Change of leadership at ideaschool

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Chris Verburg (left) who will be taking over the running of EIT's ideaschool from Suzette Major. Photo/Supplied
Chris Verburg (left) who will be taking over the running of EIT's ideaschool from Suzette Major. Photo/Supplied

It maybe the same canvas but it will be new strokes for new head of EIT's ideaschool Chris Verburg.

Formerly assistant head of the school of art and design, Chris takes over from Suzette Major, who was recently appointed general manager of the Music Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ) in Auckland.

Born in the Netherlands, Mr Verburg came to EIT 19 years ago with a background in film post production. His first challenge was to develop and write EIT's screen production programme, which has since evolved from a certificate into a Level 6 diploma.

"It continues to be a huge success in the eyes of students and the industry," he says.

Mr Verburg was section manager for screen production in 2000. After Dr Major joined EIT in 2010, she invited him to take on the position of assistant head of school.

"In many cases, Chris took on a co-leadership role," she says. "With some projects, such as the launch of an app for ideaschool, he was project leader.

He has also helped introduce new technology, including ideaschool's laser cutter and 3D laser printer."

"I have enjoyed the role immensely," Mr Verburg says of his time as assistant head of school. "And it has given me the experience and knowledge I need to continue leading ideaschool along the positive path shaped by Suzette."

While not wanting to give too much away, he says future plans for ideaschool include a greater integration of educational programmes encompassing screen production, fashion, visual arts and design. That will ultimately mean bringing the sections into one new building on campus.

And with his strong industry background, he feels well placed to nurture strong connections formed between ideaschool and the wider community.

EIT's ideaschool has undergone substantial changes in the four years under Dr Major's leadership.

These include the ideaschool rebranding, the launch of New Zealand's first project-based visual arts and design degree, the introduction of a contemporary music performance programme run in association with MAINZ, helping bring pecha kucha to Hawke's Bay and the establishment of a fashion programme on EIT's Tairawhiti campus in Gisborne.

"These initiatives have created a strong school with well-connected programmes which are in high demand," says Mr Verburg. "Having strengthened our national profile, we continue to attract record number of students."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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