Osgoode dean appointed York’s new VP academic & provost

York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri announced yesterday the appointment of Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Patrick Monahan as York’s next vice-president academic & provost, effective July 1. The appointment for the new five-year term, which was made after a wide search assisted by a committee, was approved by the Board of Governors yesterday. 

"I am delighted to confirm the appointment of Patrick Monahan as vice-president academic & provost,” said Shoukri. “He is a first-class academic leader who has done much to raise the profile and reputation of the law school and York University. I look forward to working with him as we celebrate York’s 50th anniversary and take York into its next 50 years."

Right: Patrick Monahan has been appointed York’s next VP academic & provost

The vice-president academic & provost reports to the president and is responsible for institutional leadership in planning, policy development and implementation of new and existing academic programs. In conjunction with the Senate and the president, the vice-president academic & provost sets the academic goals of the University and establishes priorities in terms of University objectives.

Monahan succeeds Vice-President Academic & Provost Sheila Embleton, who has shown tremendous leadership of York’s academic enterprise through the past decade and will continue to provide advice and counsel during 2009-2010 as special adviser to the president.

“I believe York University has tremendous potential for growth, development and contribution to the public good,” said Monahan. “It is a privilege for me to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of York as its next provost.”

Monahan was first appointed dean of Osgoode Hall Law School on July 1, 2003, for a five-year term and was reappointed for a second term on July 1, 2008.  During his time as dean, Osgoode’s reputation has grown and the law school is ranked as one of the best in the country. Monahan also spearheaded a strategic plan for the law school that has resulted in an expanded faculty and greater focus on improving student engagement and the learning experience. In addition, he launched the largest capital campaign in the history of Canadian law schools that will help improve programs and the physical space at Osgoode.   

Monahan graduated from Osgoode, as the gold medallist, in 1980 and has been a member of the Osgoode faculty since 1982. He holds a BA from the University of Ottawa, an MA from Carleton University, an LLM from Harvard University and is a member of the Bar of Ontario. Monahan is a recognized authority on constitutional law, Canadian federalism and administrative law. From 1986 to 1990, he was senior policy adviser to the attorney general and premier of Ontario respectively, where he played a key role in the negotiation of the 1987 Meech Lake Accord. He has frequently provided legal advice to major public sector organizations, including all three levels of government, federal royal commissions, government agencies, the auditor general of Canada and others.

The search for a new dean of the law school will commence shortly, but in the interim, Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Jinyan Li has been appointed acting dean of the law school, beginning on July 1. Li joined Osgoode Hall Law School in 1999, having previously taught for eight years in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario.