The University of Newcastle marks with respect and sympathy the recent passing of Emeritus Professor Keith Morgan, Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1987 until1993.
Born in the United Kingdom, Professor Morgan was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Brasenose College, Oxford University.
Throughout his career, Professor Morgan's research interests covered a wide range of topics in the field of chemistry including vibrational spectroscopy, solvent effects and heterocyclic ring formation. He attracted substantial support from funding bodies and co-authored numerous papers in learned journals.
Professor Morgan worked as a Senior Research Fellow in the Ministry of Supply and then at the University of Birmingham before taking a lecturing position in the University's Department of Chemistry. In 1964 he began a long and esteemed career at the University of Lancaster. Appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry he later became senior lecturer and then held a personal Chair in Chemistry from 1968. He was Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lancaster from 1973 to 1978, and Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor until 1986.
Australia beckoned in 1986 and Professor Morgan left Lancaster with his wife to become Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle. From his first Senate meeting, Professor Morgan sought to establish a clearer strategic vision for the University. He is credited with encouraging a more focused University, and presided over a time of great expansion. Perhaps most importantly, he shepherded the University through the final, and controversial, process of amalgamation with the Newcastle College of Advanced Education in 1989. He held great respect for the integrity and traditions of the University and understood the difficulties involved in bringing together two institutions. Professor Morgan was known in the University community as 'the great conciliator and communicator'.
Under Professor Morgan's leadership, the Central Coast campus at Ourimbah opened its doors in temporary accommodation in 1989. Also that year, Professor Morgan - a passionate supporter of the arts, with music and theatre among his great pleasures - was instrumental in overseeing the amalgamation of the University of Newcastle with the Hunter Institute of Higher Education and the Conservatorium of Music. Three years later Professor Morgan achieved a long-held ambition of the University in opening the Newcastle Law School.
Remembered as a Vice-Chancellor with strong vision and foresight, Professor Morgan was a great supporter of students, going out of his way to meet with and listen to students and look for solutions to the challenges they faced.
His respect and admiration for the Hunter region was evident through his involvement in numerous organisations and the visions he held for the region. Upon his retirement, Professor Morgan spoke of the future of the burgeoning city of Newcastle as a regional capital but warned of the need for long-term development strategies rather than instant fixes.
Following his retirement, Professor Morgan worked as a visiting professor at the Research Institute for Higher Education at Hiroshima University in Japan. The University of Newcastle awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Science in 1993 and Professor Morgan has returned to the University every year since his departure to visit former colleagues and friends.
Professor Morgan's funeral will be held on 18 May in his home town of Lancaster, in the United Kingdom.