University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Glyn Davis will be the next chair of peak body Universities Australia.


Professor Davis said he would focus on improving the image of universities in the eyes of the general population, as well as working to ensure the higher education sector gained more traction with government.


He will take up the appointment in May once Peter Coaldrake steps down as chair.


Professor Davis was the 2005-2007 chair of the Group of Eight universities.


Meanwhile, Swinburne University of Technology has appointed Linda Kristjanson vice-chancellor.


Now deputy vice-chancellor, research and development, at Curtin University, she has a background in palliative care research.


Professor Kristjanson takes up her Swinburne post in May. She succeeds Ian Young, who has become vice-chancellor at the Australian National University.