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People on the Move

Announcements – April 5, 2021


The University of Victoria announced that Aaron Devor will continue his work as the world’s first chair in transgender studies for a second five-year term. In his first five years on the job, Dr. Devor worked with the university, students, research colleagues and the community, secured research grants, advised and collaborated with visiting scholars and sponsored the biennial Moving Trans History Forward conferences. He also worked in public education and knowledge translation about transgender studies through public lectures, keynotes and plenary addresses around the world.

Robina Thomas (Qwul’sih’yah’maht) has been named the founding associate vice-president, Indigenous, at the University of Victoria. Dr. Thomas will hold the new position for a three-year term. She was the inaugural executive director of the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement at the university and is currently an associate professor in UVic’s school of social work. Dr. Thomas first joined the university in 1998 as a visiting lecturer and accepted a tenure track position in 2001. A member of the Lyackson First Nation, Dr. Thomas focuses her research on Indigenous women and children, residential schools, storytelling, Indigenous community engagement and anti-colonial/anti-racist practices.

The University of Calgary has named Teri Balser as its next provost and vice-president, academic. She began a five-year term in the position on April 1. Dr. Bowser is the former interim president and provost and vice-president, academic, at Dalhousie University. Before joining Dalhousie, she served as dean of teaching and learning for the faculty of science and engineering at Curtin University in Perth, Australia and dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida.

Ian Sutherland, dean of Memorial University’s School of Music, has accepted the position of interim vice-president, Grenfell Campus. Dr. Sutherland has headed Memorial’s School of Music since 2016. He has worked as an academic leader, educator, researcher and consultant in more than 40 countries. Dr. Sutherland’s research includes studies on leadership development, the aesthetics of power and the social dimensions of creative processes. He takes on his new role on June 15.

Andy Sidhu has been reappointed chancellor of the University of the Fraser Valley and began a new three-year term on April 1. Mr. Sidhu was first appointed in 2017 and was the university’s third chancellor. He was an accountant by trade before emigrating to Canada from Malaysia in 1974. He founded B.C.’s first multi-language newspaper, the Punjabi Patrika, in 1996, which printed 15,000 copies every day in English and Punjabi. He is the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, the Order of Abbotsford and a Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity award.

Brock University announced the reappointment of university librarian Mark Robertson. Mr. Robertson joined Brock in August 2016 after serving as associate university librarian at York University. During his first term, he developed a new strategic plan and master space plan for the library, developed Brock’s new open access policy and was involved in the renovation of a student study space. Mr. Robertson’s second five-year term begins on July 1.

Krista Craven begins a new role as Carleton University’s inaugural equity, diversity and inclusion learning specialist in the university’s department of equity and inclusive communities. In this new position, Dr. Craven will collaborate, develop and deliver EDI curricular and teaching support for faculty and instructors to help integrate inclusive, decolonized and anti-racist practices. She is currently an associate professor of community and justice studies and the chair of the justice policy studies department at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The University of the Fraser Valley has selected its new dean of the College of Arts. Sylvie Murray, who has been associate dean of faculty in the College of Arts at UFV since September 2016, begins her new duties on July 1. Dr. Murray has been with UFV for almost 30 years and previously served as a faculty member in the history department, history department head, executive member of the UFV faculty and staff association and program development coordinator in the vice-provost’s office from 2013 to 2016.

Ailsa Craig has been appointed interim dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences at Memorial University. Dr. Craig is currently associate dean, curriculum and programs and a professor in the faculty, and is the former head of the unit’s department of sociology. Dr. Craig is a recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Craig is a queer and trans activist and was selected as a community leadership marshal for the 2014 St. John’s Pride parade.

Anthropology professor Jaime Cidro has been appointed associate vice-president, research and innovation, at the University of Winnipeg. In this new position, Dr. Cidro will support the university’s research program, help develop new policies, develop Indigenous research protocols and be accountable for equity, diversity and inclusion within the university’s research ecosystem. Dr. Cidro is a Canada Research Chair in health and culture and the co-director of the Aabikikiwan Indigenous Research Lab.

Paul O’Byrne has been reappointed as dean and vice-president, faculty of health sciences, at McMaster University. Dr. O’Byrne came to McMaster in 1977 as a resident in internal medicine and respirology after receiving medical training at University College, Dublin. He has served as the executive director of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Josephe’s Health Care Hamilton and chair of the department of medicine at McMaster. He has received a number of awards, including the honorary life achievement award from the Ontario Thoracic Society, McMaster’s Jack Hirsh Award for outstanding academic achievement and the distinguished graduate award from University College, Dublin. Dr. O’Byrne’s new term begins on July 1.

York University announced the appointment of Wendy Miller to the position of assistant vice-president, finance, and chief financial officer of the university. Ms. Miller is a senior finance executive with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Most recently, she has served as chief financial officer of Sterllson North America Ltd. since 2017. Before this, she was an independent accounting and financial consultant and held various positions with Erst & Young LLP. Ms. Miller begins her new role at York on April 5.

Kim Fenwick is returning for another term as vice-president, academic and research, at St. Thomas University. Dr. Fenwick joined the university’s department of psychology in 1995 and served as chair of the department for seven years. She was appointed dean of social sciences in 2012 and took on her current role role in 2016.  In Dr. Fenwick’s second term, which she will hold until 2026, she will work to further efforts in reconciliation, progress in recruitment and retention and the creation of a master of social work program.

Western University announced the appointment of Jeff O’Hagan as its new vice-president, university advancement, effective April 1.  Mr. O’Hagan comes to Western from York University, where he served as vice-president, advancement, since 2011. Previously, he was chief executive officer of the Sunnybrook Foundation in Toronto and a senior fundraiser at St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation in Kitchener-Waterloo. Mr. O’Hagan is a graduate of Western and worked at his alma mater early in his career, as director of gift planning and later as director of development at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Athabasca University welcomed Deborah Meyers as the university’s interim president on April 1. Ms. Meyers joined Athabasca in Sept. 2018 as its vice-president, finance and administration, and chief financial officer. Before this, she was Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s chief financial officer and vice-president, administration. Ms. Meyers earned a BComm at the University of British Columbia and holds a chartered professional accountant designation.

On March 8, Christine Cyr began her new role as the University of Manitoba’s first associate vice-president, Indigenous – students, community and cultural integration. Ms. Cyr, a U of Manitoba graduate and Métis woman from Winnipeg, has worked at the university for two decades. She was most recently the director of the university’s Indigenous Student Centre. In her time at U of Manitoba, she developed and led programs such as the Indigenous Circle of Empowerment leadership program and established a new Métis inclusion coordinator role.

Jeff Keshen will become the University of Regina’s eighth president and vice-chancellor on July 1. Dr. Keshen is currently vice-president, Grenfell Campus, at Memorial University. Previously, he served as dean of the faculty of arts at Royal University and the chair of the department of history at the University of Ottawa. He was also an adjunct professor in the Centre of Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. Dr. Keshen is a historian of 20th century Canada and has focused his research on the history of war and conflict.

Felicia Mings is the new curator of the Art Gallery of York University, effective April 12. Ms. Mings comes to York from the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was the academic curator in the department of academic engagement and research. A key part of her curatorial practice has been interpreting and presenting modern and contemporary art of Africa and the African diaspora. She has also focused on the intersections of curatorial practice and community-based arts education.

The University of the Fraser Valley announced that Randy Kelley has been named associate dean in its faculty of applied and technical studies. Mr. Kelley first joined the university as an electronics instructor in the early 1990s and most recently served as the director of UFV’s school of trades. He was a member of the university’s board from 2002 to 2004 and has served on several senate committees, including the academic planning and priorities committee. He began a five-year term as associate dean on March 1.

The University of Waterloo announced the reappointment of Dominic Barton as its chancellor for a second three-year term, effective July 1. Mr. Barton is a globally renowned business executive and is currently serving as Canada’s ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. He is a former managing partner at international consulting firm McKinsey and Co., trustee of the Brookings Institution, member of the Singapore Economic Development Board’s international advisory council, and board member at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City and the Asia Pacific Foundation Canada.

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