New Positions and Appointments

PDAD&C #24, 2006-2007



Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs


Vivek Goel, Vice-President and Provost


November 2, 2006


Creation of the Position of Vice-Provost, First-Entry Programs and the Appointment of Professor Pekka Sinervo; and the Creation of the Council of First-Entry Deans

I am pleased to announce that the Governing Council has approved the creation of the position of Vice-Provost, First-Entry Programs and the appointment of Professor Pekka Sinervo, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science to this position.  Professor Sinervo’s appointment as Vice-Provost, First Entry Programs will be concurrent with his term as Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, which ends on June 30, 2009.  As Vice-Provost, Professor Sinervo will serve as a member of PVP (President, Vice-Presidents and Vice-Provosts), representing first-entry programs at the senior administrative level.

The University has made the student experience its top priority.  We recognize and congratulate the many individual units who have encouraged, supported and reinforced this commitment by developing innovative student-centred initiatives. In some cases, the units providing specific services to students are university-wide offices, some are campus-specific, and others are offered  by and available to students in specific faculties or colleges.  This is natural in a large decentralized institution. However, in putting our students first, we also need to ensure that the University of Toronto programs and services for students are developed and delivered in a coordinated, effective and consistent manner. Clear communications occur among the academic divisions responsible for first-entry programs, PVP and the central services that support our students. There are also external factors such as high school curriculum changes and increased requirements through the Undergraduate Program Review Audit Committee (UPRAC) that require timely input and feedback from academic divisions responsible for first-entry programs.

To facilitate this coordination and communication, I am establishing a Decanal-level table, the Council of First-Entry Deans representing the first-entry divisions: Arts and Science St. George, UTM, UTSC, Applied Science and Engineering, Music, and Physical Education and Health.  In recognition of the significant role that Colleges play on the St. George campus, two Principals will serve on the Council, one from a constituent college and the other from a federated college.  The Vice-Provost, Students will serve as an assessor on this Council. 

Among the proposed terms of reference for the group are:

  1. To develop and maintain University-wide learning objectives for first-entry students;
  2. Provide advice for and direction of university-wide programs (e.g., library, student services, career counseling, Resource Centre for Academic Technology, Office of Teaching Advancement) that support those objectives;
  3. Provide advice and direction on external matters related to first-entry matters that arise from bodies such as the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and its associated bodies such as the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents (OCAV);
  4. Coordinate recruitment and enrolment management for domestic and international students;
  5. Provide a forum for discussion of issues related to interdivisional teaching in first-entry programs.

The Vice-Provost, First-Entry Programs will coordinate, with assistance from my office, the administration’s actions in the range of areas in the terms of reference.  The Chair of the Council of First-Entry Deans will be selected from the remaining Deans on the Council.  This is analogous with the practice for the Council of Health Science Deans.   

Professor Sinervo joined the University of Toronto in 1990 as an associate professor in the Department of Physics. He was quickly promoted to full professor in 1995 and became chair of the department in 1997. From September 2000 to April 2003, Professor Sinervo served as vice dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science with responsibility for graduate education and research during most of this period. Under his leadership, the Faculty of Arts and Science became the first academic unit in Canada to implement a guaranteed level of financial support for graduate students.  He was named Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science on January 1, 2004.

Professor Sinervo is an internationally respected and prolific scientist who has written or co-written articles in more than 350 refereed publications.  His research area is elementary particle physics, with a particular focus on experimental studies of the fundamental forces and constituents of matter.  He received the prestigious Rutherford Medal for Physics in 1996 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1999.  In 2003 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Professor Sinervo’s exceptional teaching skills were recognized with a Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award in 1995.  He continues to be actively involved in graduate education, working with students exploring particle collisions at the highest energy levels. In 2004, Professor Sinervo was elected senior fellow at U of T’s Massey College, joining a prestigious group representing U of T’s academic and professional interests.

Professor Sinervo has demonstrated unwavering commitment and leadership to improve the undergraduate student experience at the University of Toronto.  I am confident that he will be extremely effective in this new role.