After a thorough search process, Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo has been appointed vice-provost, Labrador Campus, and dean, School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies.
The appointment is for a five-year term effective Dec. 2, 2022.
The president accepted the recommendation, which was approved by the Board of Regents at its Dec. 1 meeting.
Dr. Cunsolo has been interim dean of the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies since Aug. 1, 2020.
“Dr. Cunsolo is an experienced, respected and transformative leader who is keenly focused on supporting and engaging with the people and communities in Labrador to create northern-focused and Indigenous-led programming, infrastructure, and governance structures,” said Dr. Neil Bose, interim provost and vice-president (academic). “Dr. Cunsolo is an excellent choice for this role and I am confident that the Labrador Campus will continue to thrive under her leadership.”
As a leader, she is focused on institution building, indigenization and equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, and northern sovereignty over research and education, including enhancing access to university education for Labrador and the North.
Since arriving at Memorial in 2016, Dr. Cunsolo has held increasingly senior leadership roles and led the growth of the university’s presence in Labrador, including working with partners in Labrador and throughout Memorial University to establish the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, the Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems, and the Labrador Campus.
“It is an absolute honour and privilege to continue to work with the tremendous team at the Labrador Campus, and all our amazing partners, in this new leadership capacity,” said Dr. Cunsolo. “I look forward to what we will continue to do, together, to increase access to university education in Labrador, and to develop and grow programs, research and infrastructure that meets the needs and priorities of Labrador and the North, and reflects Innu and Inuit peoples, lands, waters and cultures.”
An active researcher with an emphasis on community partnerships and wide-ranging knowledge dissemination, Dr. Cunsolo is internationally renowned for her groundbreaking work on climate change, mental health and ecological grief and anxiety.
She has held numerous national and international research leadership roles, including being an appointed member to the Federal Task Force on Northern Post-Secondary Education, and the current co-chair of the Canadian Council of Academies Future of Arctic and Northern Research expert panel.
“I would like to thank the search committee for their work on this search, including the appointed members from the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies Academic Council who represented the Innu Nation, the Nunatsiavut Government and the NunatuKavut Community Council,” said Dr. Bose.
Dr. Cunsolo holds a PhD from the University of Guelph and was a post-doctoral research fellow at McGill University before becoming a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) at Cape Breton University.
She was inducted into the inaugural cohort of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists (2014–21), of which she is now a member emeritus.