101 Creation of the Position of Vice Provost Graduate Education and Appointment of Professor Susan Pfeiffer

PDAD&C #101, 2004-05


To:             Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
From:           Vivek Goel, Vice-President and Provost
Date:          June 29, 2005
Re:               Creation of the Position of Vice-Provost, Graduate Education & Appointment of Professor Susan Pfeiffer

I am pleased to announce that the Governing Council has approved the creation of the position of Vice-Provost, Graduate Education and the appointment of Professor Susan Pfeiffer to this position.  Professor Pfeiffer was appointed as Dean, School of Graduate Studies, for a five-year term, that began on September 1, 2004 and ends on June 30, 2009.  Professor Pfeiffer’s term as Vice-Provost, Graduate Education will be concurrent with her term as Dean, School of Graduate Studies.

As you are aware, a Task Force on Graduate Education was formed in October 2004 with a mandate to examine structural and functional features of graduate education at the University of Toronto with a goal to enhance and advocate for the quality of graduate education and the graduate experience.  The two main areas of focus were the administration of graduate education and governance. The Task Force built on the work of the previous year’s School of Graduate Studies Review Committee and engaged in a comprehensive process.  The Task Force produced a Discussion Paper in April 2005 that was released to the broader University community with a request for feedback to assist the Task Force in its deliberations.  The feedback provided clear support for the directions proposed by the Task Force in the Discussion Paper.

In its final report (available at http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/English/Reports.html, the Task Force made four recommendations.   They are as follows:

(1.) Restructure and strengthen the SGS Dean’s role.  An appointment to a Vice-Provostial position should be presented to Governing Council for approval this academic year.

(2.) Establish a Graduate Education Co-ordinating Committee.

(3.) Through the Co-ordinating Committee, align governance functions to appropriately reflect Faculty and Graduate School responsibilities.

(4.) Through the Co-ordinating Committee, assess the appropriate level for graduate administrative functions: department, campus, training site, Faculty, SGS or other central office.

The recommendation to restructure the SGS Dean’s role is rooted in the desire to heighten the profile of graduate education and ensure that graduate education issues are ‘on the table’ at Simcoe Hall.  With a concurrent appointment as a Vice-Provost, the Dean would be in the ‘flow’ of decision-making from departments, to Faculties and the Office of the Vice-President and Provost.

Professor Pfeiffer’s work as Co-Chair of the Task Force as well as her work at the School of Graduate Studies has highlighted her commitment to, and keen appreciation of the importance of, graduate students and graduate education at the University.

Professor Pfeiffer is committed to following up on the recommendations of the Task Force on Graduate Education.  I am confident that with her leadership, we will continue to work in ways that will further enable the University, to achieve our objectives for graduate education and to embody our vision to be a leader among the world’s best public teaching and research universities.