When Professor Ian Eddie joined Excelsia College as Head of School of Business in early 2020, it turns out he already had an association with the College! ‘I had been doing advisory work with the College as an external reviewer on the professional accounting course development committee. Opportunities come and go very quickly and when I found out that the College needed a new Head of School of Business, I thought it was a great opportunity and the right time in my life.’ At this stage, Ian was working as Professor of Private Equity at RMIT University in Vietnam, where he had been for the past two and a half years. ‘I had been thinking of returning to Australia and I had also come to know the College. After finishing off the semester at RMIT, I packed up my bags and returned to Sydney,’ explains Ian.
Unlike secular workplaces Ian has previously been in, being able to share openly about his Christian beliefs is something Ian believes makes Excelsia a special place to work. ‘Spirituality and faith are something that the administrative, professional, and academic staff all share. In a secular university context, faith is not something talked about in the open way it is here. We have the opportunity for prayer and to reflect and talk with our students. You can bring in a story about your faith or spirituality where it’s relevant and this faith is intersected into students’ learning. Some of our Master of Business Research students have studied the role of spirituality in workplace performance!’
Ian’s favourite Bible verse is James 1:5 which says, ‘If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you’ and this is something that Ian considers as he seeks to conduct leadership in a way that Jesus would. ‘I feel I’ve been blessed, and I believe God has given me a gift to be here and that is something I cherish. A question I reflect on daily is, “how would Jesus act?” and I use that when faced with a problem or issue. I try to look for the best for the College as a whole; I consider how my decision in the School of Business will affect the whole College including the academic staff, students and management. It’s trying to do the best beyond a narrow self-interest,’ explains Ian. It is this attitude of service and commitment to the Excelsia community that makes Ian an Excellent Personality.
Ian describes Excelsia as ‘a caring culture with aspiration and a sense of confidence. There is aspiration with wanting to become a university college, but care about people within the College. The confidence comes from the beliefs because we’re working for God’s kingdom. I get a sense of this confidence which is carried through the leaders and my colleagues. These people are confident in what they do and their mission. If we have that confidence from our Christian beliefs, we’ll find ways to overcome the many different challenges that arise.’
Overcoming hurdles is part of life but God has been equipping Ian with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, including patience. ‘Patience is a virtue. I know the world moves fast but for bigger things in life we need to be more patient. Accept what you have and enjoy life and try not to get too stressed. Too many people get stressed in the world because they’re chasing things that take time to accomplish,’ he says.
Outside of work, Ian enjoys a variety of hobbies and activities including spending time with his family, gardening and landscape design, surfing and stand-up paddleboard and kayaking, ocean swimming, bushwalking and outdoor activities and barbecuing with family and friends.
If you want to learn from passionate staff such as Ian, why not explore our School of Business?