University of New England vice-chancellor resigns after assault allegations

University of New England Vice-Chancellor Brigid Heywood has resigned after being charged with assault a teenager.

Heywood was charged with common assault and offensive behavior following an incident at an event at Armidale’s Ex Services Memorial Club in March.

It was alleged that Heywood assaulted a 16-year-old girl at the event.

University of New England Vice-Chancellor Brigid Heywood has resigned. (Rhett Wyman)

The teenager’s family say Heywood touched the girl and commented on her skin color at an International Women’s Day event.

Police confirmed to that a 65-year-old woman had been charged and said the girl was not physically harmed.

UNE Chancellor James Harris released a statement on Friday confirming that Heywood had resigned from his post at the university.

“University Council and Professor Heywood recognize the criminal charges brought against her on August 1, 2022, and the widespread attention and concern this has caused within the university and the wider community,” said said Harris.

“In this context, Professor Heywood felt it was in the interests of the University for her to resign from her post and the University Council accepted her decision.

“As the charges are before the Court, the University Council does not intend to comment on the charges or their subject matter.

“However, Professor Heywood and the University Council recognize the deep hurt felt by many upon learning of the accusations, and thank the community for the patience we have shown as we work through these issues.”

The statement also said Heywood “vigorously denies” the allegations.

Harris recognized Heywood’s contributions to the university during his tenure.

Heywood will be arraigned next month.

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