Appointment of Professor Donald Ainslie as Provostial Advisor on Undergraduate Humanities Education

PDAD&C #54, 2014-15

To:  PDAD&C 
From:     Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost 
Date:  December 16, 2014
Re:  Appointment of Professor Donald Ainslie as Provostial Advisor on Undergraduate Humanities Education 

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Donald Ainslie as Provostial Advisor on Undergraduate Humanities Education from January 1, 2015 until June 30, 2016 (subsequently extended to June 30, 2018). During this time, Professor Ainslie will continue to serve as Principal of University College.

As Provostial Advisor on Undergraduate Humanities Education, Professor Ainslie will advise me on ways in which the University can support the President’s objective of re-imagining and reinventing undergraduate education, focusing especially on the humanities. In this role, Professor Ainslie will work closely with Professor Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education and Professor Jill Matus, Vice-Provost, Students and First-Entry Divisions, as well as humanities Chairs on all three campuses.

Professor Ainslie is currently the Principal of University College, and a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Science. As former Chair of the Department of Philosophy, he oversaw curriculum renewal that made small group experiences available to more students. He also designed the award-winning Socrates Project, which established research-informed learning communities in which outstanding senior undergraduates led first-year tutorials. During his term, the Department created an annual event in which alumni met with current students to discuss how philosophy helped them succeed professionally. His service to the Faculty of Arts and Science has included work on humanities performance indicators, ethics education across the curriculum, and the support of undergraduate learning through the Writing Instruction for TAs (WIT) program. Since Professor Ainslie’s appointment as Principal, University College has launched UC One, its foundation program, and reinforced the College’s emphasis on engagement in the classroom and beyond.

The University is committed to research-informed undergraduate programs of excellent quality that support outstanding student experience and lifelong success. As reflected in our Statement of Institutional Purpose and in the President’s Three Priorities conversations, the liberal arts are the heart of an undergraduate education. I am confident that Professor Ainslie’s experience gives him the ideal background to help us to enhance the University’s approach to undergraduate humanities education in the context of these broader commitments. Please join me in welcoming Professor Ainslie to this position.