Academic leadership updates for Summer 2014

Medical Sciences

Four academic leaders will take new posts on campus this summer, with the appointments of Dr. Catherine Krull as dean of social sciences, Dr. Ralf St. Clair as dean of education, Dr. Bruce Wright as head of medical sciences and Dr. Robina Thomas as the inaugural director of Indigenous academic and community engagement.

Krull is currently associate dean of arts and science at Queen’s University. A sociologist and member of the Queens cultural studies graduate program, Krull is cross-appointed to the Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s. She is also a past editor of Cuban Studies and current editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Krull has a considerable publication history with a focus on Cuba, and in 2009 co-organized a large international conference focusing on 50 years of the Cuban Revolution.

Krull will serve as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences for a five-year term effective July 15, 2014 to June 30, 2019.

St. Clair’s leadership and administrative experiences stretch from Europe to North America—including roles directing a state literacy centre, First Nations and Inuit education programs, and as dean of graduate studies and chair of a large interdisciplinary department. He has been actively involved in creating international partnerships and recruitment opportunities.

St. Clair’s research areas include adult literacy and community initiatives, the formation of aspirations among First Nations youth, and research patterns in higher education. His research includes partnerships at the local, national, and international levels, and over the last five years he has received $1.4 million in research funding. His current portfolio includes a national partnership study among First Nations communities in several Canadian provinces.

St. Clair’s teaching includes educational and social research, adult and continuing education, understanding educational inquiry, and critical influences on educational praxis. He has a long track record of engagement with First Nations education and online and distance learning platforms and approaches.

St. Clair will serve as Dean of the Faculty of Education for a five-year term effective August 15, 2014 to June 30, 2019.

Effective July 1, Wright will begin his term of service as Head, Division of Medical Sciences at UVic (and Regional Associate Dean, UBC Faculty of Medicine). He joins UVic from the University of Calgary, where he specialized in geriatric medicine. He has also recently been involved in international medical curriculum development, including work in Nepal, Laos and Tanzania.

Also beginning on July 1, Thomas—currently Associate Professor in the School of Social Work—will serve as the inaugural director of Indigenous academic and community engagement during an initial three-year term. Thomas’ expertise as a teacher and a researcher who has focused her work within the context of Indigenous programs and communities —along with her knowledge of local protocol and her relationships with Indigenous community members—will serve the entire campus in this important new leadership role.

As previously announced in the March issue of the Ring, incoming Vice-President Research Dr. David Castle begins his term on July 1, 2014. Faculty and staff are invited to a reception on Wednesday, June 18 to acknowledge the contributions of Dr. Howard Brunt during his seven years as vice-president research. The event begins at 4:00 pm at the University Club. Please RSVP by June 11 to


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Keywords: leadership, education

People: Catherine Krull, Ralf St. Clair, Bruce Wright, Robina Thomas

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