Prof. Roland Haines wins Dean’s Special Award of Merit

Prof. Roland Haines

by Mitchell Zimmer

Professor Roland Haines is usually among the first to know about any ongoing developments within the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Science. When it came to his receiving this year’s Dean’s Special Award of Merit however, Haines admits, “I was sort of surprised when I was told about it. David [Wardlaw, Dean of Science] apparently had a small subgroup that looked into the matter.”

Haines has served multiple roles in the Dean’s Office for over 23 years. His first experience was filling in for the Associate Dean Academic in 1981 when he took the place of Dr. Ann Bodie for one year. He then went back to Chemistry for three years and then, in the Fall of 1984, Haines says “I was asked to come over in the role what essentially has been Associate Dean Administration and over a series of three year renewals over and over, here I am today.”

Today Haines holds the position of Special Advisor to the Dean, but in many ways he seems to be the backbone of the Dean’s Office. “It didn’t start out that way,” says Haines, “it just sort of evolved really, and various things came up where there was a need.” On two occasions in his career he served as Acting Dean and then there were other special roles “and one thing led to another and it just seemed to be continuous after that.”

A considerable amount of change has happened over the decades since Haines joined the Dean’s Office. Over a decade ago, the university mandated that research become a high priority. To handle the increased workload, the office of Associate Dean (Research) was created as a spin off of the Associate Dean (Administration). Recently, the Associate Dean (Research) position has required another spin off to form the Assistant Dean (Graduate & International Research).

Haines maintains that the ability to adapt throughout all of these transitions, was due to the common effort of the Deans. “I think over the years it’s really been more of a team effort. I don’t think that either myself or any one individual can be saying that they had steered it, but rather you’ve become part of a team that’s worked together to try to accomplish the goals. That goes right back to I think when I first got into the office. It was always a team approach.”