From the Provost's Desk: Restructuring to Two Deputy Provosts

Announcing the appointment of Kathryn Todd as Deputy Provost (Academic) and Melissa Padfield as Deputy Provost (Students and Enrolment).


Left: Kathryn Todd, Right: Melissa Padfield

Today I am excited to introduce a new leadership structure in the Office of the Provost that will help to better serve the University of Alberta community as we continue to grow and change. Following the recent departure of former Deputy Provost Wendy Rodgers to UNBC, we are dividing this large portfolio between two Deputy Provosts: one covering academics, and one for students and enrollment. One of my core goals with this restructure is to ensure that the U of A continues to offer high-quality support and services for students as we pursue enrolment growth.

It is my pleasure to share that Kathryn Todd has been appointed Deputy Provost (Academic), and Melissa Padfield has been appointed Deputy Provost (Students and Enrolment), each for a 3 year term. Both are exceptional leaders dedicated to supporting a high-quality student experience and the university’s overall academic vision and mission.

Kathryn Todd, Deputy Provost (Academic)

Dr. Kathryn Todd obtained her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Neurochemical Research Unit at the U of A. This was followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Nantes, France and the University of Montreal. Since joining the U of A as a faculty member, she has held a variety of administrative leadership roles including Interim Chair of Psychiatry, Director of the MD/PhD program, Associate Chair (Research) of Psychiatry, Director of the University Centre for Neuroscience, and Director of graduate programs in Neuroscience and Psychiatry. Kathryn is currently a full Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Pediatrics and Medicine (Neurology), and continues to operate her laboratory investigating the central nervous system response to disease and injury. She has published over 200 manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters, and has held numerous awards and grants from provincial and national funding organizations.

For the past ten years, Kathryn has served as a member of the executive leadership team at Alberta Health Services as Vice President of Provincial Clinical Excellence. She currently sits on a number of boards for various community, provincial and national organizations.

Melissa Padfield, Deputy Provost (Students and Enrolment)

Ms. Padfield holds degrees from the U of A and the University of Victoria, as well as a Certificate in University and College Administration from the University of Manitoba. She has held multiple positions across the institution since starting her career at the U of A in 2006, including Assistant Registrar (National Recruitment), Assistant Registrar (Student Connect), Deputy Registrar, and Interim Vice-Provost and University Registrar.

In 2019, she was appointed Vice-Provost and University Registrar. In this capacity, she has served as the administrative lead for the SET Student Services stream and as a member of the SET Steering Committee, helping to launch the new Student Service Centre, implement the Student Recruitment Centre of Expertise, and introduce the Enrolment Management Service Partners. She has also played a critical role in the university's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a key member of the Public Health Response Team, and as the lead of the Academic Impacts Team. In addition to her work at the U of A, Melissa is active as the Vice-Chair and Vice-President of the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada, and as Vice-President of the Alberta Registrars’ Association.

With Melissa transitioning to the deputy provost role, I would like to thank Norma Rodenburg who will serve as Acting Vice-Provost and University Registrar.

Kathryn and Melissa will start their Deputy Provost positions on August 15, 2022. Please join me in congratulating them both on their appointments.

Dr. Verna Yiu
Interim Provost and Vice-president (Academic)