Ian Shirley

Professor of Social Policy / Emeritus Professor


Professor Ian Shirley was Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and Convenor of the University’s Professorial Forum. He was the Director of the Policy Observatory, a national centre for public policy research and advice, drawing together researchers and scholars from across the universities and from both the public and private sectors. 

Professor Shirley was New Zealand’s first Professor of Social Policy and over three decades he held foundation and personal chairs in public and social policy as well as visiting professorships and fellowships at a number of international academies including the Universities of Edinburgh, Canterbury (UK) and Paris, the Academy of Science in Budapest and the London School of Economics. 

In 2006, Professor Shirley became the first New Zealander invited to address the China Executive Leadership Academy in Shanghai (CELAP), the Chinese Government's elite centre for the training of Chinese leaders. His address to the director-generals of China paved the way for a major research programm engaging 15 research teams across the major cities of the Asian and Pacific region and the publication of a text on Asian and Pacific cities (2013).

At AUT Professor Shirley established the Institute of Public Policy and led the engagement of the institute with the formation of Auckland’s Super-City. He wrote the draft of what became the Metropolitan Auckland Project, was a member of the Auckland Regional Economic Development Forum and in 2015 he was contracted to lead a research project reviewing the governance of Auckland five years on from the establishment of the unitary council.

After stepping down from his role as Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Shirley joined the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and launched a new initiative to establish a series of briefing papers and the building of a Policy Observatory based at AUT but engaging scholars from both New Zealand and overseas. The Policy Observatory  established both economic and social policy networks focusing on major issues of political economy such as income, taxation, social security and the provision of education, housing, and health services.

Last updated: 10-Aug-2017 8.38am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.