A reorganization of senior management to support academic priorities

President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri circulated this message yesterday:

Dear members of the York community,

Reorganization of senior management to support our academic priorities


After almost two years now at the helm of this leading University, I have become intimately associated with the roles and responsibilities of our senior management team and their units. I have been impressed by their commitment to York, especially during the recent financial downturn that has affected every university in Canada.

Over this period I have also been able to judge for myself how best to align their individual roles and responsibilities with the ever-changing realities that confront the University.

Consequently, I am restructuring the senior management team in order to provide a more streamlined structure that is better placed to respond to the needs of the University, especially in the delivery of its academic mission.

The changes outlined below will become effective as of July 1, 2009.

Focusing on our academic priorities

As was previously announced, Dean Patrick Monahan of Osgoode Hall Law School will assume the role of vice-president academic & provost. Given that the academic experience is a major component of the student experience, I have asked Vice-President Students  Rob Tiffin to report to the VPA & provost on academic matters affecting students and to continue to report to me on non-academic student matters such as student relations and athletics. VP Tiffin will continue to be a member of the President/Vice-Presidents group (PVP).

As I indicated when I added the provostial role to the VP academic position, the provost is to take a leadership role in University planning and the allocation of resources across the entire University. Therefore, as part of his academic responsibilities as VPA & provost, Patrick Monahan will also assume the leadership of the Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) project, working closely with Vice-President Finance & Administration Gary Brewer. The aim of this long-term project launched by VP Brewer is to more closely align the University’s resources to its stated priorities, most especially with regard to its academic goals. Thus the IRP Office led by Sarah Cantrell will report directly to the VPA & provost.

Given the significance of the academic employee relations portfolio to the academic enterprise, the executive director of academic employee relations, Barry Miller, will continue to report to VP Brewer but will also have a reporting line to the Office of the VPA & Provost.

The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation is not directly affected by the reorganization.

Delivering University-wide technology solutions

On the administrative side I am very keen to ensure that the maximum synergies are gained from our internal structures and I am thus asking Chief Information Officer Bob Gagne to oversee a new integrated unit incorporating Computer Network Services (CNS) and Information Technology Services (ITS). The new merged unit will be called University Information Technology (UIT), and will be under the leadership of Bob Gagne, reporting to the Vice-President Finance & Administration, Gary Brewer. Bob will continue to sit on the University Executive Committee (UEC) of senior management.

The creation of this new, consolidated information technology organization aims to improve the clarity of support and level of integration of common, University-wide IT services. The change also enhances our capability to address the growing demand for IT services and solutions in support of research, teaching and administration and to do so in a responsive, coordinated and integrated manner. The formation of this new unit is also a key recommendation arising from the development of the University’s new strategy for information technology.

‘University Relations’

Finally, I am undertaking a review of the various functions that fall broadly under the rubric of "University Relations". These include the Marketing & Communications Division, the Office of University Events and Community Relations (UECR), and the Office of Alumni & Advancement Services. In so doing, I hope to more closely align the functions of these units to deliver a more institutionally coordinated approach to our many and varied outreach efforts. The results of the review will be announced in due course.

I would like to acknowledge the University’s faculty, staff and students for their continued commitment to the University and for their patience and understanding during these difficult times. As I have said on many occasions, it is my intention that we emerge from this recession as a stronger university and I am confident that these changes are an important step towards reaching that goal.