New dean appointed to the Faculty of Education

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton issues the following announcement:

I am pleased to inform members of the Faculty of Education and the York community that the search for dean of the Faculty of Education has reached a successful conclusion.

In 2019, I established a search committee, comprised of members of the Faculty of Education (faculty, staff and students), one member appointed by me, and chaired by Provost Lisa Philipps. The committee undertook an extensive national and international search which attracted outstanding candidates.

Dr. Robert Savage

Dr. Robert Savage

On Sept. 9, the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors concurred with my recommendation, based on the recommendation of the search committee, that Dr. Robert Savage be appointed to the position of dean. I am delighted to announce that Dr. Savage has accepted our invitation to take up a five-year term appointment, commencing July 1, 2021.

Dr. Savage brings significant leadership and international experience to the deanship. He will join York University from University College London, a leading U.K. research and teaching university, whose Institute of Education has ranked first in Education for the past seven years in the QS World University subject rankings.

He is a full professor at UCL and has served as head of the Department of Psychology and Human Development in its Institute of Education since 2017. As head, he has been responsible for all aspects of departmental leadership and administration, including budget and human resources management and oversight, strategic plan development and implementation, and space and technology planning. He has led a renewal of the department’s pedagogical vision and reputation, a doubling of successful research grant applications, and revitalization of its collegial governance structures and partnerships with communities. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to equity and inclusivity. Before his appointment at UCL, Dr. Savage held an appointment at McGill University from 2003 to 2017, undertaking several administrative roles including program director inclusive education and program director human development.

Dr. Savage holds a PhD in developmental experimental psychology, as well as an MSc in professional educational psychology, from the University of London; he also has a post-graduate certificate in education from Cambridge University. He brings to the position of dean an excellent teaching record, having taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses on language and literacy development, inclusive education and exceptionalities; and an outstanding international reputation for collaborative, multi-disciplinary and policy-relevant scholarship in areas such as cognitive processes in reading and spelling, reading interventions, learning disabilities, inclusive education, the impact of French immersion and information technologies for literacy. He is the author or co-author of over 100 highly cited peer-reviewed journal and web articles, chapters and reviews, and frequently presents his research to international conferences. He is currently serving as president of the Society for Scientific Study of Reading.

It is an important time in the development of the Faculty of Education, as it builds on its teaching and research successes and its outstanding reputation to provide leadership concerning pressing social issues like anti-Black racism, Indigenous education and educational innovation in the current challenging context.

I look forward to welcoming Dr. Savage and working closely with him in the coming years. I invite all members of the Faculty and the University to join me in congratulating him and wishing him well as he undertakes this important leadership role.

Sharon Murphy will continue in the role of interim dean of the Faculty of Education until Dr. Savage takes office. I want to express my profound appreciation to Professor Murphy for her outstanding service to the Faculty and the University in this role.

Finally, I would like to thank the members of the search committee for their contributions to this crucial process.

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