New Head for School of Viticulture And Wine
Up for a new challenge, Sue Ross has taken over as head of EIT’s School of Viticulture and Wine Science at a time of
In her first week in the role, Sue joined a team of senior managers and educators heading to China to finalise an
agreement for EIT to teach a wine science programme at Qilu University of Technology in China.
The cooperation agreement, signed off at the end of July, provides an opportunity for EIT lecturers to teach courses
within the Qilu wine science programme.
This long-term partnership also allows for some students with more advanced English skills to travel to New Zealand to
complete the EIT Bachelor of Wine Science.
As part of that, the school will be employing more staff to teach at the university and also to teach Qilu students
coming to Hawke’s Bay.
Most recently assistant principal at Sacred Heart College in Napier, Sue has worked in secondary schools since 1985.
“I’m not one to stay in the same job for 30 years,” she says of her move to the tertiary education sector. “It was time
to do something different.”
Born in Christchurch and raised in Auckland and – for her last year of school – in Gore, she dovetailed physical
education studies at Christchurch’s Teachers’ College with study for a Bachelor of Science.
Launching into her teaching career at Makoura College in Masterton, Sue has also taught and been head of department and
acting deputy principal at Hamilton Girls’ High School, Taradale High School, Hastings Girls’ High School, Woodford
House and Iona College.
Impressed by what EIT has offer, she points to the applied learning embedded in the wine science and viticulture
degrees, which require students to work vintage, gaining valuable and authentic industry experience.
“The excellence of the programmes is reflected in achievement, with graduates securing jobs in the wine industry and
performing consistently well in national competitions.”
Sue’s interests centre on family – she and Phil, her husband of 30 years, have two children, Lucy and Ben – friends and
travel to destinations off the beaten track. Asked if she is a wine drinker, she laughs.
“Yes, I enjoy trying new wines. I probably have a Hawke’s Bay palate and like a good local Chardonnay or Syrah.”