July 27, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier university has appointed Jonathan Newman, vice-president: research, to lead strategic institutional innovation and entrepreneurship activities at the university. Newman’s role will support Laurier’s focus on building thriving communities and developing future-readiness, as outlined in the Laurier Strategy: 2019-2024.
In collaboration with leaders across the institution, Newman will oversee the development of Laurier’s inaugural innovation and entrepreneurship strategy; build new partnerships with industry, government and NGOs; and lead a coordinated effort to leverage Laurier’s strengths across the university to create and enhance opportunities.
“As Laurier continues to grow into a leading multi-campus, comprehensive university, this is an exciting time to reimagine innovation and entrepreneurship at the university,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor. “I am confident that Jonathan Newman’s leadership will bring a strategic, focus and coordinated effort to increase the impact of Laurier’s faculty, staff, student, alumni and community research and entrepreneurial expertise both locally and globally.”
Over the next year, Newman will lead the development of a central innovation and entrepreneurship strategy to align Laurier’s research strengths, outlined in Laurier’s Research Strategy 2020-2025, and the entrepreneurial strengths of the institution, with the needs of Laurier’s multi-campus communities, government and industry.
“I am thrilled to be taking on this leadership role to coordinate and mobilize the significant work that is already happening in the innovation and entrepreneurship space at Laurier,” said Newman. “Every day, Laurier’s faculty, staff and students are engaging in work that addresses pressing social, economic and environmental challenges. A cohesive vision for how this work can span disciplines and connect with sectors outside the university will enhance the competitive landscape of our communities and Canada.”
Newman joined Laurier in 2019 as the vice-president: research and since then has led a number of significant initiatives including the development of the Laurier Research Strategy 2020-2025.
Laurier is home to a number of innovation and entrepreneurship centres including the Lazaridis Institute, the Women Entrepreneurship Centre and the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation. Recently the Lazaridis ScaleUp program within the Lazaridis Institute marked a milestone with tech companies supported in the program surpassing $1 billion in new capital raised since the program’s inception in 2016. Laurier is also recognized as a national leader in social innovation, as the second university in Canada to receive the Changemaker Campus designation from Ashoka U.
Prior to working at Laurier, Newman was the dean of the College of Biological Science at the University of Guelph, where he developed the faculty’s first strategic plan. Newman began his tenure at the University of Guelph in 2004 and held several administrative roles including the chair of the Department of Environmental Biology and the founding director of the School of Environmental Science.
Newman also served as a faculty member in the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St. Peter’s College, as well as a faculty member in the Department of Zoology at Southern Illinois University.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a doctorate in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour from State University of New York at Albany. He also holds a graduate diploma in learning and teaching in higher education from the University of Oxford.
Newman’s expanded portfolio responsibilities are effective immediately.
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Lori Chalmers Morrison, Director: Integrated Communications
External Relations, Wilfrid Laurier University