Announcement Re Dean Pekka Sinervo

PDAD&C #9, 2007-08

TO:       Faculty, Staff and Students, Faculty of Arts and Science
            Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs

FROM: Vivek Goel, Vice-President and Provost

DATE: September 10, 2007

RE:      Announcement Re: Dean Pekka Sinervo

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Dean Pekka Sinervo has advised me that he wishes an administrative leave later this academic year in order to more fully engage in his scholarly activities. Because this leave would come close to the end of his term as Dean, he has also requested an adjustment to the length of his appointment as Dean. Having carefully reviewed his reasons, I have, with regret, accepted his requests. Professor Sinervo will be taking administrative leave from March 1st 2008 to June 30th, 2008 at which time he will end his term one year early. Professor Sinervo has indicated that he will not be seeking a further term as Dean.

Professor Sinervo has been engaged in academic administration continuously since 1997 and in the Faculty of Arts and Science Dean’s Office since 2000. While successfully fulfilling his significant administrative duties he has maintained a high level of engagement in his academic discipline. However, the position of Dean has come with considerable compromise to his scholarly activities. The break provided by the administrative leave will allow him to reengage more fully in particle physics research. The timing of this leave is of particular importance given that one of his long-term research projects, the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, is scheduled to begin data-taking in spring 2008.

He has worked with the Faculty to achieve a great deal during his terms as Vice-Dean, Graduate Education and Research, as Vice-Dean, Academic, as Dean, and more recently, as Dean and Vice-Provost, First Entry Programs. He has played a significant role in numerous transformative initiatives within the Faculty of Arts & Science: the first-ever guaranteed graduate funding program for Arts & Science students; managing the admissions, education and graduation of the “double cohort” while at the same time improving in measurable ways the quality of undergraduate education; strengthening Faculty and College relationships, with numerous collaborative undergraduate initiatives underway; creating significant new interdisciplinary teaching and research units; and continued and deepened engagement with divisional partners in the delivery of the best possible undergraduate education for our students. Recently, the Faculty engaged in a significant reorganization of the manner in which it teaches and does research in the biological sciences. He has been extremely successful in fundraising for key academic priorities, and committed tirelessly to strengthening international engagement. A historic expansion in graduate education has commenced. The Faculty is now completing the first steps of a major renewal of its undergraduate curriculum.

Professor Sinervo has also served as a significant leader amongst the Principals and Deans group, providing context and continuity to his colleagues, challenging us to focus on the experiences of all our students and helping to assure stability as we moved through Presidential and Provostial transitions. He has played a central role in the implementation of the new framework for tri-campus administration and has served the institution on numerous task forces and committees, as well as playing external leadership roles on behalf of the University in areas ranging from astronomy to the humanities.

On behalf of the entire University of Toronto community I wish to thank Professor Sinervo for these and many other contributions. He has committed to working towards the completion of some key projects, such as the curriculum renewal exercise and the development of a new multi-year Faculty budget plan during the balance of his term. I appreciate his willingness to see these projects through.

There will be other opportunities for us to formally express our appreciation to Professor Sinervo. In the meantime please join me in wishing him every scholarly success as he plans his transition back into a fulltime role as an outstanding Professor of Physics.