Deborah MacLatchy began her five-year term as president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University on July 1, 2017. In this role, she is responsible for the overall academic and administrative operation and strategic direction of the university, and is accountable to Wilfrid Laurier University’s Board of Governors.
Laurier’s senior team of academic and administrative leaders oversees the activities and strategic direction of the university at all of its campuses and locations.
As vice-president: finance and administration, Deborah Dubenofsky is responsible for administrative strategies and systems that support and advance the overall goals of the university. Her portfolio includes campus operations and risk management, financial resources, human resources, facilities and asset management, internal audit, and a number of ancillary services. She also serves as a key resource for the Board of Governors, Senate and supporting committees. Prior to joining Laurier, Dubenofsky had a distinguished career in public service and public-policy advocacy, including senior executive roles in municipal and provincial government and the private sector. She holds a BA from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Queen's University.
Robert Gordon, a leading authority on environmental issues in Canada, joined Laurier as vice-president: research in November 2015. As vice-president: research, Gordon is responsible for building Laurier’s overall research enterprise and providing strategic leadership on scholarly and research activities across multiple campuses. He also holds a faculty appointment in Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Laurier, Gordon was dean of the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph, the largest agriculture and food faculty in Canada. He previously held a prestigious Canada Research Chair in Environmental Resource Management at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now Dalhousie University). Gordon earned a bachelor’s and a master's degree in engineering from McGill University and a PhD in land resource science from the University of Guelph. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Nova Scotia Premier's Award of Excellence.
Paul E. Jessop has earned a BSc (University of Waterloo), MA and PhD (Harvard University) in Physics, as well as a PEng. In 1978, he joined the Electrical Engineering Division of the National Research Council of Canada (Ottawa), where he worked in the area of laser spectroscopy of solids. From 1981 to 2010 he was at McMaster University in Hamilton in the Department of Engineering Physics. He was chair of that department from 2001 to 2009, and served two terms as associate dean of Graduate Studies prior to that. Prior to his position as acting vice-president: academic at Laurier, he was the university's dean of the Faculty of Science and a professor in the Department of Physics and Computer Science.
With a focus on the quality of student life and an exceptional Laurier student experience, the vice-president: student affairs is accountable for the development and delivery of all student-life policies, programs, services and facilities on Laurier’s campuses. David McMurray plays a lead role in Laurier’s strategy to integrate its academic/curricular agenda with the co-curricular elements of student learning, development and engagement. Direct responsibilities include: accessible learning, athletics and recreation, community service learning, chaplains and multi-faith team, conference services, co-operative education and career development, counselling services, food services, health services, judicial affairs council, Laurier One Card program, learning services, Rainbow Centre, residential services, student diversity support, Student Leadership Centre and the Women’s Centre. McMurray has been an active member of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services for more than 30 years.
Sandra Palmaro joined Laurier on July 10, 2017 as the interim vice-president of Development and Alumni Relations. In this role, she leads the philanthropic vision and alumni-engagement strategy for Laurier, working closely with the president’s executive team, academic and administrative leaders, the alumni association, donors, volunteers and the Development and Alumni Relations team. Palmaro has held numerous senior roles in both the private and not-for-profit sectors, including national co-CEO and CEO of the Ontario Region of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation; executive vice-president of SickKids Foundation; and vice-president, public sector, at Microsoft Canada.
As Senior Executive Officer, Brantford campus, Heidi Northwood represents the office of the university president at the Brantford campus. She works to create opportunities and strategies that advance Laurier’s academic mission, build relationships with campus partners and stakeholders, and support academic and administrative leaders. In addition to her role as interim SEO, Northwood is the dean of Liberal Arts at the Brantford Campus. Prior to joining Laurier in 2014, Northwood was the director of Integrative Programs and the Core Curriculum at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY and a professor in the philosophy department. In addition to teaching and working in the area of Ancient Greek philosophy and science, she led the development of a new core curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and assessment structures, and twice co-led the College's self-studies and external accreditation. Heidi received her bachelors and masters degrees in philosophy from Western University and her PhD in philosophy from the University of Alberta.
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