Congratulations to Dr. Fred Longstaffe, Western’s Provost-Elect
It was a pleasure to congratulate Fred Longstaffe at the November 25 Board of Governors’ meeting when Board Chair Don McDougall announced his appointment as Provost & Vice-President (Academic) for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2005.
The appointment followed a unanimous recommendation from a very hard working and dedicated Search Committee, which included myself as Chair; Helen Connell, Vice-Chair of Western’s Board of Governors; Catherine Ross, Dean of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies; faculty members Chris Ellis, Alison Lee, Shiva Singh and Jerry White; and Matt Wilson, a student. Since the announcement, a large number of colleagues have spoken or written to me to say how pleased they are, and how lucky we are at Western to have Fred assuming this key leadership position. I could not agree more.
Fred is a Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences with cross-appointments in the Departments of Anthropology and Chemistry. He obtained his BSc (Hon) from the University of Windsor and his PhD in Geology from McMaster University. He went to the University of Alberta in 1978 as a Killam Post-Doctoral Scholar, and then became a member of faculty in the Department of Geology at that university. Dr. Longstaffe came to Western in 1987 as a full professor in Geology. In 1993, when the Departments of Geology and Geophysics merged to become the Department of Earth Sciences, Dr. Longstaffe became the new department’s first Chair. He continued in that role until July 1999 when he became the Dean of the Faculty of Science, the position he currently holds.
Students have recognized Dr. Longstaffe as an outstanding teacher. He has been named to the University Students’ Council Teaching Honor Role six times since 1995. At the graduate level, he has supervised 11 PhD, 16 MSc, and two MA students, as well as 14 Postdoctoral Fellows.
Dr. Longstaffe’s research in geology and professional leadership is highly regarded by colleagues around the world. He is a member of over a dozen professional associations in Canada and internationally. He was named Distinguished Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada in 1994 and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1997. In 2003, the Geological Association of Canada awarded Dr. Longstaffe the Logan Medal – the most prestigious honor the Canadian geological community can confer on one of its members. His current research focuses on the use of stable isotopes to study earth and environmental science, ecosystems, oil sands, and anthropology; he is Director of the Laboratory for Stable Isotope Science, located at Western. Dr. Longstaffe’s research has attracted substantial funding from NSERC, SSHRC and CFI.
Dr. Longstaffe has superb collegial administrative skills. He is a person who listens carefully to differing points of view, seeks consensus, but takes difficult decisions when necessary. His review for a second term as Dean of the Faculty of Science was marked by an outpouring of support and admiration from his faculty and staff colleagues. Fred is a person of vision and an innovative strategist. His creation of a strategic research plan for the Faculty of Science, his work in merging departments, and his leadership in strengthening undergraduate and graduate programs have all been outstanding.
Fred has achieved his successes with a gentle collegial style and a friendly supportive manner. He is a team player who will work very effectively with the Vice-Presidents, Deans, the Faculty Association, the USC and SOGS, and faculty, staff, and students generally. I look forward to his strong leadership on my team.
To share your views please reply to Paul.Davenport@uwo.ca
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