Western appoints Dean of Science

The University of Western Ontario has announced the appointment of Charmaine B. Dean as Faculty of Science dean, beginning a five-year term on Aug. 1.

Dean is presently Burnaby Mountain Research Chair in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at Simon Fraser University (SFU), where she has been a member of faculty since 1989 and served in numerous senior administrative and academic roles. She was founding chair of SFU’s Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science when it was established in 2001, and later was instrumental in creating the university’s Faculty of Health Sciences, where she served as its associate dean (2004-05).



“Charmaine Dean is a distinguished academic and experienced administrator who will help bolster Western’s reputation as home to one of Canada’s leading research-intensive faculties of science,” says Janice Deakin, Western provost & vice-president (academic). “Charmaine has made many outstanding contributions to graduate training and to her academic discipline, and we look forward to welcoming her to our campus community in August.”

Dean also served on SFU’s Faculty Restructuring Task Force (2006-08) as part of a major reorganizational initiative. Dean has further served the academic community as president of the Statistical Society of Canada, as president of the International Biometrics Society (Western North American Region) and in numerous capacities with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Among a long list of academic distinctions, she is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Born in Trinidad, Dean immigrated to Canada to pursue her BSc (Honours) in mathematics at the University of Saskatchewan (1980), and later her master’s degree (1984) and PhD (1988) in statistics at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests lie in the development of methodology for disease mapping, longitudinal studies, the design of clinical trials and spatio-temporal analyses.

“Our Faculty of Science is well recognized for the high quality of its undergraduate education and for its research strength,” says Western President Amit Chakma. “I am delighted we have attracted a leader of Charmaine’s exceptional caliber, and we look forward to supporting her efforts to advancing the faculty’s national and international profile.”

Much of her work has been motivated by direct applications to important practical problems, and she has implemented many of her methodological developments, most notably with the British Columbia Ministry of Health, the Canadian Forest Service and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Recently, Dean’s research has focused on the study of climate change impacts, particularly in the area of forestry.

Dean succeeds David Wardlaw, who has served as Western’s Dean of Science since 2006 and will begin a new appointment as vice-president (academic) and pro-vice chancellor at Memorial University on August 1.