June 2, 2023
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO — Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed Heidi Northwood provost and vice-president: academic for a five-year term, effective July 1.
Northwood has served as a member of Laurier’s executive leadership team for five years, most recently as interim provost and vice-president: academic. Prior to this, she served as the senior executive officer (SEO) of the Brantford campus since 2018.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to continue to work closely with Dr. Northwood as she advances the academic mission of Laurier and our commitments to internationalization, equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity,” said Deborah MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor. “Heidi has a strong track record in developing innovative academic programs, building strong relationships, and framing Laurier’s strategic priorities through a multi-campus lens.”
As provost and vice-president: academic, Northwood will oversee Laurier’s academic planning and co-lead the development of the university budget with the vice-president: finance and administration. She will also provide executive oversight in internationalization efforts and the work to build an equitable and inclusive community at Laurier.
“I am excited to begin my term,” said Northwood. “Each of Laurier’s faculties and campuses offer unique strengths that add to the vibrancy of our community. I am looking forward to cultivating those strengths and working with colleagues to chart the future course for Laurier. This is an exciting time for our university.”
As chair of the provost and vice-president: academic search committee, MacLatchy also notes the commitment and effort of the committee members, who included faculty, staff, student, Senate and Board of Governors representatives. “The provost and vice-president: academic is the chief academic officer of the university and has a critical leadership role. I am very appreciative of the work of the committee over the months of the search.”
Northwood joined Laurier in 2014 as dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts on the Brantford campus. During her tenure as dean, she played key roles in strategic planning, including the development of the Laurier Strategy. Northwood facilitated the development of a number of innovative programs, including the Bachelor of Design in User Experience Design. She also played a key role in establishing the joint BA/LLB program with the University of Sussex Law School and developing pathway programs with Six Nations Polytechnic and Conestoga College.
As SEO of the Brantford campus, Northwood represented the president in Brantford and built strong community connections and partnerships with postsecondary institutions. Northwood led the implementation of the Brantford campus strategic plan and spearheaded the launch of the Laurier Hub for Community Solutions and the reimagining of spaces in One Market. In 2021, Northwood was appointed SEO of Global Strategy and led Laurier’s development of an internationalization strategy.
Prior to her time at Laurier, Northwood was a faculty member at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, serving as chair of the Department of Philosophy and director of integrative programs. 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. Northwood holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Alberta and an MA and BA in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario. She continues her scholarship in the areas of Ancient Greek philosophy and Design Ethics.
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Lori Chalmers Morrison, Director: Integrated Communications, External Relations
Wilfrid Laurier University