September 5, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON
Lakehead University Board of Governors Chair David Tamblyn was pleased to announce that following a 15-month search and consultation process, its Presidential Search Committee unanimously recommended that current Interim President & Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Moira McPherson, be appointed the University’s next President & Vice-Chancellor.
Mr. Tamblyn said that Lakehead’s Board of Governors voted in support of the Search Committee’s recommendation.
“Dr. McPherson’s experience and impact in various roles at Lakehead, her deep knowledge and understanding of our University and its students, and her passion for our new Strategic Plan are just a few of the reasons why we have asked her to lead Lakehead in the coming years.”
“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I would like to thank Dr. McPherson for all that she has achieved as Interim President & Vice-Chancellor,” added Mr. Tamblyn. “During her distinguished career, her dedication to Lakehead University has been unremitting as she has moved from our classrooms through to our Senior Executive Team.”
Dr. McPherson, who has been Interim President & Vice-Chancellor since January 2018, said “It is an absolute honour to be given this opportunity to lead Lakehead University.”
“With the encouragement of the Board, colleagues, and community partners, we will continue to build on the strengths Lakehead offers as a well-regarded university, as well as a vital member of the economic, social and cultural communities that we support – and that support us.”
During her time as Interim President & Vice-Chancellor, since January 2018, Dr. McPherson has worked with the University’s Board of Governors to oversee Lakehead’s various initiatives and operations through the presidential transition period. Highlights include a pledge from the Province of $10 million for the Gichi Kendaasiwin Centre, development of the CASES building, and the opening of the University Teaching Commons.
Dr. McPherson officially became the seventh, and first woman President & Vice-Chancellor of Lakehead University, effective September 1, 2018.
Dr. Moira McPherson
Dr. Moira McPherson became Lakehead University’s Interim President & Vice-Chancellor in January 2018. Prior to that, she served as the institution’s Provost & Vice-President (Academic) since 2012, where she provided strategic leadership for institutional visioning for academic and community connections, international recruitment and partnerships, as well as program development, accreditations, and resource allocations.
Dr. McPherson began her progressive career at Lakehead University in 1987 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Education and Athletics. After seven successful years as Director of the School of Kinesiology where she established a strong reputation as a dynamic applied scientist and coach facilitator, Dr. McPherson’s effective collaborative leadership approach led her to being named Associate Vice-President (Academic), a position that saw her design and implement some pivotal new academic processes to achieve the University’s academic goals. After stepping in to serve as Acting Vice-President (Academic) in 2010, she was appointed Deputy Provost in 2011, and subsequently appointed as Provost & Vice-President (Academic) in 2013.
Dr. McPherson’s understanding of, and commitment to, Lakehead University continues to be demonstrated through her capacity for strategic leadership, a purposeful dedication to students, and her influence on several high impact projects. These projects include the Lakehead University-Georgian College Partnership, a collaboration that is designed to meet the needs of students and employers in Simcoe County; The Gichi Kendaasiwin Centre, a capital project to support a vibrant Indigenous student, faculty and staff presence and foster greater connections with community; and Lakehead’sTelepresenceinitiative, an immersive classroom experience that provides course opportunities to distant learners in rural and remote communities.
Dr. McPherson led the development and implementation of Lakehead University’s 2012-2017 Academic Plan, the University’s transition to the Institutional Quality Assurance process, and to a Strategic Enrolment Management Framework. She has led the development of the University’s Strategic Mandate Agreements, and established and continues to guide the implementation of the Integrated Planning and Budgeting Process.
Dr. McPherson served two terms on the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance, was a member of the Executive Committee for the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents, and is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
Dr. McPherson holds a PhD specializing in Applied Biomechanics from the University of Alberta, and has been regularly sought out for her scholarly and professional expertise in applied kinematic and biomechanical skill analyses by both national and international organizations.
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Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.