Building a new Faculty: Founding dean appointed for LA&PS

Professor Martin Singer, a scholar of Chinese history and a veteran academic administrator, has been named the inaugural dean of York’s new Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS).

As dean of LA&PS, Singer will oversee a new Faculty encompassing the humanities, social sciences and related professional studies that will replace the Faculty of Arts and the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies and become one of the largest Faculties in Canada. Singer comes to York from Montreal’s Concordia University.

Left: Martin Singer

"York University is fortunate to have attracted such a strong scholar and administrator as the first dean of the new Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies," said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “Dr. Singer has demonstrated outstanding leadership, strong planning skills and good judgment throughout his career at Concordia; he is the ideal candidate to lead the new Faculty.”

Reached in Montreal, Singer said: “I am delighted to be joining the York community and very much look forward to working collegially to launch the exciting new Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.”

Singer has been a professor at Concordia since 1972. During his career there he has led academic planning processes which resulted in the recruitment of more than 350 tenure-track professors; the construction of several major academic buildings including the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex; strategic growth in student enrollment; a range of initiatives to enhance teaching effectiveness; transformative changes in research; and the expansion of international collaboration and recruitment activities.

He previously served at Concordia as provost; dean of Concordia’s Faculty of Arts & Science; director of the Council for International Academic Cooperation; and chair of the History Department.

Singer has a BA from Hunter College of the City University of New York, and an MA in East Asian studies and a PhD in history from the University of Michigan. While at Concordia he published and lectured on Chinese history and contemporary Chinese-Canadian academic relations, and earned a reputation as a committed and effective teacher.

Although Singer’s appointment will not formally begin until July 1, coinciding with the establishment of the new Faculty, he will be on campus regularly in the interim to become acquainted with York University and his new colleagues, and to prepare for the opening of the new Faculty.