leading New Zealand researcher is chosen each year to present the Herbison Lecture. The first Herbison Lecture was presented in 1990.


In the 1976 Queen's Birthday Honours, Herbision was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, for services to education, and in 1977 she was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal.

She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1985 Queen's Birthday Honours. In 1987 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Canterbury.

Herbison lived in retirement in Christchurch, New Zealand before her death in 2007.


Jean Herbison Wikipedia

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