Share Your Memories of Dean Lesley Cormack

On June 30, 2020 Dean Lesley Cormack will be leaving the University of Alberta to be the Principal and Vice Chancellor at UBC-Okanagan.

Dr. Lesley Cormack is an historian of science, interested in the history of geography and mathematics in early modern England and Europe. She has been Dean of Arts since 2010. Dr. Cormack was previously Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver (2007–2010). Before that, she spent 17 years at the University of Alberta as a Professor, taking on Associate Chair (2000-2002) and Chair (2003-2007) roles with the Department of History & Classics. Dr. Cormack holds an MA and PhD, both from the University of Toronto. She is the past president of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science.
Key achievements

  • Led two strategic planning processes, resulting in an Arts Academic Plan, 2011-16 and an Arts Strategic Academic Strategic Plan, Change for Good, 2017-22. Both involved significant consultation and stakeholder engagement.
  • Led a significant plan for increasing indigenous engagement through respectful relations. Have achieved 100% increase in undergraduate Indigenous students; have now hired 14 new indigenous scholars a faculty members; are working to develop indigenous curriculum.
  • Enhanced support for research, particularly interdisciplinary research, first through the development and structuring of the Kule Institute for Advanced Studies (made possible by a $4 million donation), second through the development of an Arts led process of identifying signature areas of research
  • Raised $36 million in philanthropic gifts in the past six years
  • Managed finite resources through an administrative reorganization in 2012
  • Supported a responsible and responsive rethinking of program offerings, closing 20 very small programs and supporting the development of 5 new programs (including a BA in Media Studies, an MA in Policy Studies and a new BA in Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
  • Worked with outside consultants to develop new brand for Faculty

If you have memories or files you'd like to share, please fill out the form below. We hope to host an in-person celebration at some point in the future.

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