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‘Unanimous choice’

Memorial University appoints provost and vice-president (academic)

Campus and Community

By Memorial University

The Board of Regents has approved the appointment of Dr. Florentine Strzelczyk as Memorial University’s next provost and vice-president (academic) and pro vice-chancellor.

Effective August 16, 2021, the appointment is for a five-year term and is renewable.

A 12-person search committee drawn from across the university and chaired by President Timmons developed a position profile after inviting input from the university community and then considered applications and conducted interviews.

“Dr. Strzelczyk was clearly a stellar candidate,” said Dr. Timmons. “With her distinguished academic record as a humanities scholar and her considerable university leadership experience, she was the unanimous choice of the search committee.”

Dr. Florentine Strzelczyk’s biography

A scholar of German and European literature, culture and film, Dr. Strzelczyk was born and raised in Germany. After completing an MA at Georg August Universität Göttingen, Germany, and a PhD in German literature, culture, and film at UBC as an international student, Dr. Strzelczyk joined Queen’s University as an Assistant Professor (1995), then moved to the University of Calgary (1997), where she was promoted to associate professor (2003) and full professor (2011). Also at the University of Calgary, since 2011 she has served as department head of Germanic, Slavic and East Asian Studies (which evolved into Linguistics, Languages and Cultures); as vice-dean, Faculty of Arts; and as deputy provost.

Her scholarly work in film and cultural studies has been concerned with the ripples the past creates in the present, focusing on contested concepts such as “home” and “nation,” the legacies of the Third Reich, and the European fascination with Indigenous peoples. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the German Academic Exchange Service and recognized by a Killam Award and fellowships, her research has resulted in interdisciplinary book publications and journal articles

Dr. Strzelczyk is looking forward to her move to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Of her new appointment and joining Memorial University, she said: “I am excited about Memorial’s rising reputation as a national and international leader for impactful research and deep, reciprocal partnerships with the communities in Atlantic Canada and its people. I am impressed by and will continue to support the university’s commitment to transformational student experiences. I look forward to joining the Memorial community in person and beginning our journey together to set up the province’s only university for increased local and global reach and impact.”

The appointment is the culmination of a search process that began in the fall of 2020 after Dr. Noreen Golfman stepped down from the position. Since then, Dr. Mark Abrahams, dean of the Faculty of Science, has served in the role pro tempore.

About the role

The provost/vice-president (academic)/pro vice-chancellor is the chief academic officer of Memorial University with overall responsibility for all academic matters, including the development and delivery of programs to more than 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students across a wide range of disciplines. The role is responsible for fostering a positive learning and working environment for faculty and students and leads recruitment, promotion, tenure and recognition processes to attract and retain top-quality faculty.

Primary responsibilities include the following:

  • overseeing pan-university initiatives and ensuring that decisions align with Memorial’s mission and strategic priorities;
  • setting goals that are integrated across academic and administrative units; and
  • ensuring university planning and budgets align with academic priorities.

The provost reports directly to the president, is a voting member of the university’s governing Board of Regents, and is also chief academic officer and deputy chair of the university Senate which has general charge of all matters of an academic nature.

Additionally, the provost is the university’s chief operating officer. The position has responsibility for the internal governance and management of the university and leads the vice-presidents and other senior executives to ensure that academic and administrative plans, activities, and resources are aligned with Memorial University’s vision and academic aims. In the absence of the president, the provost is acting president.

The provost also oversees the portfolios of associate vice-presidents for students, graduate studies, and teaching and learning, as well as the deputy provost (equity, diversity and inclusion).

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