Building a new Faculty: First leaders appointed to LA&PS dean’s office

Nine people have been named to leadership positions in the dean’s office of York’s new Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS), which will come into being on July 1, 2009.

The new Faculty, encompassing humanities, social sciences and related professional studies, will replace the Faculty of Arts and the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. It was approved by Senate and the University Board of Governors last year, and a search for its first dean was launched this spring (see YFile, April 30).
Vice-President Academic Sheila Embleton (right), announcing the initial leaders in conjunction with Faculty of Arts Dean Robert Drummond and Atkinson Dean Rhonda Lenton, said the top-level structure of the Office of the Dean includes provision for five associate deans, an executive officer and a dozen offices that will need leaders.

Here are the offices where leaders have been named:

  • for Executive Officer: Mary Scheepers, currently executive officer, Faculty of Arts
  • for Academic Planning: Jane Harrison, currently senior coordinator, academic planning, Atkinson
  • for Enrolment & Resource Data Management: Mario Verrilli, currently policy & planning officer, Office of the Associate Vice-President Academic Resources Planning
  • for Communications & Events: Timothy Hudson, currently communications manager, Atkinson
  • for Faculty Council: Lesa Cozzi, currently senior manager, Faculty governance, and secretary, Faculty Council, Atkinson
  • for Human Resources: Dawn Richards: currently administrative officer, Faculty of Arts
  • for Health & Safety: Terry Wright, currently facilities manager, Faculty of Arts
  • for Facilities: Rosemary Moore, currently administrative officer, Atkinson
  • for Continuing Education: Jane Daines, currently director, Division of Continuing Education, Atkinson

The other offices identified as part of the new Faculty’s structure are Student, Alumni & Community Relations; Research; Budget; and the Office of Computing Technology & Learning Services/Computing. An announcement on leaders for the remaining offices is expected by September, Embleton said.

“In a number of instances we concluded that it was premature to identify anyone,” said Embleton. “This was in no way a reflection on the people who are currently working in those areas. Rather, it was our view that in some cases there was still work to be done before the terms of reference for the office could be established. We also had a few cases where people decided, for personal reasons, to take themselves out of the running for these leadership positions."

The new appointments will hasten the work of bringing two Faculties into one and creating a new Faculty with its own style and systems. A vast network of committees has already been meeting to harmonize everything from course descriptions to governance, and a series of getting-to-know-you discussion sessions are underway among management staff from both Faculties.

Once operating, LA&PS will be York’s largest Faculty, offering a vast range of courses and programs with strong emphasis on interdisciplinarity. It will intensify York’s research capability, improve student experience by amalgamating duplicate course offerings and standardizing transfer requirements, and offer innovative graduate programs across the humanities, social sciences and related professional programs.

Visit the Faculty Transition Web site for background information, news and FAQs on the process. A broader Web site is in the works, and there will be more stories in YFile about the Faculty’s progress.