Malcolm Burns

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Sir Malcolm McRae Burns KBE (19 March 1910 – 17 October 1986) was a New Zealand agricultural scientist, university lecturer and administrator.

Burns was born in Ashley Bank, North Canterbury on 19 March 1910. He joined Canterbury Agricultural College in 1937 as a lecturer and after the war led the revival of Association of University Staff of New Zealand (later Association of Staff in Tertiary Education, now the Tertiary Education Union).[1] In 1952 he became director of Lincoln. In 1962, the organisation was renamed Lincoln College, and Burns' title changed to principal.

In the 1959 New Year Honours Burns was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire,[2] and was promoted to Knight Commander of the same order in the 1972 Queen's Birthday Honours.[3]

He retired from Lincoln in 1974, and his legacy is that he gave it its strong research focus, which has gained international recognition.[1] In the same year, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science (DSc) from the University of Canterbury.[4]

Burns retired to Christchurch, where he died on 17 October 1986.[1] Lincoln became an independent university in 1990,[5] The Burns Wing on Lincoln's campus commemorates him.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Ross, Bruce J. "Malcolm McRae Burns". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "No. 41591". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1959. p. 42. 
  3. ^ "No. 45680". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1972. p. 6294. 
  4. ^ "Honorary Graduates" (PDF). University of Canterbury. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Lincoln University profile". Lincoln University. Retrieved 19 June 2014.