Appointment of Professor Vivek Goel as Vice-President, Research and Innovation

PDAD&C#51, 2014-15

To:  Governing Council
Academic Board
Business Board
University Affairs Board
Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs
Professionals, Managers, and Confidential Staff
President of UTFA
Presidents of Employee Unions
Presidents of APUS, GSU, SCSU, UTMSU and UTSU 
From:      Professor Meric Gertler, President 
Date:  December 15, 2014
Re: Appointment of Professor Vivek Goel as Vice-President, Research and Innovation 

I am pleased to announce that, at its meeting on Thursday, the Governing Council approved the appointment of Professor Vivek Goel for a five-year term, effective February 1, 2015 and continuing until January 31, 2020.

Professor Vivek Goel is a distinguished scholar and experienced academic administrator.  His academic and public service career has been focused on bringing knowledge into decision processes so there are better outcomes, in learning or health.

Professor Goel has an M.D. from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Community Health (Health Administration) from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science (Biostatistics) from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He holds the Chartered Director designation from the Directors College (a partnership of the Conference Board of Canada and McMaster University). 

Professor Goel’s early academic career was based in research institutes, with strong connections to the University of Toronto.  He was a founding Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), established in 1992.  He served as Scientific Director of the Health Evidence Applications Linkages Network (HEALNet), a Network of Centres of Excellence. 

At the University of Toronto, Professor Goel served as Chair of the Department of Health Administration, during which time he oversaw a merger with the Clinical Epidemiology Program, which resulted in the new Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, now an Institute within the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.  In 2001, he joined the Office of the Vice-President and Provost as Vice-Provost, Faculty.  In 2003, he was appointed Deputy Provost and in 2004 he was appointed as Interim Vice-President and Provost and subsequently as Vice-President and Provost.  In 2005 he served for four-months as Acting President during the transition between Interim President Frank Iacobucci and incoming President David Naylor.

In 2008 he was named the Founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario (PHO).  As President and CEO he had responsibility for – and was highly successful in – building an academic public health services agency, with a range of research programs and a more efficient and effective laboratory system.  In his current position as Chief Academic Strategist with Coursera, a global platform that connects universities and learners with online courses, he has worked with university partners in thinking through the opportunities that online tools provide for post-secondary institutions. 

In his various roles, Professor Goel has collaborated with and facilitated the success of researchers and graduate students across all the pillars of health research and a range of domains such as economics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, law, education and management.  He has also been involved in the development and implementation of policies in areas such as ethical conduct of research and research integrity, and served on the founding board of the CIHR Institute for Health Services and Policy Research.  At PHO, Professor Goel supported technology transfer and commercialization efforts of its scientists, and collaborating companies, including several start-ups.  He has been actively involved in developing and sustaining partnerships with academic, research, government, non-profit and private sector organizations.

Professor Goel’s extensive knowledge and experience make him exceptionally well suited for the role of Vice-President, Research and Innovation and for advancing the various priorities of the portfolio. I have also asked him to assume two specific additional responsibilities: working with the incoming Dean of Medicine and the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN) to strengthen collaboration in health-related research, and working with the Provost and colleagues across the University to develop research with respect to technology enhanced teaching and learning.

I am delighted to welcome Professor Goel back to the University and to have him take on this important leadership role.