Nicholas (Nick) Harney has been appointed Western’s next dean of the Faculty of Social Science.
Harney, who is currently head of the department of sociology, anthropology and criminology at the University of Windsor, will serve a five-year term beginning Aug. 1, 2021.
“I am excited to join Western’s world-leading Faculty of Social Science. These are challenging times urgently in need of thoughtful, research-based and well-reasoned forms of engagement with equity, diversity, inclusion, and the value of knowledge,” said Harney. “The possibilities are limitless for the Faculty if we harness our interdisciplinary and international potential. I can’t wait to learn from, advise, lead and follow the Faculty, students and administrative personnel at Western.”
Prior to his appointment at the University of Windsor in 2016, Harney held several academic appointments at The University of Western Australia (UWA), including chair of anthropology and sociology, and associate dean (international) for the Faculty of Arts.
Between appointments at UWA and Windsor, he served a term as secretary of the examining commission at Italy’s top-ranked Università degli Studi di Trento where he has held a continuous appointment as visiting professor with the Centre of Migration Studies & Social Cohesion since 2012.
Graduating magna cum laude in social anthropology from Harvard University, Harney earned his MA and PhD in social/cultural anthropology from the University of Toronto. He pursued postdoctoral studies as the Mariano A. Elia Chair in Italian Canadian Studies at York University.
Harney’s research interests include the social anthropology of urban life, migration studies, and critical perspectives on global processes with a focus on Canada and Italy. He is the author of Eh, Paesan!: Being Italian in Toronto (University of Toronto Press) and co-editor of Anthropological Forum.
“Nick’s 20-plus years of academic leadership experience in interdisciplinary research, teaching, program development and community engagement—particularly in areas related to equity, diversity and inclusion—will be assets to the Faculty and the University,” said Andrew Hrymak, Western’s provost and vice-president (academic).
“We look forward to supporting his work and continuing to build on the Faculty’s diverse strengths and growing international reputation.”
Harney will replace Joan Finegan who has been acting dean since Jan. 1, 2020.
“Joan has agreed to continue in the acting role until Nick’s arrival next summer,” said Hrymak. “She has done a great job and we’re fortunate to have her experience and leadership during this transitional period.”