Deane appointed VP (Academic)

The size and quality of classes will be one of incoming VP (Academic) Patrick Deane’s top priorities when he begins his new job at the University on July 1.

Deane, currently the vice-president (academic) and provost at the University of Winnipeg will be replacing VP (Academic) Suzanne Fortier.

“I’m very fortunate to be coming to Queen’s at a time when there will be new money in the system,” Deane said, referring to the Ontario government’s recent $6.2 billion injection into the education system.

“[It’s] money coming toward the University that will not only strengthen what has already been good in the University but provide opportunities for new developments and new initiatives.”

Deane said an assessment of the undergraduate program will be one of the most important issues facing him in the coming year.

The University of Winnipeg has always made personal treatment of students and small classes a high priority, he said.

“So I think I’m in a good position to come to Queen’s and to advance that same kind of mandate,” he said.

With the freeze on both domestic and international tuition fees at the University ending in September 2006, Deane said the determination of tuition fees must be decided in a global context.

“I do think it’s reasonable that students should carry a proportion of the responsibility for [tuition fees], but then again I think there are also private-sector and government responsibilities that have to be lived up to,” Deane said.

When asked if he would support deregulation, Deane answered: “Yes, I would.”

He added he is a proponent of students and would strive to take into consideration the views of students in the development of new tuition fee policies.

“I’m a very powerful supporter of students’ voices in all levels of governance,” he said. “This is a sufficiently important issue that the University would want to make special efforts to engage in conversations with students about what is desirable and what works in the interests of all concerned.”

Principal Hitchcock said she is pleased with Deane’s appointment.

“[His] leadership abilities and commitment to providing students with the most enriching teaching and learning environment possible will benefit Queen’s immeasurably,” she said in a press release.

Former AMS President Tyler Turnbull, who was a member of the selection committee, said in an e-mail he is confident Deane will be a strong addition to the administration.

“His background and experience brings a great perspective to the University and we are lucky to have been able to have found such a fantastic candidate,” he said.

AMS President Ethan Rabidoux said he is looking forward to a productive relationship with Deane.

“He appears to be very student-friendly, someone who is going to be responsive to the concerns of students and of the AMS,” he said.

Deane studied law and English literature at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He then completed his MA and PhD in English at the University of Western Ontario. Deane was a professor at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto before becoming VP (academic) at the University of Winnipeg. He served as the University’s acting president for several months in 2003 and 2004.

Deane’s appointment was ratified at the Board of Trustees meeting on May 7.

—With files from qnc.queensu.ca and thestar.com

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