Announcing the New Dean and Vice Provost of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities

30 January 2023

A message from Verna Yiu, Provost and Vice-President (Academic):

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Marvin Washington as Dean and Vice-Provost of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) for a five-year term effective July 1, 2023.

Dr. Washington returns to the University of Alberta after a period of time at Portland State University where he was a professor of management and undergraduate capstone coordinator. He is a former professor and past chair of the Department of Strategy, Management and Organization at the U of A’s Alberta School of Business, and has also served as associate dean of the Executive Education Program and the Alberta Health Services Executive Leadership program. Dr. Washington is also a Fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management.

Dr. Washington earned both his master’s and PhD in organization behavior and sociology, as well as a bachelor of science in industrial engineering, from Northwestern University. A highly respected academic, Dr. Washington’s research, teaching and consulting practice focus on processes of organizational and institutional change. Throughout his career he has worked with numerous businesses and organizations on strategy, change and leadership, with clients including Bayer, SportChek, the City of Edmonton and other government agencies. Additionally, Dr. Washington is the author of three books on leadership and organizational change: Pack Leadership: Lessons from the Wild Dogs of Africa (with Stephen Hacker), Successful Organizational Transformation: The Five Critical Elements (with Stephen Hacker and Marla Hacker), and Lead Self before Leading Others (with Stephen Hacker). 

As a leader, Dr. Washington is renowned for his ability to build relationships and connect people. Among numerous other examples from his career, his work to help found the Indigenous Partnership Program (2014-2019)—a combined community program between the Faculty of Native Studies and the School of Business—exemplifies this strength. The program connected Indigenous leaders, elders, consultants and non-Indigenous business professionals to build relationships and shared understanding, develop coalitions across and beyond Alberta, and engage in critical dialogue about the path forward.

Dr. Washington is also a highly regarded educator, having taught undergraduates, graduates and executives during his 12-year tenure at the U of A. He has won two MBA awards for teaching excellence and was awarded the 2013 McCalla Professorship for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Alberta. He was also the recipient of the University of Alberta’s Last Lecture Series in 2017, which recognizes the professor that students and alumni feel was the most impactful during their time at the U of A. 

Dr. Washington is succeeding Interim Dean Joseph Doucet, who will complete his two-year term on June 30, 2023. I would like to thank Dr. Doucet for his dedication to the newly established college, and his extensive work to strengthen and connect the faculties of Arts, Business, Education and Law.

Lastly, thank you to the members of the College Dean/Vice Provost Selection Committee who provided such thoughtful and wise contributions to this important decision for the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Washington on his appointment.