John Niland Scientia Building UNSW is set in the heart of Kensington Campus the university’s dedicated venues and events centre Scientia is UNSW Venues and Events’ flagship venue.
John Rodney Niland AC (born 10 September 1940) is an Australian academic and board director. Niland obtained a Bachelor and Master of Commerce from UNSW and his PhD is from the University of Illinois. He has held academic positions at Cornell University, The Australian National University, and UNSW. He served as a mediator of labour disputes in the US while at Cornell, and in Australia has undertaken extensive academic and policy work in conflict resolution, theory and practice, particularly enterprise bargaining. John Niland is a Professor Emeritus of UNSW and was its fourth Vice Chancellor and President (1992-2002). Before that he was the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Economics. While UNSW Vice-Chancellor, he was a founding director of both Universitas 21 and Australia’s Group of Eight Universities. He also served a term as President of the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, and was a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.
The University of New South Wales’s most recognised and architecturally renowned building, the Scientia, was officially renamed The John Niland Scientia Building for his long and distinguished history at the University . He is said to have led the University through a golden age which included significant internationalisation and campus revitalisation . In 2007 he received the President’s Prize of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects for the UNSW campus redevelopment.
He currently chairs the International Academic Review Panel of Singapore Management University, having been closely involved with SMU since its founding in 2000. He continues to be consulted for strategic advice by university leaders in Australia and Asia.