Accomplished academic and administrative leader Susan Lewis joins Western as vice-provost (academic programs) on Sept. 2 for a five-year term.
“Susan has an impressive track record of leadership in advancing the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenization, and has shown great commitment toward enhancing and strengthening experiential and work-integrated learning for students,” said Florentine Strzelczyk, provost and vice-president (academic). “I look forward to working with Susan on pursuing our strategic priorities.”
Lewis comes to Western from the University of Victoria (UVic) in British Columbia, where she has been serving as associate vice-president, academic planning, and acting vice-provost since 2020. She was previously dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at UVic, with the primary responsibility of leading a culture of excellence in teaching, research and creative practices.
“I am excited to lead undergraduate academic programs to build on Western’s strengths in experiential learning, research-enriched education, and impact that is felt locally and around the world,” Lewis said. “I am also committed to supporting equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization as critical ingredients for excellence and innovation.”
As Western’s vice-provost (academic programs), Lewis will provide undergraduate academic leadership and facilitate academic policy development and quality assurance for programs across the University. She will collaborate with student leaders and students at large, the registrar, the vice-provost (students), deans, associate deans, department chairs, and other colleagues to advance academic innovation and learning outcomes, and to engage faculty and staff in Western’s educational mission. Programs and services within the portfolio – including Continuing Studies and the Centre for Teaching and Learning – put into action Western’s dedication to personalizing the learning experience, responding to the needs of 21st century learners, and offering intensive experiential learning opportunities to every undergraduate.
Lewis has a PhD and a master of fine arts in music from Princeton University and a master of music from the University of Arizona. She earned her bachelor of arts and bachelor of music from Queen’s University.
Throughout her leadership at UVic, Lewis championed and pursued research-enriched education, as well as academic EDI initiatives in anti-racism and curriculum development. She has also spearheaded policy development, strategic enrolment management and student recruitment and retention. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she led UVic’s responses in terms of academic planning and student experience.
Lewis takes over the role from Jeff Hutter, who has served as acting vice-provost (academic programs) since January.
Meanwhile, John Doerksen, who has served as vice-provost (academic programs) since 2008, was recently appointed vice-provost (students) effective July 1, 2022.
“Western is extremely grateful to John and Jeff for their unwavering commitment to the continued advancements of our academic programs. They have both been great advocates for providing the best possible experience for our students and their leadership throughout the pandemic has been invaluable,” said Strzelczyk.