York University’s president announces interim appointments

Vari Hall
Vari Hall

York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri issues the following announcement:

I am pleased to inform the York University community that three interim appointments were recently approved by the Board of Governors Executive Committee, on behalf of the Board of Governors.

Trudy Pound-Curtis will serve as Interim Vice-President Finance and Administration, effective April 14, 2017; Professor Lisa Philipps will serve as Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost, effective May 1, 2017; and Professor Ravi de Costa will serve as Interim Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, effective July 1, 2017.

Trudy Pound-Curtis will assume the role of Interim Vice-President Finance and Administration on April 14, 2017 and will serve in this capacity until the new Vice-President Finance and Administration assumes the position. The search for this position is well advanced and it is expected that an appointment will be made in the next few weeks. Trudy joined York University as the Assistant Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer in December 2002. Prior to coming to York, she served as Director of Financial Services at Memorial University. She has been a key member of the leadership team within the Vice-President Finance & Administration department and has served as Acting Vice-President over the years during times of Gary Brewer’s absence. Her responsibilities include setting strategic direction and oversight of the University’s finances, including budget planning, treasury, pension and endowment management, procurement, insurance and risk management, and research support. Trudy’s career in higher education spans nearly 30 years. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business from Saint Mary’s University and is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland. She has been awarded the Ken Clements Distinguished Service Award in University Administration from CAUBO (Canadian Association of University Business Officers), the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Council of Finance Officers – Universities of Ontario, and the President’s Award for Exemplary Service from Memorial University.

Professor Lisa Philipps will assume the role of Interim Vice-President Academic & Provost on May 1, 2017 in order to facilitate Dr. Rhonda Lenton’s transition to the President’s Office. Further information will be forthcoming regarding the search for the next VPA and Provost, whose appointment will take effect July 1, 2018. Professor Philipps will be well known to members of the York community. A faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School, her area of scholarship is taxation law and fiscal policy. Prior to her appointment here, she held positions at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, and practiced law with Blake, Cassels and Graydon. Since joining York in 1996, Professor Philipps has held a number of administrative and governance positions. Within Osgoode, she served as Assistant Dean (First Year) and as Associate Dean (Research, Graduate Studies & Institutional Relations). At the institutional level, she has served as chair of the Academic Policy, Planning and Research Committee of Senate, and from 2011 to 2014, she held the position of Associate Vice-President Research in the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation. As AVP, she was responsible for driving research intensification across all disciplines at York; she worked to strengthen prestigious award nominations and recognition, and championed internal research initiatives such as the undergraduate student research fair and enhanced research communications. Lisa also lends her expertise beyond York. In 2015-16, she served as Interim Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University, a new law school which opened in 2013. She is the Director of Research Policy on the Board of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (SSHRC), and is an appointed member of the Provincial Judges Pension Board.

Professor Ravi de Costa will serve in the role of Interim Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) as of July 1, 2017. Professor Noël Sturgeon will complete her term as Dean on June 30, 2017, and the search for the next Dean will begin in the coming months. Professor de Costa will be well known to members of FES and the wider York community. He joined FES in 2007, having held prior faculty positions at Trent and McMaster Universities. His research interests are in the areas of globalization and Indigenous peoples. Professor de Costa has developed a broad and deep understanding of FES, having served as Associate Dean Students, Teaching & Learning; Associate Dean Research; and Graduate Program Director. In addition to responsibilities within FES, Professor de Costa has served on the Senate Executive Committee, the (former) Senate Committee on Research, the York Task Force on Sustainability Research, and the Provostial White Paper Working group on Teaching Innovation and Student Learning. He is currently a member of the Markham Campus Academic Coordinating Committee. Through these various roles, he has developed a broad and deep understanding of the Faculty and the University at large. He has initiated and overseen several key initiatives within FES that have advanced its teaching, learning and research priorities, and has also contributed to the Executive Committee of the Faculty’s Board of Governors.

On behalf of myself and the York University community, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to Gary Brewer, Rhonda Lenton and Noël Sturgeon for their outstanding leadership and vital contributions to advancing the strategic priorities and flourishing of the University in their various capacities.

I very much appreciate Trudy’s, Lisa’s and Ravi’s willingness to undertake these important interim leadership responsibilities, and I know that they will enjoy the support of colleagues across the University in working collaboratively to advance our academic and administrative priorities. Please join me in wishing them well as they undertake these roles.