FES Dean Joni Seager to step down

Dean Joni Seager of York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) has resigned from her position as dean, effective June 30, 2007.

“It has been an honour to serve as dean of FES, a Faculty of which I am enormously proud, and a Faculty that, in my view, is a key contributor to York’s overall reputation for excellence, innovation and interdisciplinarity,” Seager wrote in a letter to colleagues. She cited her desire to return to research and a new research opportunity – to direct a project to produce an atlas of the state of the global environment – as the reasons behind her decision.

While the University conducts a search to fill the vacancy, FES Professor Barbara Rahder will serve as interim dean for a one-year period, commencing July 1.

Rahder has been a full-time faculty member in FES since 1993, and prior to that taught at York on a part-time basis. She holds graduate degrees in urban and regional planning from the University of Toronto. Her many research interests include participatory research and planning; access to affordable housing and community services; and urban planning, history, theory and education. In addition to her scholarly work, she has frequently served as a consultant and panel member on planning issues. She has served in a number of governance roles in FES and at the University level, and from 2001 to 2003 and 2004 to 2006 she was the graduate program director in FES.

"I very much appreciate Professor Rahder’s willingness to undertake this important responsibility in the service of her Faculty and the University, and I look forward to working with her in the coming year,"  said York Vice-President Academic Sheila Embleton in announcing the transition.