Schwean appointed to second term as Education dean

Vicki Schwean has been re-appointed to a second term as Dean of Western’s Faculty of Education, beginning Sept. 1, 2016, through Aug. 31, 2022, Janice Deakin, Western’s Provost & Vice-President (Academic), announced last week.

Schwean’s re-appointment was advanced at the recommendation of the Senate-appointed Education Decanal Selection Committee, which received the formal endorsement and approval of Western President Amit Chakma and the Board of Governors’ Senior Operations Committee.

“The recommendation to re-appoint Dr. Schwean reflects a strong endorsement of Vicki’s leadership that emerged through comments gathered during an internal review conducted by the Decanal Committee,” Deakin said. “Vicki was commended for the vital role she played in leading the faculty’s response to an extraordinary series of policy directives initiated by the province early in her first term that resulted in significant programmatic and fiscal challenges for the faculty, which, in turn, necessitated a period of rapid and transformative change.”

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Appointed in 2011, Schwean was previously Vice-Dean (Finance & Academic Administration) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. Other senior administrative positions Schwean has held included Associate Dean, Division of Applied Psychology, University of Calgary (2005-2009); Head, Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, University of Saskatchewan (2001-2005); and founder of University of Calgary Applied Psychological and Educational Services, an award-winning clinic.

A registered psychologist, Schwean holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Regina, in addition to a PhD from the University of Saskatchewan, in educational psychology.

In 1988, she began her academic career as an assistant professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department for the Education of Exceptional Children. Prior to that, she held various positions as a teacher and school psychologist for the Regina Board of Education and Saskatchewan’s Department of Social Services between 1977-88.  In addition to a number of books, book chapters and articles focusing on child assessment and mental health, Schwean has been a strong advocate for systemic reform in service delivery for vulnerable and at-risk children and youth throughout her academic career.

Deakin continued, “Among the results of Vicki’s leadership and the collective efforts of her faculty and staff colleagues, the Faculty of Education today finds itself in a strong position bolstered by the creation of several new and innovative graduate education programs and an impressive record of success in attracting research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.”

Just last week, Schwean announced the opening of the Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount, an Education-led partnership between the university and Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre. The new centre will focus on interdisciplinary research that examines factors influencing early childhood development, with the goal of bettering the health and wellbeing of society’s most vulnerable children.