Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Steven Dew Stepping Down

Dr. Verna Yiu to serve as Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic) starting July 1.


Following seven years of committed service as Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Steven Dew will be resigning from his administrative role at the end of June. I am grateful to Steve for his unwavering commitment and leadership during my tenure as President of the University of Alberta, particularly in stewarding our core teaching and research mandate.

The University of Alberta community has benefited tremendously from his calm and composed leadership, especially through those periods of great change and challenge that marked the last seven years: the Fort McMurray fire, dramatic budget reductions, the PS752 tragedy, the university's transformation through the University of Alberta for Tomorrow (UAT) and Service Excellence Transformation (SET), and the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid this same period, Steve played an instrumental role in envisioning and creating the university strategic plan, For the Public Good; in developing and launching the university’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Strategic Plan; in hiring the university’s first Vice-provost of Indigenous Programming and Research; and in leading academic restructuring as part of University of Alberta for Tomorrow, among many other achievements that have helped to position the U of A for long-term success.

Provost Dew has written a message for the community (please see below) regarding his resignation. The U of A is looking forward to Dr. Dew’s return after an administrative leave.

Dr. Verna Yiu appointed Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic) effective July 1, 2022

Effective July 1, 2022, Dr. Verna Yiu will become the Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta for a two-year term.

A well-respected and long-serving member of the University of Alberta community, Dr. Yiu has served in a number of leadership roles in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry including Interim Dean (2011), Vice Dean (2008-2011), and Assistant Dean, student affairs (2000-2008) in addition to her clinical practice and professorship in the Department of Pediatrics. Most recently, Dr. Yiu served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Health Services (2016-2022), after serving as executive vice-president and Chief Medical Officer (2012-2016). Dr. Yiu is a well-established leader in the national community, having served on many boards and committees including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, among others. A proud alumna, Dr. Yiu completed her undergraduate degree, medical school, and residency at the U of A.

Dr. Yiu’s depth of knowledge and understanding of the University of Alberta community will ensure a smooth leadership transition as we continue our sustained strategic transformation to build the University of Alberta for Tomorrow.

I have deep roots with the University of Alberta, and after a decade away I’m excited to re-immerse myself in this community. I know the university is in a place of tremendous change, and I look forward to getting reacquainted quickly so that we can work together to move the U of A into the future.

Please join me today in thanking Dr. Dew for his service and welcoming Dr. Yiu to the role of Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

Bill Flanagan
President and Vice-Chancellor

I am deeply honoured to have been able to serve as Provost for the past seven years. The university has faced a number of challenges during that time, but I believe it has weathered them well and is on a path for success in the coming years. This is a testament to the resiliency and dedication of the entire university community.

However, the past couple of years have been particularly taxing on us all and have affected my health and stamina. I need to step away from the role. President Flanagan has graciously agreed to accept my resignation effective June 30, and I will take an administrative leave. I look forward to returning to the teaching and research that first drew me to the U of A 30 years ago.

The university remains at a critical juncture, and I’m pleased that Bill has arranged for such a capable successor. I look forward to supporting Dr. Verna Yiu through this transition in whatever way I can.

My tremendous thanks to all of you with whom I have had the pleasure to work. The teamwork and camaraderie have made this an immensely satisfying role. I particularly would like to thank the staff and leadership team in the Office of the Provost and the broader Provost portfolio, my colleagues on the executive team, and the exceptional group of faculty and college deans who are so key in the delivery of the university’s academic mission.

Steven Dew
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)