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New leadership

Dr. Donna Hardy Cox chosen to lead student portfolio

Student Life

By Jennifer Batten

The search committee for the role of associate vice-president (academic) students, has completed its work and recommended Dr. Donna Hardy Cox for the position.

President Kachanoski has accepted the recommendation; the Board of Regents approved the appointment for a five-year term, effective Jan. 1, 2019, at a meeting on Oct. 29, 2018.

Social work dean

Dr. Hardy Cox is a well-known and experienced member of the Memorial community.

She was the first female Memorial social work graduate to be named dean of the school, a position she has held for the past six years. She was an active student leader who served on the student union at Memorial, and later held the roles of director of student development and associate dean of graduate programs and scholarship for the School of Social Work.

In her new role, Dr. Hardy Cox will provide vision and strategic leadership to the benefit of undergraduate students and academic programming in a number of areas, including student academic outcomes; academic program renewal and innovation; academic policy; and procedures and support services for all students.

“Dr. Hardy Cox has an extensive background and great hands-on experience in student success and support in higher education,” said Dr. Noreen Golfman, provost and vice-president (academic). “Her research and scholarship, which has focussed on the administration of higher education to better serve and support student success, social work education and community capacity building, make her an ideal candidate for the position. I look forward to working with her in this important role.”

‘Enrich student success’

Dr. Hardy Cox has been deeply engaged in the development and implementation of student success programs and initiatives.

Years before becoming a member of the university’s academic leadership team, she played an integral role in the creation of the Student Volunteer Bureau and the Glenn Roy Blundon Centre. Additionally, in her cross-appointment to the Faculty of Education, Dr. Hardy Cox co-developed the first M.Ed in post-secondary studies with a focus on student services for Canada, and taught and designed its first online courses.

“I am proud of Memorial University and I am so delighted to return to my student development and social work practice roots which began in the student union when I was an undergraduate student, and grew through my roles as a student services professional, faculty member,  tenured professor and dean,” she said. “As a member of the university community and an alumna, it has been exciting to watch the continued growth of critical and progressive student services and supports at Memorial. I am excited to begin working collaboratively with students, staff and faculty across the university to further enrich student success at Memorial.”

Curriculum vitae

Dr. Hardy Cox’s social work practice background includes 15 years of service in policy and program development and the administration of student development programs. She also has more than two decades of experience designing and delivering social work, higher education and professional development curriculum in online, distance, and face-to-face classrooms.

She has served as president of the national Student Affairs and Services Association, the Atlantic Association of College and University Student Services and the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services. Her research and scholarship has focussed on the administration of higher education to better serve and support student success, community capacity building with youth and, most recently, the history of social work in Newfoundland and Labrador. She was editor of the books Serving Diverse Students in Canadian Higher Education and Achieving Student Success: Effective Student Services in Canadian Higher Education.

Dr. Hardy Cox’s formal education includes a BSW from Memorial University; a MSW from Carleton University; an Ed.D from the University of Maine; and a certificate in university management from University of Manitoba. She has held visiting scholar and honorary research associate positions; was a professional affiliate at the Centre for Higher Education Research and Development, University of Manitoba, and the founding director of its Canadian Institute on Student Affairs and Services.

The process to appoint an interim dean for the School of Social Work will begin shortly.


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