John McDonald

Executive Dean

Professor John McDonald

Bachelor of Arts (Hnrs), Graduate Diploma of Education (Tertiary Teaching), Doctor of Philosophy

Executive Dean
Albury / Wodonga
Building 763, Room 129

Professor John McDonald is a sociologist with more than 20 years’ leadership experience at multi-campus, regional universities. He has led schools, faculties, research centres and institutes through periods of growth and transformation. Colleagues describe his leadership style as authentic, collaborative and strategic.

Professor McDonald has lived and worked in regional settings for several years, and he holds a deep appreciation of the mission of regional universities. Professor McDonald is honoured to take up the position of Executive Dean at Charles Sturt University where together “we make this a world worth living in.”

Professor McDonald is currently supervising eight PhD students. He has successfully supervised to completion 37 Higher Degree by Research students, including 31 PhD students.

In recent years, he has developed and taught courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in advocacy, social research, and ethics. He has also taught Introductory Sociology in the Clemente program – a community-based program for adults who would otherwise be excluded from tertiary education opportunities.

Professor McDonald's research interests span across health sociology, community – university engagement, and educational pathways.

He is currently writing a book for PhD students on designing and completing their doctoral research project.

Professor McDonald's grants have been based upon collaborative partnerships with the health, welfare, education and community services sectors. These projects address priority issues and inform policy development.

He has been awarded seven Australian Research Council grants since 2000. Five have been Linkages/SPIRT grants, and two have been National Research Network grants with a team of 50 leading Social Science researchers across Australia.

The ARC / Linkages grants (total value of $750,000) were:

  • Re-engaging young people with learning.
  • The impact of the introduction of electronic gaming machines on communities: Health and wellbeing consequences.
  • An innovative measure of health and wellbeing: Rapid appraisal via analysis of patterns of calls to Lifeline.
  • Career trajectories and professional identities of rural general practitioners.
  • The adoption of innovations in information technology and evidence-based practice among rural health practitioners.

Through collaborative research with government, industry and community agencies, he has obtained more than 30 grants and research consultancies over the past ten years. The total value of these exceeds $3 million. Many of these projects have contributed to social policy and program development at regional, state and national level. His most recent collaborative project was:

  • Initiating and leading a doctoral research partnership through the Victorian Child and Youth Area Partnership (total value > $1.3 million over 3 years).

Professor McDonald is member of various professional and disciplinary associations.

Professor McDonald has published more than 80 articles, chapters and commissioned reports. A selection of these are:

  • McDonald, J. and Harrison, T. (2018) ‘Breaking the Link’ in the Central Highlands: A New Approach to School Disengagement and Alternative Education. Report prepared for the Victorian Department of Education and Training.
  • McDonald, J. and Greenslade, D. (2014) The Impact of the Introduction of Poker Machines on Communities: Health and Wellbeing Consequences. ARC Linkages Grant Final Report. ISBN 978-1-876851-82-8.
  • Corboy, D., McLaren, S., Jenkins, M. and McDonald, J. (2014) The relationship between geographic remoteness and intentions to use a telephone support service among Australian men following radical prostatectomy. Psycho-Oncology , Published online in Wiley Online Library ( DOI: 10.1002/pon.3559
  • McDonald, J. and Greenslade, D. (2010) Community Impact of Electronic Gaming Machines. Annotated Bibliography. ISBN 978-1-876851-39-2.
  • McDonald, J. (2009) Funding for rural health research from the Australian Research Council: A missed opportunity? Australian Journal of Rural Health, 17, 124-128.